Vatican City, Nov 14, 2018 / 05:24 am
Christians are called to not only refrain from telling falsehoods, but to conduct their entire lives – both words and actions – as a witness to the Truth that is Jesus Christ, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
“Let us ask ourselves: what truth do the works of us Christians attest to, our words, our choices?” the pope said Nov. 14. “Everyone can ask themselves: am I a witness to the truth, or am I more or less a liar disguised as a true person?”
In his weekly catechesis, Pope Francis reflected on the eighth commandment: “you shall not give false witness against thy neighbor.”
“The truth,” he said, “finds its full realization in the very person of Jesus, in his way of living and dying, the fruit of his relationship with the Father.” As children of God, people are given this same access to truth, sent through the Holy Spirit, “who is the Spirit of truth, who attests to our hearts that God is our Father.”
Francis explained that “in every one of his actions man affirms or denies this truth. From small everyday situations to the most demanding choices. But it is the same logic: that which parents and grandparents teach us when they tell us not to lie. The same logic.”
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the pope said, the commandment against lying, “forbids falsifying the truth in relations with others.”
“Inauthentic communication” is a serious error because it prevents relationships and love, which require truth; and “where there is a lie there is no love, there can be no love,” he emphasized.
To tell the truth in one’s relationships means more than to just not tell a falsehood with one’s words, he continued, listing also “gestures, attitudes, silences, and absences,” as possible occasions of dishonesty.