Lying is never right.

According to Webster, to lie is “1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive. 2: to create a false or misleading impression.” Lying, as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas, “a statement at variance with the mind”, is more accurate than Webster’s “to create a false or misleading impression.” This is because, according to Webster, it is possible to lie without making a false statement and without any intention of deceiving. If a person makes a statement which he thinks is false, but in reality is true, he certainly lies inasmuch as he intends to say what is false. A well-known liar may have no intention of deceiving anyone – for he knows nobody believes a word he says – but if he speaks at variance with his mind, he does not cease to lie.

someone. An officious or white lie is such that it does not injure anyone. Jocose lies are told for the purpose of affording amusement. When a habit of lying has been contracted, it is practically impossible to restrict its vagaries to matters which are harmless. Therefore, although injury to others is excluded from officious and jocose lies by definition, yet realistically there is no sort of lie which is not injurious to somebody. According to Catholic teachings, an injurious lie is a mortal sin, but officious and jocose lies are of their own nature, venial sins.

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Telling the truth is not the easiest course of action to follow. On the contrary, telling the truth is often difficult, and frequently leads to unpleasant consequences. A major disturbing thought for us is that Christians, of all people, need to lie. Where are our Christian principles? “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25).

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