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436 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

uninformed opinions. Much of what passes for truth is the effort to jus-

tify individual behavior. In its unsettling form, this generates an attitude

of skepticism and even suspicion about any truth claims. Thus objective

truth is considered unattainable.

In this kind of cultural environment, how can we speak of the invi-

tation of the Eighth Commandment to tell the truth and avoid lying?

Speaking the truth is the opposite of lying. The distinction between

lying and truth-telling presupposes that there is a truth that can be told.

Although a real problem is that some people lie, there is also the related

issue of skepticism about the possibility of knowing truth.

The best way to step outside the constriction of these biases is

through study, love, and practice grounded in faith. The Church never

ceases to urge, “Know the truth. Love the truth. Live the truth.”And the

truth is Jesus Christ.


1. Why do we believe what people say? What happens when we dis-

cover that someone has lied? What is the relationship between trust

and truth?

2. When you encounter people who cause you to be skeptical about the

truth of the Church’s doctrinal and moral teachings, how should you


3. What steps can be taken to restore conviction about objective truth

and concrete moral standards in our society? What are some inspir-

ing stories about truth in word and deed that you can share?


• “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex 20:16).

Scripture teaches that God is the source of truth. Jesus not only

taught the truth; he also said, “I am the truth” (cf. Jn 14:16). At the

Last Supper, Jesus identified himself with truth. Jesus both personal-

ized truth and spoke nothing but the truth.