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Chapter 32. Eighth Commandment: Tell the Truth • 437

• The natural law requires all people to speak and live by the truth in

words and deeds.

• “The golden rule [‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto

you’] helps one discern, in concrete situations, whether or not it

would be appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for

it” (CCC, no. 2510).

• The right to know the truth is not absolute. Charity and justice gov-

ern what may be communicated. People’s safety, respect for privacy,

and the common good are reasons for being silent or using discreet

language about what should not be known.

• “No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have

the right to know it” (CCC, no. 2489).

• Members of the media have the responsibility to always be at the

service of the common good.

• In the assembling and publishing of the news, the moral law and

the lawful rights and human dignity of men and women should

be upheld.

• “Arising from talent given by the Creator and from man’s own

effort, art is a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and

skill, to give form to the truth of reality in a language accessible to

sight or hearing. To the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of

beings, art bears a certain likeness to God’s activity in what he has

created” (CCC, no. 2501).

• “An offense committed against the truth requires reparation” (CCC,

no. 2509).


Truth is more than an idea. It reveals goodness and beauty. This is what

moved Pope Paul VI to speak of the “inherent attractiveness of Gospel

truth.” Love beholds truth as a revelation of beauty. Once it is known

and loved, truth is meant to be practiced. St. Ignatius offered this wise

advice regarding the need to foster truth:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable

interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if