Well, it’s seems to be pretty cold all around the States these days, but at least here at The B-Movie Catechism we’re still hanging out about the beaches. And by about, I mean miles offshore and thousands of leagues down with the crew of Sealab 2021. But whatever works, right?
Uh Oh! Did somebody commit a sin here? I mean, besides the guy with the hooker? Well, according to the New Catholic Encyclopedia of 1967, “theologians make a different distinction… between statements that reveal damaging truths about another unnecessarily and those that are deliberate lies. The former is called detraction, the latter is called calumny. Hence, detraction is the blackening of an absent person's good name by unnecessarily revealing a true but hidden crime, sin, or defect. "Blackening" is used to express the effect of detraction, namely, dulling or obscuring the luster of a good name. Scripture points out that a good name "… is more desirable than great riches" Blackening another's good name is more than an uncharitable act; it is a sin of injustice. That the detracting statements are true is not a justification for their being made. The hidden truth about another that would damage his reputation may not be revealed without necessity.” So it looks like we have a clear case of detraction going on here.
“Many Catholics seem to be unaware of the fact that detraction is also a sin” writes Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J. of the Catholic Education Resource Center, “a sin contrary to the Eighth Commandment. The seriousness of the sin, in the case of both calumny and detraction, depends upon the gravity of the injury done to the other party. The sin can be either venial or mortal, depending on the circumstances… It follows then, since both calumny and detraction are violations of justice, that both demand some kind of restitution. A person who has lied about another can often right the wrong he has done by retracting the lie and stating the truth. In the case of detraction the situation is more difficult, since it is not a matter of lying but of revealing the hidden sins or faults of another that should not be revealed in these circumstances. Frequently little can be done in the practical order. One cannot deny the statements since they actually are true; to deny them would be to add a lie to the previous detraction. Some moralists recommend, in this situation, apologies and praise of the person's good points.”
Yeah, that’s right. We’re expected to actually apologize. Uh oh.