I am definitely not a Roman Catholic but I do find that faith very intriguing.
I especially enjoy the faith and history of the Maronite Catholic Church, which is in the full communion with the Pope and the Roman Church.
But today I have a particular excerpt from their Catechism on my mind:
Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to speak or act against the truth in order to lead someone into error. By injuring man’s relation to truth and to his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of his word to the Lord
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 2483
In today’s world, in our media forms and practices, I feel this is particularly applicable.
I am increasingly concerned about the modern practice of following news sources that we identify with ideologically and ignoring all others.
As well as searching out online resources we already agree with. Then accepting everything that source says as fact.
If you don’t double check those claims and they turn out to be false, you’ve been lied to.
And I’ve started to wonder if failing at our own due diligence in regard to the information we accept and spread falls under the same category as the lies described in the Catholic Catechism.
Doesn’t the spread of information we don’t know to be true or false count as a direct offense against the truth?
Doesn’t it injure our relation to truth and to our neighbors?
I believe that spreading information without verifying its accuracy is equivalent with gossip.
The Catechism denounces that as well:
Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury
-Catechism of the Catholic Church 2477
And even if the Catechism means nothing to you, turning to the Bible brings the condemnation to another level.
In this👇text the level of evil associated with gossip is unambiguous.
Because wow, I don’t see many protesters with signs that say “God Hates Gossip”
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God–haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.
Romans 1:28-32 NRSVCE
Some would say this👆passage is about the consequences of being homosexual. But after running through that list, I recommend having a long think about the thoughts and actions being condemned here. I’m sure you’ll agree that those traits are common everywhere across all demographics
I believe that spreading unverified information on the internet is clearly a form of gossip. And if you believe that what the Bible says is true, have a think about what it means to gossip.
What a person’s insides are like if they are willing to spread gossip.
Agree or don’t; think on it.