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Honor

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | Apr 07, 2003

Today's Mass reading of the story of Susanna and the Unjust Judges prompted this thought experiment: imagine that you're a regimental officer in the British Army in India, say, in 1880, with civil jurisdiction over a certain area. A brother officer is accused of assaulting a native woman. An official inquiry produces no usable evidence, so it comes down to her accusation versus his denial. He offers you his word of honor as an officer that he is innocent. Staking your own honor on that of your fellow officer, you let him off. Later it transpires that he was guilty of the outrage, and that you, consequently, were complicit in the perversion of justice to the harm of an innocent victim. How could you not resign your commission? How could your brother officers let you keep it?

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