why lie?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 02, 2006

In the wake of the 19 Quebec priests’ blatant misrepresentation of the Church’s recent statement on the ordination of homosexuals (contained in the priests' public attack on the same teaching), I got to wondering: Why do they lie?

Obviously these priests don’t lie in order to spare our feelings-- a common excuse for dishonesty. Nor do they lie for fear of conflict, another common excuse; they seem to thrive on public controversy. Nor do they lie as a form of social flattery, again which St. Francis de Sales warns us.

So why do they lie?

My admittedly cursory study of psychology leaves me with a few other possible reasons for dishonesty:

  1. It could be avarice: they have something to gain, or something to lose
  2. It could be a perceived need to protect themselves from some untoward revelation
  3. It could be pathological fear of the truth-- pathological in the sense that they lie despite the fact that they know the truth would be (spiritually) better for them
  4. Or it could be all of the above

Alas, the priests in Quebec are not alone in misrepresenting Church teaching-- although they certainly go further than most. While the Canadian bishops have officially announced their opposition to same-sex marriage, they might be sending confusing signals to priests under their jurisdiction. For one thing, the bishops write that the Catholic Church does not view homosexual tendencies as intrinsically disordered, but that the Catechism's discussion of "disorder" refers rather to the “genital acts between people of the same sex.”

Readers who desire more information on the background to the Canadian bishops’ stance would do well to read CatholicCulture.org’s recent review of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops web site, released yesterday.

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Mar. 05, 2006 9:46 PM ET USA

    As Barbara Nicolosi so aptly put it -- the lack of discipline by the Bishops is Cowardice masquerading as Charity. Could you imagine this type of nonsense going on in Chaput or Aquila's diocese? I think not.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2006 6:33 PM ET USA

    Actually, I think it is the thing St. Fracis de Sales said - and even worse. People of this ilk lie (perhaps 'lie' is too simplistic - but they have convinced themselves of a lie) because they love the world. They love the regard of the world. They are the "men of the world" we are warned against. Ultimately, all this is because they have not died to the world. I'm increasingly becoming an advocate for deeper and broader mortification and self-denial, for lay and priest alike.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2006 3:09 PM ET USA

    They have neither the Will nor the Grace.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2006 9:27 AM ET USA

    "Cantor Rich", I know you're making a joke, but I was told the Catechism of the Catholic Church was written in French, originally. "RPP": Don't worry, if I've endured Québec, I can stomach Oregon! ;-) BTW, I still think Uncle Diogenes should start an on-line petition, where real Catholics would "come out of the closet", give their name, addresses, pictures, and make their Profession of Faith and Pledge of Allegiance to the Pope. Right now, the "gays" are sadly ahead of us...

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 11:27 PM ET USA

    Why do I get the strangest feeling that the Quebec bishops are a bloody disaster? And if that is the case, then it's no wonder that much of the priesthood is consistent with the bishops. Ahh, I understand. The Catechism of the Catholic Church was only available in ENGLISH: That's why there is such confusion in francophone Quebec about what it really says. Now how do we explain the english-speakers who also mislead God's people about Church teaching?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 9:22 PM ET USA

    Duh! I mean: "English translation", of course... Sorry

  • Posted by: rpp - Mar. 02, 2006 5:34 PM ET USA

    These priests do great harm. Canadians are particularly at risk as there is much pressure for the Church to "modernize" it's morality. This type of public dissent gives license to those who are on the edge, struggling with sin and not certain what to do. They read this and they are happily hell-bound. I stumbled accross the inquisition.ca a few months ago. I am impressed by his take on things. He would also be appalled (but not surprised) at what goes on in Oregon, I'm sure.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 3:49 PM ET USA

    They lie for all the reasons mentioned above. Even more so, we cannot doubt the enslaving power of the world, the flesh, and devil. Too often we treat these things as theological abstractions--we battle against powers and principalities that are working to oppose the will of God personally and corporately in the Body of Christ. They lie, in the end, because the "liar from the beginning" has enslaved them. The liar's power is great, which is why Jesus Christ is our Savior, now and forever!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 3:27 PM ET USA

    Quickie French translation of the 19 Priest's Open Letter is here: www.jesus-eucharist.org/en/serm/trop_trop.htm Cheers!