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!

There are no comments yet for this item.