Catholic Dictionary




The good name that a person enjoys in the public estimation. Everyone has a right to his or her good name, even the deceased, and moral persons, e.g., a community. If one's good name is genuine, hence deserved, a person has an absolute right that no one may injure it. One's right to a reputedly good name is relative and restricted, since the greater common good requires that, at times, even secret faults may be revealed. There is no injury, however, to reputation when the faults or defects mentioned are already publicly known. An unjust injury is committed by every sin of calumny, and by revealing real faults when the disclosure serves neither the common good nor legitimate private welfare.