Don’t judge without having heard both sides. Even persons who think themselves virtuous very easily forget this elementary rule of prudence. – St. Josemaria Escriva
Many times, it’s so easy to spread a rumor, and so difficult to keep our mouths shut so as not to contribute to the ruin of our neighbor’s reputation.
There is something tempting about being the “first to know” or being the one who “knows something” which other people don’t know yet.
There is also the hidden malice of wanting to see the downfall of another so we can lift up ourselves, of being more virtuous and not ending up like the one talked about.
It’s so tempting. Many times, we don’t even recognize we’re doing it! We claim innocence as we say we only heard the news from so and so, or that we can’t believe it ourselves. But the very fact that we have allowed our lips to utter the evil should convince us that we have made ourselves channels of destruction rather than good, of falsehood rather than truth.
How do we keep our hearts pure if we can’t even sanctify our words?
You shall not spread a false report. Don’t join your hand with the wicked to be a malicious witness. – Exodus 23, WEBBE
CCC 2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.