Choose a topic from Part 2B:

98. Irreligion: Perjury

1. Perjury is a lie confirmed by an oath. It is thecalling upon God to witness that truth is spoken, when, in fact,truth is not spoken. We hear the term perjury used mostlywith reference to false evidence given by a witness in a court oflaw. But any lie confirmed by oath, in court or out, is perjury.Perjury involves an injury to God, and therefore is a sin againstreligion. It is also a great sin against commutative justice, forit ruins the necessary guarantee of honesty among men.

2. Thus, by its very nature, perjury is sinful, and isessentially a sin against religion.

3. And, again by its very nature, perjury is a mortal sin.For it is not only irreverence towards God; it is contempt of God,for it invokes Him to witness what the perjurer knows is nottrue.

4. We should not lightly demand an oath from others merelyto assure ourselves that they are telling the truth; to require anoath, a matter must be serious and important, and one in which itis essential to know the exact truth. Private individuals shouldnever demand an oath from a known liar; his oath would bemeaningless in any case, and to require it is only to furnish himan occasion of sin. But a judge in court rightly demands an oathfrom every witness, even if he knows that this witness or that iswholly unreliable. For the judge acts in an official capacity, nota personal one, and the common good demands a consistent procedureof supporting court testimony by oath.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God."
St Philip Neri

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