Q. 1. What does the Catholic Church have to say about "slander or calumny?"
A. 1. On the matter of "slander (or calumny)," the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
"Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them." [C.C.C. # 2477]
"To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved." [C.C.C. # 2478]
"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." [C.C.C. # 2479]
In summary, "Slander or calumny" means to damage the good name of another person by lying.
On this matter, the Holy Bible states:
"You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people." [Lev 19:16]