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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the Catholic teaching on flattery and adulation?

A. 1. The Catholic Church teaches that "flattery and adulation", both being excessive and insincere praise, can be sinful when they are used to encourage or praise someone's wrongdoing or further one's own interests.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

"Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another's vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages." [C.C.C. # 2480]

On this matter, the Holy Bible states:

"A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin." [Prov. 26:28]

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