From the Catechism:
2484 The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to the virtues of justice and charity.
Fr. Philip Powell at the Domine, da mihi hanc aquam! blog, (who’s indirectly become our go-to spiritual director without his knowledge!) has finally nailed it for the Cowboy Papist in the case of lying in the persecution of Planned Parenthood by Live Action. After all the reading and opinions over the last several weeks, from Mark Shea to Dr. Peter Kreeft and everyone else with an opinion, Cowboy Papist has learned that, in the words of Fr. Philip:
“Lying is always a sin. Period. Always. The gravity of the sin is determined by intent, circumstance, harm done, and the nature of the truth sinned against. But the act of lying is always a sin. Period. Always.“
Cowboy Papist, being of slow and unoriginal thinking, finally was able to comprehend what many others are saying. The simple fact is that the severity of the truth’s distortion will indicate whether the lie is venial or mortal. However, the act of lying is a sin and we should confess it along with the reasons to be absolved.
Many thanks to the vociferous writers who had the knowledge and patience to help those of us who need to understand. Fact is, many of us western types frown on lying; really, really frown on lying. And we become borderline bonkers when we’ve been lied to or accused of lying by a liar. No, it doesn’t make much sense, but we’re still trying!
Live Action, and probably much undercover work by law enforcement, appears to be culpable to a lesser extent in lying.