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I have always believed that normally one should not reveal something that is told in confidence except under extraordinary circumstances (such as a life being endangered.)  What does the Catholic Church teach about this?
Tell us what it is you're considering revealing in full detail, and then we will let you know whether you should have revealed it or not.  :)
I don't know what the Church says, but I would not reveal a confidence unless released from my obligation by the person whose secret it is.

I think most people would assume that spouses would share confidences, even outside of an extraordinary situation. 

But what it boils down to is, if you give somebody your word to keep a secret, you're bound by your word....even if circumstances change or if the other person deceived you.
(07-27-2011, 09:11 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]If you give somebody your word to keep a secret, you're bound by your word....even if circumstances change or if the other person deceived you.

But, what if Mr. X made me take an oath that I would not reveal that he was going to make a surprise visit his estranged wife....and she was then subsequently found murdered.  Would I not be obligated to reveal what I know to the authorities?
We should be very careful and avoid taking oaths for this reason.
Quote:But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be, yea, yea: no, no: that you fall not under judgment.  James 5:12

But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God. Matthew 5:34

(07-27-2011, 09:17 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-27-2011, 09:11 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]If you give somebody your word to keep a secret, you're bound by your word....even if circumstances change or if the other person deceived you.

But, what if Mr. X made me take an oath that I would not reveal that he was going to make a surprise visit his estranged wife....and she was then subsequently found murdered.  Would I not be obligated to reveal what I know to the authorities?

Under the law, yes.  Force Majeure.  Plus it's your obligation as a citizen.  Private verbal agreement to keep a secret would be superseded.  But you could still remain silent under oath in court, if you chose to accept the consequences of that action.
I am wary of making promises to keep things in confidence.  It usually involves causing you to lie in order to keep said confidence.  I also know myself, and that I have very strong urges to express myself, and so if someone asks me to keep something secret that causes me to react emotionally, or effects me in some way, it's nearly impossible for me to keep it to myself.
(07-27-2011, 08:58 PM)JayneK Wrote: [ -> ]I have always believed that normally one should not reveal something that is told in confidence except under extraordinary circumstances (such as a life being endangered.)  What does the Catholic Church teach about this?

Since you recently held a whopper of a confidence, why don't you tell us for once?

Why always in brain prick mode, Jayne?
(07-27-2011, 09:11 PM)DesperatelySeeking Wrote: [ -> ]But what it boils down to is, if you give somebody your word to keep a secret, you're bound by your word....even if circumstances change or if the other person deceived you.

I consider myself bound to keep a secret even if I haven't given my word.  I just assume that I am supposed to keep it.
(07-27-2011, 09:37 PM)miss_fluffy Wrote: [ -> ]I am wary of making promises to keep things in confidence.  It usually involves causing you to lie in order to keep said confidence. 

I have not found that keeping things in confidence leads to lying.  Sometimes people assume things that are not true, but I cannot recall ever directly telling a lie to keep a secret.
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