Lying and witness protection programs
#1
Say you witness a mob hit and are later served a subpoena to testify against the mobster who carried out the hit. You are required to testify, and the DA's office promises that you will be relocated under the Witness Protection Program, complete with a false name. What is a Catholic to do in these circumstances since, according to Thomas Aquinas, lying is always sinful and can never be justified? Are you required to refuse witness protection and risk your life? Are you required to disobey the law by refusing to testify and end up in jail? Are you required to tell the truth even if it means your death?

Any thoughts here would be good.
Reply
#2
I was always under the impression that under the witness protection program your name would be legally changed, thus if you were presenting yourself using that new name you wouldnt really be lying. Now with regards to any false alibi that may be provided you Im not sure. This may be a question to ask a good priest.
Reply
#3
(06-01-2012, 08:17 AM)MichaelNZ Wrote: Say you witness a mob hit and are later served a subpoena to testify against the mobster who carried out the hit. You are required to testify, and the DA's office promises that you will be relocated under the Witness Protection Program, complete with a false name. What is a Catholic to do in these circumstances since, according to Thomas Aquinas, lying is always sinful and can never be justified? Are you required to refuse witness protection and risk your life? Are you required to disobey the law by refusing to testify and end up in jail? Are you required to tell the truth even if it means your death?

Due to the situation, proper mental reservations could be used for some things, others are legally true (names, etc), and the rest is mostly keeping one's mouth shut I think.

Lying, according to St. Thomas, is not just in words, but in conflict in thought and expression. Being of "two minds" is what a lie is.

So, for example, if the government supplies me with a new location and a new name, it would not be lying to accept it. Nor is it lying to use a nickname, a non-legal name if one uses for identification, etc.

Quote:Any thoughts here would be good.
Here are some of my thoughts on lying (not mine in origin): http://nonpeccabis.blogspot.com/2012/04/...lying.html
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)