Author Topic: Email this to Fr. Rostand  (Read 348 times)

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Offline Diego

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Email this to Fr. Rostand
« on: June 28, 2012, 09:56:46 AM »
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  • This excerpt, confirming what knew of Fr. Rostand's error in demanding we ignore what became public, was posted by our friend Lord Phan. May I suggest that all of you send this quote to Fr. Rostand <>?  You might also send it to your Catholic friends, publications, and parish email lists. We must resist the works of darkness and despotism.


    i. A SECRET is some hidden matter concerning another which
    cannot be made known without causing him injury or dis-
    pleasure. Besides the secret of the seal of confession, which
    is treated of elsewhere, divines distinguish three kinds of
    secret : the natural secret, the promised secret, and the secret
    which is communicated under an express or implied contract
    of secrecy.

    When we come to the knowledge of something concerning
    another which cannot be made known without causing him
    injury or displeasure we are under the obligation of a natural
    secret not to make it known. This obligation arises from
    charity and justice, inasmuch as these virtues forbid us to do
    anything to the hurt or annoyance of our neighbour.

    If we come to know something concerning our neighbour
    and then give a promise not to reveal it to others, we are
    bound by a promised secret. If the matter was of its nature
    secret, there would be the obligation of a natural secret inde-
    pendently of the promise. When the promise is given, a
    special obligation arising therefrom binds the party to secrecy.
    In case the matter was not of itself secret, the only obligation
    would be that arising from the promise. It depends to some
    extent on the intention of the promisor as to what obligation
    he takes upon himself by his promise. He may intend to
    bind himself to keep his word by the virtue of fidelity, because
    it is the duty of an honest man to keep his promise. In this
    case, as fidelity only binds under pain of venial sin, there will
    only be this obligation to observe the promised secret. How-
    ever, if the other party to whom secrecy was promised would
    suffer serious loss from the violation of the secret, or if the
    parties were bound by mutual promises, then justice would
    require the secret to be kept, and the violation of the obligation
    would of itself be gravely sinful. Apart even from these
    circumstances, the promisor may intend to give the other a
    right to secrecy in justice, and then he will be bound to observe
    it under pain of mortal sin.

    A secret which is confided to another under the condition
    that secrecy is to be observed constitutes the matter of an
    onerous contract and binds more strictly than either a natural
    or a promised secret. Such are secrets of office which officials
    of all sorts become aware of in the execution of the duties
    entrusted to them; professional secrets of doctors, lawyers,
    priests, and others, who are consulted as experts by people
    in doubt or difficulty ; as well as all others which are entrusted
    to any person under the express or implied condition of

    2. The obligation to observe a natural secret will cease after
    the secret has become public property. The party whose
    secret it is may sometimes be reasonably presumed not to be
    unwilling that the matter should be communicated to another,
    as, for example, to somebody who can and who will be of
    assistance to him. If the public good requires that the secret
    should be made known in order to prevent public wrong,
    the obligation of secrecy will cease, for the public welfare is
    of greater importance than that of an individual. If serious
    harm threatens one's self or some other innocent person, or
    the party whose secret is in question, and the harm can only
    be averted by making known the secret, this will be allowed
    in the case of natural or promised secrets. The right of
    defence from impending evil prevails over that of natural and
    promised secrets.

    Even the obligation of the third class of secrets will cease
    when they cannot be observed without serious harm to the
    public weal. The natural law, however, which requires that
    people should be able to consult others in their difficulties in
    all security, demands that this class of secret should be observed
    in the case when even serious harm threatens some innocent
    person, unless he whose secret is in question is the cause of
    the impending evil. Thus, if I know as a professional secret
    who is the real culprit in the case of a crime wrongly imputed
    to an innocent person, I may disclose the real culprit if by
    some special means he caused the false accusation of the
    innocent person, otherwise I must keep the secret. It is a
    disputed point among theologians whether I am bound to
    observe a secret at the peril of my life when it was entrusted
    to me under that express condition, some maintaining that
    no one can pledge his life in that way, others more probably
    holding the contrary.....

    VOL I.
    pages 394-395


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