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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

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Oct 13th 2012 new

Kathy - intrinsic evil isn't excused by intention. The Catechism of the Catholic Church elucidates this:

1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. the end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving).

Basic Catholic moral tenet: the end does not justify the means. Another basic Catholic moral tenet: one may never do evil that good may come from it.

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Oct 13th 2012 new
One of the churches here has a Man who has a real white beard Dress in Red Robes & tell the story of St Nicholas on Dec 6th every year & he hands out Candy Canes with the legend of why we have candy canes attached. I actually think it is good to explain the customs to children so they don't feel so left out.....

And we had All Saints Parties at Halloween time & learned about actual saints while giving out treats to the kids. So many ways to make the holiday times fun.
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Oct 13th 2012 new
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, all these things that come into the night, unseen, to bring jo...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:

Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, all these things that come into the night, unseen, to bring joy and rewards to those who believe...a lie, really? Ironically, our goal as parents is to teach them to have that same unconditional faith in Jesus. Telling young children these things brings excitement, joy and anticipation - all the things we want them to find in their faith. I used to worry about the lie, until an Easter homily put it in this perspective. These childhood fantasies lay the groundwork for believing in things unseen. They open the gateway for a child to feel loved and cared for by someone other than their parent. They make believing in Jesus real. Why would anyone want to take that connection away and deem it as evil? All good things come from God. Seeing the joy and surprise on your child's face Christmas morning is the epitome of pure joy.

The first Easter after my husband's death, I couldn't find the eggs to hide. This was our tradition and I always related the story of those looking to find Jesus in the tomb. I had gave up trying to make our Easter the same as usual when I thought I had donated all of of the plastic eggs I had and resorted to hiding the real ones we had colored. My son, upon finding one held it out to me with pure disappointment. I couldn't let the Easter Bunny take the hit, so I explained that it was me who hid eggs and baskets all those years. We were sitting in church and I could see his wheels turning. He leaned over and whispered, "Santa Clause, is that you?" I nodded. He leaned in again and said, "And the Tooth Fairy?" I nodded again. He sat back, listening to the homily and I could still see those gears turning, so I leaned into him and said, "But I'm not God, he's for real." And since that day, even though we laugh about it now, his faith began to grow. Call it a lie, I don't see it that way. I see it as a path to the truth. One that a small child can wrap their brain around.

--hide--


Hello Kathy,

I completely agree. I was going to post something similar. You beat me to it! Great post!
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Oct 13th 2012 new

(Quote) Angela-374523 said: ... everyone is free to raise their children as they wish. ...
(Quote) Angela-374523 said:

... everyone is free to raise their children as they wish. ...

--hide--
Side note: do you celebrate Christmas alone, or do you join family members and/or friends? Do those people believe about Santa as you do? If so, then making your choice happen regarding Santa business and your child will be easy. However, if they do not, and you try to change the atmosphere of the Christmas season to one without a belief in Santa, how accepting will your family/friends be of your wishes/preferences? And how ready and willing are you to stay away from your family/friends if they don't cooperate with your idea, so that you can raise your children as you wish?

And then, how important in the grand scheme of things is this matter?

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Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said: A lie is intrinsically evil. Santa Claus is an example of a very insidious lie. My parents told...
(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said:

A lie is intrinsically evil. Santa Claus is an example of a very insidious lie. My parents told me the Santa lie. I think what parents say when they lie to their children as such that children cannot trust or have faith in what the parents have to say.

A lot of people tell me that I over-react in this regard, but it really sets up a child at a disadvantage...and is a violence against him, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says any lie is.


There is no moral reason to lie ever. However, most people confuse the legitimate use of mental reservations of truth with lying since most don't know what mental reservations are or how to use them morally. Santa Claus is an example of a positive commission of lie, which is the breaking of the primary purpose of speech (i.e., to convey the truth with certitude). To speak as if Santa Claus is real is to do violence upon the mind of a child, since it is to speak a falsity as if it were certainly true.

If parents are going to tell their children that Santa Claus is real, but that he cannot be seen, and then the children grow to find that Santa Claus does not exist, what are these children going to think of His Divine Majesty, Jesus Christ, who cannot be seen in an ordinary physical sense when their parents teach them of Christ? That Our Lord is another silly myth that parents talk about because it makes them feel good at the sake of lying to their children?

I find it unconscienable, and will never lie to my potential children, or anyone else's children for that matter.

--hide--
Carrying things a step farther, you apparently wouldn't lie to another person -- child or adult.

Let's describe some real-life situations, and consider what you would do.

#1. Your sister's husband is known for his abuse. Your sister goes into hiding and you know where she is. Her husband comes to you insisting that you tell him where she is because he wants to kill her. Would you tell him where she is because that's an act of honesty, or would you say you don't know?

#2. Your mother's health is extremely fragile, let's say, from an extremely grave heart condition. Overexcitement or fright would cause a fatal heart attack. Your brother (her son) has just been killed in a car accident, and your mother isn't told about this by anyone. When she asks about him, and why he hasn't visited her, do you tell her the bad news (for honesty's sake)?

#3. You're feeling miserable for a number of reasons, and an acquaintance greets you with the commonplace, "How're ya doin'?" Do you actually delve into the problems plaguing you, or do you use the customary, expected response of "OK; how 'bout you?" The other person really doesn't expect (or even want) to hear your litany of complaints. The expression is usually without much (if any) meaning.

I think we need to review the reason why we "fib" or occasionally tell that "white lie", or an outright lie as in the above situations. It can be for a greater good; a pursuit of another virtue that outranks the matter at hand. Compassion can play a role in this. This is not an "end justifying the means" argument, but a consideration of possible outcomes.

It would be easy to categorize this in terms of black and white -- we wouldn't have to think about it. Let's just tell the truth and ignore the potential harm and consequences.

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Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said: Kathy - intrinsic evil isn't excused by intention. The Catechism of the Catholic Church elu...
(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said:

Kathy - intrinsic evil isn't excused by intention. The Catechism of the Catholic Church elucidates this:

1753 A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. the end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation. On the other hand, an added bad intention (such as vainglory) makes an act evil that, in and of itself, can be good (such as almsgiving).

Basic Catholic moral tenet: the end does not justify the means. Another basic Catholic moral tenet: one may never do evil that good may come from it.

--hide--
That leads to the question: Is telling children about Santa Claus really anintrinsic evil?

We can carry scrutiny too far -- just ask any priest who has heard confessions.....

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Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Kevin-40666 said: I assume the same would apply to the birthday squirrel.
(Quote) Kevin-40666 said:

I assume the same would apply to the birthday squirrel.

--hide--
Oh, no!!! Not the birthday squirrel, too!!!! Say it ain't so..... faint

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Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Kathy-635104 said: Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, all these things that come into the night, unsee...
(Quote) Kathy-635104 said:

Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, all these things that come into the night, unseen, to bring joy and rewards to those who believe...a lie, really? Ironically, our goal as parents is to teach them to have that same unconditional faith in Jesus. Telling young children these things brings excitement, joy and anticipation - all the things we want them to find in their faith. I used to worry about the lie, until an Easter homily put it in this perspective. These childhood fantasies lay the groundwork for believing in things unseen. They open the gateway for a child to feel loved and cared for by someone other than their parent. They make believing in Jesus real. Why would anyone want to take that connection away and deem it as evil? All good things come from God. Seeing the joy and surprise on your child's face Christmas morning is the epitome of pure joy.

The first Easter after my husband's death, I couldn't find the eggs to hide. This was our tradition and I always related the story of those looking to find Jesus in the tomb. I had gave up trying to make our Easter the same as usual when I thought I had donated all of of the plastic eggs I had and resorted to hiding the real ones we had colored. My son, upon finding one held it out to me with pure disappointment. I couldn't let the Easter Bunny take the hit, so I explained that it was me who hid eggs and baskets all those years. We were sitting in church and I could see his wheels turning. He leaned over and whispered, "Santa Clause, is that you?" I nodded. He leaned in again and said, "And the Tooth Fairy?" I nodded again. He sat back, listening to the homily and I could still see those gears turning, so I leaned into him and said, "But I'm not God, he's for real." And since that day, even though we laugh about it now, his faith began to grow. Call it a lie, I don't see it that way. I see it as a path to the truth. One that a small child can wrap their brain around.

--hide--
Kathy, this is just so beautiful...What an incredible moment for a "leap of faith"...I am near tears. Dove

LOCKED
Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Carrying things a step farther, you apparently wouldn't lie to another person -- child or adult...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Carrying things a step farther, you apparently wouldn't lie to another person -- child or adult.

Let's describe some real-life situations, and consider what you would do.

#1. Your sister's husband is known for his abuse. Your sister goes into hiding and you know where she is. Her husband comes to you insisting that you tell him where she is because he wants to kill her. Would you tell him where she is because that's an act of honesty, or would you say you don't know?

#2. Your mother's health is extremely fragile, let's say, from an extremely grave heart condition. Overexcitement or fright would cause a fatal heart attack. Your brother (her son) has just been killed in a car accident, and your mother isn't told about this by anyone. When she asks about him, and why he hasn't visited her, do you tell her the bad news (for honesty's sake)?

#3. You're feeling miserable for a number of reasons, and an acquaintance greets you with the commonplace, "How're ya doin'?" Do you actually delve into the problems plaguing you, or do you use the customary, expected response of "OK; how 'bout you?" The other person really doesn't expect (or even want) to hear your litany of complaints. The expression is usually without much (if any) meaning.

I think we need to review the reason why we "fib" or occasionally tell that "white lie", or an outright lie as in the above situations. It can be for a greater good; a pursuit of another virtue that outranks the matter at hand. Compassion can play a role in this. This is not an "end justifying the means" argument, but a consideration of possible outcomes.

It would be easy to categorize this in terms of black and white -- we wouldn't have to think about it. Let's just tell the truth and ignore the potential harm and consequences.

--hide--

In situations such as these, where there is a reasonable cause, broad mental reservation or amphibology are permitted.

Broad mental reservation is restricting the sense of words used to a meaning different from their obvious meaning in a way which a prudent man could gather the intended meaning from the surrounding cicumstances. Amphibology is the use of a statement with several meanings.


It is also worth pointing out that while circumstances and intention do not make an intrinsically immoral act (e.g., lying) moral, the can reduce the culpability.

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Oct 14th 2012 new

(Quote) Gerald-283546 said: Well, I still believe in Santa Claus, so I don't think my parents lied. As I...
(Quote) Gerald-283546 said:



Well, I still believe in Santa Claus, so I don't think my parents lied.

As I got older and realized that my Dad had something to do with all those presents, I learned that he was Santa's helper.

Later, I realized that he was in fact Santa Claus for me and my siblings. I love him for that. Santa did exist, and he still does, in the spirit of all the parents who give their children something nice to celebrate the birthday of the Saviour.

Eventually, I became Santa Claus myself, and I loved being him. That's when I really knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he exists.

--hide--

A good way of looking at the situation. But it doesn't touch on living at the North Pole, the elves, the flying reindeer, etc.

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