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Document Details :
Title: Towards the Truth about Hiding the Truth
Author(s): HOOSE, Bernard
Journal: Louvain Studies
Volume: 26 Issue: 1 Date: spring 2001
At least since the time of Augustine, authority figures and the holders of dominant opinion in the Church have, for the most part, always stressed the centrality and importance of truth.1Indeed, apparently taking their lead from Augustine, many of the most influential figures in the history of the Church adopted what we might describe as an absolutist position, forbidding all intentional deception through false communication. Ironically, however, there are reasons for thinking that much of the effort made over the centuries to be faithful to Augustine’s teaching whilst trying to preserve other values, seriously damaged respect for the truth by means of obfuscation. A straightforward permitting of clear exceptions would at least have had the advantage of clarity about what was truly being permitted and could have helped maintain a bias toward truth, provided the reasons for the exceptions were well grounded. As things turned out, however, justifications advanced for the various mechanisms employed by the supporters of Augustine’s teaching often hid (and continue to hide) what is truly involved in the use of those mechanisms.