As our Catholic Church takes yet another turn in the spotlight, perhaps the Vatican would do well to follow the advice given by its very own Cardinal John Foley, Pontifical Office of Social Communications:
• First principle: never, never, never tell a lie.
• Truth is not only morally right, it is politically correct and establishes an atmosphere of trust.
• Truth will always come out; failure to tell the truth is a scandal, a betrayer of trust and a destroyer of credibility.
• Media often look for “institutional weaknesses in institutions which preach virtue;” telling the truth opens spaces in the media for good stories.
• So sacred is the responsibility to tell the truth that one must be ready to accept dismissal for refusal to tell a lie.
• Just tell the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth … and be prepared to suffer for it.
So help us God.
The bulleted list is from Donald Cozzens’ “Sacred Silence: Denial and the Crisis in the Church,” (Liturgical Press, 2004). He credits it to Foley’s writing in Crux of the News (newsletter) April 30, 2001.