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Pope explains eighth commandment “You shall not bear false witness”

In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Ten Commandments. This Wednesday he focused on the eighth commandment “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

He stressed the importance not only to be truthful in words but also in one's 'entire way of acting towards others.'

The pope said that Jesus Christ in the 'mystery of His life, death and resurrection' showed the meaning of life; and invites everyone to share in His divine life. 

Pope Francis added that the gift of the Holy Spirit enables everyone to become adoptive sons and daughters of God; and allows them to dwell in His love. 

He concluded by stressing how this commandment invites everyone to 'live this new life to the full,' in bearing witness to 'God's saving love.'


Dear brothers and sisters, 

In our continuing catechesis on the Ten Commandments, we now turn to the eighth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that this commandment “forbids misrepresenting the truth in our relations with others” (No. 2464). 

We are called to be truthful not only in our words but in our entire way of acting towards others. Our ultimate model in this regard is Jesus himself. He is the truth in person (cf. Jn 14:6), who, at his trial before Pilate, revealed that he came into this world to testify to the truth (cf. Jn 18:37). 

In the mystery of his life, death and resurrection, he disclosed the deepest meaning of our life on earth, and invited us to share in his divine life. 

His gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, enables us to become adoptive sons and daughters of our heavenly Father and to dwell in his love as brothers and sisters. 

The eighth commandment bids us live this new life to the full, and thus to bear true witness to God’s saving love, made incarnate in thehumanity of Christ our Lord.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. I also welcome the many groups of students present, particularly those from the Australian Catholic University. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!