Dear Father Angelo,
I need to understand in more detail what a rash judgment is. I know that we are allowed to judge the sin but not the sinner, because we are supposed to keep in mind that any sinner is a person with his own peculiar life experience, therefore we really don’t know the reasons for his or her behavior, however disagreeable. Consequently, we have two options: either we form a positive judgement about other people, or we refrain from judging them.
I am looking forward to receiving your reply.
Thank you in advance and best wishes!
God bless you,
1. A rash judgment is a firm conviction about someone else’s malice that lacks solid motive. The rash judgement is such even if one forms it in one’s own mind, without expressing it. The communication of the judgement to others aggravates the sin, because in this case there is defamation.
2. Rash judgment is distinguished from unreasonable doubt, which is a doubt voluntarily harboured without enough grounds. It is also distinguished from rash suspicion, which is an uncertain opinion about someone else’s malice passed without sufficient motive.
3.Rash judgements, doubts and suspicions are sins against charity, because they proceed from ill will and they lead the intellect to an unfavorable judgment or attitude.
4. If there is grave matter and they are based on no evidence, they can be grave sins. Moral theologians maintain that they are venial sins when there is some evidence, but it is insufficient.
5. The same moralists also state that it is not sinful to take precautions to prevent that particular objects are stolen by flatmates or by people passing through. As a matter of fact, such behaviour does not derive from the suspicion that these people are evil, but rather from the persuasion that human nature is tainted by original sin, therefore a tempting occasion might suddenly awaken evil inclinations.
I wish you all the best, I remember you to the Lord in prayer and I bless you
P.S.: As for the example that you mentioned, do not worry: there was no judgment, suspicion or doubt. It was just a good exhortation.