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Transparency and Honesty – virtues to live by

By Darrion Narine, Programme Manager, AMMR

Honesty and transparency are essential virtues that form the foundation of any healthy and productive relationship.

In a world where trust is often hard to come by and where people lose trust easily, it is more important than ever to value and practise these virtues.

From a Catholic perspective, honesty and transparency are not only essential moral values but also key to living a life of faith and integrity.

Honesty helps us to navigate a confusing world with much more clarity and understanding. The Bible teaches us that honesty and transparency are important attributes of a person who follows God’s ways.

In John 8:32, Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” As Catholics, we believe that truth is not just an abstract concept, but a person, Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6).

Therefore, to be honest and transparent is not only a matter of personal integrity but also an act of faith. To be honest and transparent is the foundation of our spiritual development and growth.

Honesty means telling the truth in all circumstances, even when it may be uncomfortable or inconvenient. It means being truthful about one’s intentions, feelings, and actions.

Honesty is essential to building trust and creating meaningful relationships. As Catholics, we are called to be truthful in all our dealings with others, to refrain from lying, cheating, or deceiving others.

St Paul encourages us to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15), reminding us that honesty is not just about telling the truth but also about the way we communicate it.

Many people tend to think that honesty means telling the truth without an understanding of context, time, or place. However, the truth is best expressed from a place of love.

If someone is doing something that needs to be corrected, it may be best to inform them of this privately rather than publicly embarrassing them, especially if they are unaware of how their behaviour affects others. This is just one example of how to be honest while being loving.

Transparency is closely related to honesty. It means being open and upfront about one’s actions and intentions, even if they may be unpopular or controversial.

Transparency is essential to building trust and accountability in relationships, especially in situations of leadership and authority. As Catholics, we are called to be transparent in all our dealings with others, to avoid hidden agendas, and to be open to feedback and criticism.

Transparency helps us to be accountable for our actions and to avoid the temptation of dishonesty or deceit. Transparency saves us from entering into a web of lies.

When we are not transparent, we may have to upkeep a series of lies with more lies. Therefore, transparency helps us to live a life of happiness and joy.

In Catholic social teaching, honesty and transparency are also important principles for creating a just and equitable society. Transparency is necessary for accountability and good governance, particularly in matters of public interest. Honesty is essential for promoting the common good and ensuring that everyone’s rights and dignity are respected.

In situations of injustice, honesty and transparency can help to expose and correct wrongdoing, leading to greater social harmony and peace.

Honesty and transparency are essential virtues that are rooted in the Catholic faith. They are not just moral values but also acts of faith that reflect our relationship with God and with others.

We are called to live our lives with integrity, to be truthful in all our dealings with others, and to be transparent in our actions and intentions. In so doing, we can build trust and create meaningful relationships, promote the common good, and ultimately, grow closer to God.



“Precisely because of the mystery we celebrate, we must denounce situations contrary to human dignity, since Christ shed his blood for all, and at the same time affirm the inestimable value of each individual person” (89).


Pope Benedict XVI, 2007, Sacramentum Caritatis (Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist)

– CCSJ Social Justice Education Committee