Some gossip had reached Eugene’s ears about something that Hippolyte Courtès was reputed to have said about a conflict regarding a newspaper connected with an ongoing conflict in the French church (the Lammenais question, whose details I am not entering into here).
.. . I am asking you now to give me a straightforward answer to what I am going to say to you. If you are in the wrong, admit it sincerely. If there has been exaggeration or even falsehood refute the charge to the best of your ability…
Eugene needs to get to the truth and opens the door for Fr. Courtès to enter and clarify.
I am waiting to receive your conscientious explanation of this matter, whether it be to humble yourself before God if you are at fault, or to refute the charge that I wish to believe rashly made by those who attribute this conduct to you.
Letter to Hippolyte Courtès, 4 November 1831, EO VIII n 407
Good advice for us when, almost on a daily basis, we are confronted with gossip about others. How openly do we react in order to establish the truth and take appropriate steps?