In 1551 an Ignatian student, Antonio Brandao, wrote Ignatius a letter with 16 questions. Antonio had been ordained, but had not pronounced his final Jesuit vows. Of his 16 questions, number 10 concerned the correction of others:
10. Should one correct an imperfection noticed in a member of the Society, or allow the individual to be deluded into thinking it is no imperfection?
This question reminded me of the discussion about to what extent Catholic bishops ought to publicly admonish pro-choice Catholic politicians, as well as some good discussion at Flos Carmeli about splinters and beams. Ignatius answers:
The first part of the tenth question concerns the correction of another. An important factor in doing this successfully is the authority enjoyed by the person giving the correction, or his love - and this love must be perceived. Lacking either of these, the correction will be ineffective; there will be no amendment. Hence correcting others is not for everyone.
Moreover, no matter how one makes an admonition (after having judged that it will lead to the person's amendment), he should not state things too forthrightly, but along with some commendation and in a roundabout way. For one sin can bring another in its train: the sin already committed may dispose a person to take the bestowal of correction badly.
As to the second part of the tenth question - as to whether a person ought to leave someone else under the false impression that something is not an imperfection - our reverend Father has said that for the first person's own progress it would be better to do this: the more attention one pays to others' faults the less he will dwell within himself and see his own faults, and the less progress he himself will make. However, in a case where a person is advancing in perfection and has his own passions under control and in good order, our Lord expands his heart so that he may be a help to others as well as to himself, that person may well correct someone who does wrong [first by praying about it and then by approaching that person privately].