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Thank God for scandal
Posted By Eric Sammons On April 23, 2010 @ 9:28 am In The Church | Comments Disabled
Since 2002 Catholics have been living in the midst of The Scandal. The Catechism tells us that scandal is “an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense” (CCC 2284). Jesus is more direct: “if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). It is clear that scandal is a spiritual killer, both to those it leads to sin and those who cause it.
But there is a flip side to scandal: sometimes it allows us to recognize the gravity of serious sin. Recently I heard of a youth pastor at a nondenominational church who left his wife and took up with a former member of his youth group, whom he plans to marry soon. What was shocking to me was that he faced no negative consequences in his church. Divorce and remarriage have become so common that even one as horrible as this one barely caused a ripple in the church. In other words, it caused no scandal. Yet perhaps if it had caused scandal, it would have been a warning to those who might be tempted to leave their wives in the future.
Someone causing scandal is always a bad thing. But even worse is when scandalous actions cause no scandal. Let us pray that The Scandal that we Catholics have faced over the past eight years might lead many to repentance and keep others from the destructive path that those before us have followed.
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