473. How does one avoid scandal?

Scandal, which consists in inducing others to do evil, is avoided when we respect the soul and body of the person. Anyone who deliberately leads others to commit serious sins himself commits a grave offense.


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2284. 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.

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2285. Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."85 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.86

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2286. Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."87 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,88 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

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2287. Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"89


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What is the importance of reading and studying God’s law and what example can we find in the story of Ezra?

Why did God judge the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and what can we learn from this, according to Genesis 18:16-33 and 19:1-29?

How does the story of Judith, in particular, the episode of her cunning in Judith 11:1-16, teach us survival strategies in difficult times, according to the Bible?

What can we learn about the desire to always be with a loved one from Songs 3:1-5 and 6:1-3?

What does the Bible say about the importance of honesty and integrity in Ecclesiasticus 20:1-11?

How can faith influence Christian behavior according to 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12?

What is Ezekiel’s message about individual responsibility before God?

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