Cause no “Scandal”

Cause no “Scandal”

I’ve seen several news reports that look at Church documents and conclude from the presence of the phrase “cause no scandal” to the faithful that it means that image was made a priority over safety. However, these news stories show a lack of understanding of how scandal is used in a Catholic context.

When the Church says “cause no scandal,” it generally means “don’t create an atmosphere or condition that will cause people to lose faith,” not “prevent anyone from finding out.” In this instance, causing no scandal would most clearly mean that the bishops should have dealt appropriately with perverts, removing them from ministry and keeping them away from the objects of their sick desires. That obviously didn’t happen.

This is why it’s important to temper what you read in the secular press and why they should consult people knowledgeable in such things when writing their stories.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli