Wednesday, April 7, 2010

St. Gregory the Great on Governing While Not Fulfilling the Appropriate Way of Life

Read: Gregory the Great's words are applicable to clergy abuse scandal.

Hence again, the Lord says by the Prophet concerning the priests: They were a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel. For no one does more harm in the Church than he, who having the title or rank of holiness, acts evilly. No one presumes to take to task such a delinquent, and the offense, serving as an example, has far-reaching consequences, when the sinner is honoured out of respect paid to his rank. Yet everyone who is unworthy would flee from the burden of such great guilt if with the attentive ear of heart he pondered on that saying: He that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depths of the sea. By the millstone is symbolised the laborious round of worldly life, and by the depth of the sea final damnation is referred to. Therefore, if a man vested with the appearance of holiness destroys others by word or example, it certainly were better for him that his earhtly deed performed in a worldly guise, should press him to death, rather than that his sacred offices should have pointed him out to other for sinful imitation; surely, the punishment of hell would prove less sever for him if he fell alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment