Saturday, March 20, 2010

The CCC on scandal

"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."

"Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
"Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or 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 practially impossible.'"

Catechism of the Catholic Church ##2284, 2286 (  The quote is from a discourse delivered by Pius XII on 1 June 1941.


"The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of the civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel.  Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community.  'Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.'  'We must obey God rather than men'. . . ."

Catechism of the Catholic Church #2242 (

"Prayer is an indispensable condition for being able to obey God's commandments."

"Oratio condicio est pernecessaria ut quis praeceptis Dei oboedire possit."

Catechism of the Catholic Church #2098.

"Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self"

"Charity is the form of all the virtues.  Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of self.  Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self."

"Caritas est omnium virtutum forma. Sub eius influxu, castitas tamquam schola apparet doni personae. Dominium sui ad sui ordinatur donum."

Catechism of the Catholic Church #2346.

Conversely, then, no chastity (theologally informed), no gift of self.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On how to foster a positive public image

"PZ Myers, an outspoken atheist and associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota-Morris. . . . last year angered Catholics when he [1] publicly tried to desecrate consecrated communion wafers".  Myers "has a blog and often speaks at SSA-affiliate group meetings, where he [2] urges students to go public about their unbelief and to foster a positive image."

RNS, as quoted in the Christian century 126, no. 21 (October 20, 2009):  18, italics mine.  SSA stands for the Secular Student Alliance, and RNS, probably, for Religion News Service.