Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 551 II. R espect for the D ignity of P ersons Respect for the souls of others: scandal 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. 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.” 86 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. 87 2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fash­ ion 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 im­ possible.” 88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encourag­ ing fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, 89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values. 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 encour­ aged. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!” 90 Respect for health 2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. 86 Mt 18:6; cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13. 87 Cf. Mt 7:15. 88 Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941. 89 Cf. Eph 6:4; Col 3:21. 90 Lk 17:1. 2847 1903 1887 2498 1503