St. Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica

(Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Translated by
Fathers of the English Dominican Province

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Deinde considerandum restat de vitiis quae beneficentiae opponuntur. Inter quae alia quidem pertinent ad rationem iustitiae, illa scilicet quibus aliquis iniuste proximum laedit, sed contra caritatem specialiter scandalum esse videtur. Et ideo considerandum est hic de scandalo. Circa quod quaeruntur octo. It remains for us to consider the vices which are opposed to beneficence, among which some come under the head of injustice, those, to wit, whereby one harms one's neighbor unjustly. But scandal seems to be specially opposed to charity. Accordingly we must here consider scandal, under which head there are eight points of inquiry:
Primo, quid sit scandalum. (1) What is scandal?
Secundo, utrum scandalum sit peccatum. (2) Whether scandal is a sin?
Tertio, utrum sit peccatum speciale. (3) Whether it is a special sin?
Quarto, utrum sit peccatum mortale. (4) Whether it is a mortal sin?
Quinto, utrum perfectorum sit scandalizari. (5) Whether the perfect can be scandalized?
Sexto, utrum eorum sit scandalizare. (6) Whether they can give scandal?
Septimo, utrum spiritualia bona sint dimittenda propter scandalum. (7) Whether spiritual goods are to be foregone on account of scandal?
Octavo, utrum sint propter scandalum temporalia dimittenda. (8) Whether temporal things are to be foregone on account of scandal?

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Whether scandal is fittingly defined as being something less rightly said or done that occasions spiritual downfall?

Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum inconvenienter definiatur esse dictum vel factum minus rectum praebens occasionem ruinae. Scandalum enim peccatum est, ut post dicetur. Sed secundum Augustinum, XXII contra Faust., peccatum est dictum vel factum vel concupitum contra legem Dei. Ergo praedicta definitio est insufficiens, quia praetermittitur cogitatum sive concupitum. Objection 1: It would seem that scandal is unfittingly defined as "something less rightly said or done that occasions spiritual downfall." For scandal is a sin as we shall state further on (Article [2]). Now, according to Augustine (Contra Faust. xxii, 27), a sin is a "word, deed, or desire contrary to the law of God." Therefore the definition given above is insufficient, since it omits "thought" or "desire."
Praeterea, cum inter actus virtuosos vel rectos unus sit virtuosior vel rectior altero, illud solum videtur non esse minus rectum quod est rectissimum. Si igitur scandalum sit dictum vel factum minus rectum, sequetur quod omnis actus virtuosus praeter optimum sit scandalum. Objection 2: Further, since among virtuous or right acts one is more virtuous or more right than another, that one alone which has perfect rectitude would not seem to be a "less" right one. If, therefore, scandal is something "less" rightly said or done, it follows that every virtuous act except the best of all, is a scandal.
Praeterea, occasio nominat causam per accidens. Sed id quod est per accidens non debet poni in definitione, quia non dat speciem. Ergo inconvenienter in definitione scandali ponitur occasio. Objection 3: Further, an occasion is an accidental cause. But nothing accidental should enter a definition, because it does not specify the thing defined. Therefore it is unfitting, in defining scandal, to say that it is an "occasion."
Praeterea, ex quolibet facto alterius potest aliquis sumere occasionem ruinae, quia causae per accidens sunt indeterminatae. Si igitur scandalum est quod praebet alteri occasionem ruinae, quodlibet factum vel dictum poterit esse scandalum. Quod videtur inconveniens. Objection 4: Further, whatever a man does may be the occasion of another's spiritual downfall, because accidental causes are indeterminate. Consequently, if scandal is something that occasions another's spiritual downfall, any deed or word can be a scandal: and this seems unreasonable.
Praeterea, occasio ruinae datur proximo quando offenditur aut infirmatur. Sed scandalum dividitur contra offensionem et infirmitatem, dicit enim apostolus, ad Rom. XIV, bonum est non manducare carnem et non bibere vinum, neque in quo frater tuus offenditur aut scandalizatur aut infirmatur. Ergo praedicta definitio scandali non est conveniens. Objection 5: Further, a man occasions his neighbor's spiritual downfall when he offends or weakens him. Now scandal is condivided with offense and weakness, for the Apostle says (Rm. 14:21): "It is good not to eat flesh, and not to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother is offended or scandalized, or weakened." Therefore the aforesaid definition of scandal is unfitting.
Sed contra est quod Hieronymus, exponens illud quod habetur Matth. XV, scis quia Pharisaei, audito hoc verbo, etc., dicit, quando legimus, quicumque scandalizaverit, hoc intelligimus, qui dicto vel facto occasionem ruinae dederit. On the contrary, Jerome in expounding Mt. 15:12, "Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word," etc. says: "When we read 'Whosoever shall scandalize,' the sense is 'Whosoever shall, by deed or word, occasion another's spiritual downfall.'"
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut Hieronymus ibidem dicit, quod Graece scandalon dicitur, nos offensionem vel ruinam et impactionem pedis possumus dicere. Contingit enim quod quandoque aliquis obex ponitur alicui in via corporali, cui impingens disponitur ad ruinam, et talis obex dicitur scandalum. I answer that, As Jerome observes the Greek {skandalon} may be rendered offense, downfall, or a stumbling against something. For when a body, while moving along a path, meets with an obstacle, it may happen to stumble against it, and be disposed to fall down: such an obstacle is a {skandalon}.
Et similiter in processu viae spiritualis contingit aliquem disponi ad ruinam spiritualem per dictum vel factum alterius, inquantum scilicet aliquis sua admonitione vel inductione aut exemplo alterum trahit ad peccandum. Et hoc proprie dicitur scandalum. [40714] II-IIae q. 43 a. 1 ad 1 In like manner, while going along the spiritual way, a man may be disposed to a spiritual downfall by another's word or deed, in so far, to wit, as one man by his injunction, inducement or example, moves another to sin; and this is scandal properly so called.
Nihil autem secundum propriam rationem disponit ad spiritualem ruinam nisi quod habet aliquem defectum rectitudinis, quia id quod est perfecte rectum magis munit hominem contra casum quam ad ruinam inducat. Et ideo convenienter dicitur quod dictum vel factum minus rectum praebens occasionem ruinae sit scandalum. Now nothing by its very nature disposes a man to spiritual downfall, except that which has some lack of rectitude, since what is perfectly right, secures man against a fall, instead of conducing to his downfall. Scandal is, therefore, fittingly defined as "something less rightly done or said, that occasions another's spiritual downfall."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod cogitatio vel concupiscentia mali latet in corde, unde non proponitur alteri ut obex disponens ad ruinam. Et propter hoc non potest habere scandali rationem. Reply to Objection 1: The thought or desire of evil lies hidden in the heart, wherefore it does not suggest itself to another man as an obstacle conducing to his spiritual downfall: hence it cannot come under the head of scandal.
Ad secundum dicendum quod minus rectum hic non dicitur quod ab aliquo alio superatur in rectitudine, sed quod habet aliquem rectitudinis defectum, vel quia est secundum se malum, sicut peccata; vel quia habet speciem mali, sicut cum aliquis recumbit in idolio. Quamvis enim hoc secundum se non sit peccatum, si aliquis hoc non corrupta intentione faciat; tamen quia habet quandam speciem vel similitudinem venerationis idoli, potest alteri praebere occasionem ruinae. Et ideo apostolus monet, I ad Thess. V, ab omni specie mala abstinete vos. Et ideo convenienter dicitur minus rectum, ut comprehendantur tam illa quae sunt secundum se peccata, quam illa quae habent speciem mali. Reply to Objection 2: A thing is said to be less right, not because something else surpasses it in rectitude, but because it has some lack of rectitude, either through being evil in itself, such as sin, or through having an appearance of evil. Thus, for instance, if a man were to "sit at meat in the idol's temple" (1 Cor. 8:10), though this is not sinful in itself, provided it be done with no evil intention, yet, since it has a certain appearance of evil, and a semblance of worshipping the idol, it might occasion another man's spiritual downfall. Hence the Apostle says (1 Thess. 5:22): "From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves." Scandal is therefore fittingly described as something done "less rightly," so as to comprise both whatever is sinful in itself, and all that has an appearance of evil.
Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut supra habitum est, nihil potest esse homini sufficiens causa peccati, quod est spiritualis ruina, nisi propria voluntas. Et ideo dicta vel facta alterius hominis possunt esse solum causa imperfecta, aliqualiter inducens ad ruinam. Et propter hoc non dicitur, dans causam ruinae, sed, dans occasionem, quod significat causam imperfectam, et non semper causam per accidens. Et tamen nihil prohibet in quibusdam definitionibus poni id quod est per accidens, quia id quod est secundum accidens uni potest per se alteri convenire, sicut in definitione fortunae ponitur causa per accidens, in II Physic. Reply to Objection 3: As stated above (FS, Question [75], Articles [2],3; FS, Question [80], Article [1]), nothing can be a sufficient cause of a man's spiritual downfall, which is sin, save his own will. Wherefore another man's words or deeds can only be an imperfect cause, conducing somewhat to that downfall. For this reason scandal is said to afford not a cause, but an occasion, which is an imperfect, and not always an accidental cause. Nor is there any reason why certain definitions should not make mention of things that are accidental, since what is accidental to one, may be proper to something else: thus the accidental cause is mentioned in the definition of chance (Phys. ii, 5).
Ad quartum dicendum quod dictum vel factum alterius potest esse alteri causa peccandi dupliciter, uno modo, per se; alio modo, per accidens. Per se quidem, quando aliquis suo malo verbo vel facto intendit alium ad peccandum inducere; vel, etiam si ipse hoc non intendat, ipsum factum est tale quod de sui ratione habet ut sit inductivum ad peccandum, puta quod aliquis publice facit peccatum vel quod habet similitudinem peccati. Et tunc ille qui huiusmodi actum facit proprie dat occasionem ruinae, unde vocatur scandalum activum. Per accidens autem aliquod verbum vel factum unius est alteri causa peccandi, quando etiam praeter intentionem operantis, et praeter conditionem operis, aliquis male dispositus ex huiusmodi opere inducitur ad peccandum, puta cum aliquis invidet bonis aliorum. Et tunc ille qui facit huiusmodi actum rectum non dat occasionem, quantum in se est, sed alius sumit occasionem, secundum illud ad Rom. VII, occasione autem accepta, et cetera. Et ideo hoc est scandalum passivum sine activo, quia ille qui recte agit, quantum est de se, non dat occasionem ruinae quam alter patitur. Quandoque ergo contingit quod et sit simul scandalum activum in uno et passivum in altero, puta cum ad inductionem unius alius peccat. Quandoque vero est scandalum activum sine passivo, puta cum aliquis inducit verbo vel facto alium ad peccandum, et ille non consentit. Quandoque vero est scandalum passivum sine activo, sicut iam dictum est. Reply to Objection 4: Another's words or deed may be the cause of another's sin in two ways, directly and accidentally. Directly, when a man either intends, by his evil word or deed, to lead another man into sin, or, if he does not so intend, when his deed is of such a nature as to lead another into sin: for instance, when a man publicly commits a sin or does something that has an appearance of sin. In this case he that does such an act does, properly speaking, afford an occasion of another's spiritual downfall, wherefore his act is called "active scandal." One man's word or deed is the accidental cause of another's sin, when he neither intends to lead him into sin, nor does what is of a nature to lead him into sin, and yet this other one, through being ill-disposed, is led into sin, for instance, into envy of another's good, and then he who does this righteous act, does not, so far as he is concerned, afford an occasion of the other's downfall, but it is this other one who takes the occasion according to Rm. 7:8: "Sin taking occasion by the commandment wrought in me all manner of concupiscence." Wherefore this is "passive," without "active scandal," since he that acts rightly does not, for his own part, afford the occasion of the other's downfall. Sometimes therefore it happens that there is active scandal in the one together with passive scandal in the other, as when one commits a sin being induced thereto by another; sometimes there is active without passive scandal, for instance when one, by word or deed, provokes another to sin, and the latter does not consent; and sometimes there is passive without active scandal, as we have already said.
Ad quintum dicendum quod infirmitas nominat promptitudinem ad scandalum; offensio autem nominat indignationem alicuius contra eum qui peccat, quae potest esse quandoque sine ruina; scandalum autem importat ipsam impactionem ad ruinam. Reply to Objection 5: "Weakness" denotes proneness to scandal; while "offense" signifies resentment against the person who commits a sin, which resentment may be sometimes without spiritual downfall; and "scandal" is the stumbling that results in downfall.

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Article: 2  [ << | >> ]

Whether scandal is a sin?

Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum non sit peccatum. Peccata enim non eveniunt ex necessitate, quia omne peccatum est voluntarium, ut supra habitum est. Sed Matth. XVIII dicitur, necesse est ut veniant scandala. Ergo scandalum non est peccatum. Objection 1: It would seem that scandal is not a sin. For sins do not occur from necessity, since all sin is voluntary, as stated above (FS, Question [74], Articles [1],2). Now it is written (Mt. 18:7): "It must needs be that scandals come." Therefore scandal is not a sin.
Praeterea, nullum peccatum procedit ex pietatis affectu, quia non potest arbor bona fructus malos facere, ut dicitur Matth. VII. Sed aliquod scandalum est ex pietatis affectu, dicit enim dominus Petro, Matth. XVI, scandalum mihi es; ubi dicit Hieronymus quod error apostoli, de pietatis affectu veniens, nunquam incentivum videtur esse Diaboli. Ergo non omne scandalum est peccatum. Objection 2: Further, no sin arises from a sense of dutifulness, because "a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit" (Mt. 7:18). But scandal may come from a sense of dutifulness, for Our Lord said to Peter (Mt. 16:23): "Thou art a scandal unto Me," in reference to which words Jerome says that "the Apostle's error was due to his sense of dutifulness, and such is never inspired by the devil." Therefore scandal is not always a sin.
Praeterea, scandalum impactionem quandam importat. Sed non quicumque impingit, cadit. Ergo scandalum potest esse sine peccato, quod est spiritualis casus. Objection 3: Further, scandal denotes a stumbling. But he that stumbles does not always fall. Therefore scandal, which is a spiritual fall, can be without sin.
Sed contra est quod scandalum est dictum vel factum minus rectum. Ex hoc autem habet aliquid rationem peccati quod a rectitudine deficit. Ergo scandalum semper est cum peccato. On the contrary, Scandal is "something less rightly said or done." Now anything that lacks rectitude is a sin. Therefore scandal is always with sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut iam supra dictum est, duplex est scandalum, scilicet passivum, in eo qui scandalizatur; et activum, in eo qui scandalizat, dans occasionem ruinae. Scandalum igitur passivum semper est peccatum in eo qui scandalizatur, non enim scandalizatur nisi inquantum aliqualiter ruit spirituali ruina, quae est peccatum. I answer that, As already said (Article [1], ad 4), scandal is of two kinds, passive scandal in the person scandalized, and active scandal in the person who gives scandal, and so occasions a spiritual downfall. Accordingly passive scandal is always a sin in the person scandalized; for he is not scandalized except in so far as he succumbs to a spiritual downfall, and that is a sin.
Potest tamen esse scandalum passivum sine peccato eius ex cuius facto aliquis scandalizatur, sicut cum aliquis scandalizatur de his quae alius bene facit. Similiter etiam scandalum activum semper est peccatum in eo qui scandalizat. Quia vel ipsum opus quod facit est peccatum, vel etiam, si habeat speciem peccati, dimittendum est semper propter proximi caritatem, ex qua unusquisque conatur saluti proximi providere; et sic qui non dimittit contra caritatem agit. Yet there can be passive scandal, without sin on the part of the person whose action has occasioned the scandal, as for instance, when a person is scandalized at another's good deed. In like manner active scandal is always a sin in the person who gives scandal, since either what he does is a sin, or if it only have the appearance of sin, it should always be left undone out of that love for our neighbor which binds each one to be solicitous for his neighbor's spiritual welfare; so that if he persist in doing it he acts against charity.
Potest tamen esse scandalum activum sine peccato alterius qui scandalizatur, sicut supra dictum est. Yet there can be active scandal without sin on the part of the person scandalized, as stated above (Article [1], ad 4).
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod hoc quod dicitur, necesse est ut veniant scandala, non est intelligendum de necessitate absoluta, sed de necessitate conditionali, qua scilicet necesse est praescita vel praenuntiata a Deo evenire, si tamen coniunctim accipiatur, ut in primo libro dictum est. Reply to Objection 1: These words, "It must needs be that scandals come," are to be understood to convey, not the absolute, but the conditional necessity of scandal; in which sense it is necessary that whatever God foresees or foretells must happen, provided it be taken conjointly with such foreknowledge, as explained in the FP, Question [14], Article [13], ad 3; FP, Question [23], Article [6], ad 2.
Vel necesse est evenire scandala necessitate finis, quia utilia sunt ad hoc quod qui probati sunt manifesti fiant. Or we may say that the necessity of scandals occurring is a necessity of end, because they are useful in order that "they... who are reproved may be made manifest" (1 Cor. 11:19).
Vel necesse est evenire scandala secundum conditionem hominum, qui sibi a peccatis non cavent. Sicut si aliquis medicus, videns aliquos indebita diaeta utentes, dicat, necesse est tales infirmari, quod intelligendum est sub hac conditione, si diaetam non mutent. Et similiter necesse est evenire scandala si homines conversationem malam non mutent Or scandals must needs occur, seeing the condition of man who fails to shield himself from sin. Thus a physician on seeing a man partaking of unsuitable food might say that such a man must needs injure his health, which is to be understood on the condition that he does not change his diet. In like manner it must needs be that scandals come, so long as men fail to change their evil mode of living.
Ad secundum dicendum quod scandalum ibi large ponitur pro quolibet impedimento. Volebat enim Petrus Christi passionem impedire, quodam pietatis affectu ad Christum. Reply to Objection 2: In that passage scandal denotes any kind of hindrance: for Peter wished to hinder Our Lord's Passion out of a sense of dutifulness towards Christ.
Ad tertium dicendum quod nullus impingit spiritualiter nisi retardetur aliqualiter a processu in via Dei, quod fit saltem per peccatum veniale. Reply to Objection 3: No man stumbles spiritually, without being kept back somewhat from advancing in God's way, and that is at least a venial sin.

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Whether scandal is a special sin?

Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum non sit speciale peccatum. Scandalum enim est dictum vel factum minus rectum. Sed omne peccatum est huiusmodi. Ergo omne peccatum est scandalum. Non ergo scandalum est speciale peccatum. Objection 1: It would seem that scandal is not a special sin. For scandal is "something said or done less rightly." But this applies to every kind of sin. Therefore every sin is a scandal, and consequently, scandal is not a special sin.
Praeterea, omne speciale peccatum, sive omnis specialis iniustitia, invenitur separatim ab aliis; ut dicitur in V Ethic. Sed scandalum non invenitur separatim ab aliis peccatis. Ergo scandalum non est speciale peccatum. Objection 2: Further, every special kind of sin, or every special kind of injustice, may be found separately from other kinds, as stated in Ethic. v, 3,5. But scandal is not to be found separately from other sins. Therefore it is not a special kind of sin.
Praeterea, omne speciale peccatum constituitur secundum aliquid quod dat speciem morali actui. Sed ratio scandali constituitur per hoc quod coram aliis peccatur. In manifesto autem peccare, etsi sit circumstantia aggravans, non videtur constituere peccati speciem. Ergo scandalum non est speciale peccatum. Objection 3: Further, every special sin is constituted by something which specifies the moral act. But the notion of scandal consists in its being something done in the presence of others: and the fact of a sin being committed openly, though it is an aggravating circumstance, does not seem to constitute the species of a sin. Therefore scandal is not a special sin.
Sed contra, speciali virtuti speciale peccatum opponitur. Sed scandalum opponitur speciali virtuti, scilicet caritati, dicitur enim Rom. XIV, si propter cibum frater tuus contristatur, iam non secundum caritatem ambulas. Ergo scandalum est speciale peccatum. On the contrary, A special virtue has a special sin opposed to it. But scandal is opposed to a special virtue, viz. charity. For it is written (Rm. 14:15): "If, because of thy meat, thy brother be grieved, thou walkest not now according to charity." Therefore scandal is a special sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, duplex est scandalum, activum scilicet, et passivum. Passivum quidem scandalum non potest esse speciale peccatum, quia ex dicto vel facto alterius aliquem ruere contingit secundum quodcumque genus peccati; nec hoc ipsum quod est occasionem peccandi sumere ex dicto vel facto alterius specialem rationem peccati constituit, quia non importat specialem deformitatem speciali virtuti oppositam. I answer that, As stated above (Article [2]), scandal is twofold, active and passive. Passive scandal cannot be a special sin, because through another's word or deed a man may fall into any kind of sin: and the fact that a man takes occasion to sin from another's word or deed, does not constitute a special kind of sin, because it does not imply a special deformity in opposition to a special virtue.
Scandalum autem activum potest accipi dupliciter, per se scilicet, et per accidens. Per accidens quidem, quando est praeter intentionem agentis, ut puta cum aliquis suo facto vel verbo inordinato non intendit alteri dare occasionem ruinae, sed solum suae satisfacere voluntati. Et sic etiam scandalum activum non est peccatum speciale, quia quod est per accidens non constituit speciem. On the other hand, active scandal may be understood in two ways, directly and accidently. The scandal is accidental when it is beside the agent's intention, as when a man does not intend, by his inordinate deed or word, to occasion another's spiritual downfall, but merely to satisfy his own will. In such a case even active scandal is not a special sin, because a species is not constituted by that which is accidental.
Per se autem est activum scandalum quando aliquis suo inordinato dicto vel facto intendit alium trahere ad peccatum. Et sic ex intentione specialis finis sortitur rationem specialis peccati, finis enim dat speciem in moralibus, ut supra dictum est. Unde sicut furtum est speciale peccatum, aut homicidium, propter speciale nocumentum proximi quod intenditur; ita etiam scandalum est speciale peccatum, propter hoc quod intenditur speciale proximi nocumentum. Et opponitur directe correctioni fraternae, in qua attenditur specialis nocumenti remotio. Active scandal is direct when a man intends, by his inordinate word or deed, to draw another into sin, and then it becomes a special kind of sin on account of the intention of a special kind of end, because moral actions take their species from their end, as stated above (FS, Question [1], Article [3]; FS, Question [18], Articles [4],6). Hence, just as theft and murder are special kinds of sin, on account of their denoting the intention of doing a special injury to one's neighbor: so too, scandal is a special kind of sin, because thereby a man intends a special harm to his neighbor, and it is directly opposed to fraternal correction, whereby a man intends the removal of a special kind of harm.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod omne peccatum potest materialiter se habere ad scandalum activum. Sed formalem rationem specialis peccati potest habere ex intentione finis, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 1: Any sin may be the matter of active scandal, but it may derive the formal aspect of a special sin from the end intended, as stated above.
Ad secundum dicendum quod scandalum activum potest inveniri separatim ab aliis peccatis, ut puta cum aliquis proximum scandalizat facto quod de se non est peccatum, sed habet speciem mali. Reply to Objection 2: Active scandal can be found separate from other sins, as when a man scandalizes his neighbor by a deed which is not a sin in itself, but has an appearance of evil.
Ad tertium dicendum quod scandalum non habet rationem specialis peccati ex praedicta circumstantia, sed ex intentione finis, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 3: Scandal does not derive the species of a special sin from the circumstance in question, but from the intention of the end, as stated above.

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Whether scandal is a mortal sin?

Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum sit peccatum mortale. Omne enim peccatum quod contrariatur caritati est peccatum mortale, ut supra dictum est. Sed scandalum contrariatur caritati, ut dictum est. Ergo scandalum est peccatum mortale. Objection 1: It would seem that scandal is a mortal sin. For every sin that is contrary to charity is a mortal sin, as stated above (Question [24], Article [12]; Question [35], Article [3]). But scandal is contrary to charity, as stated above (Articles [2],3). Therefore scandal is a mortal sin.
Praeterea, nulli peccato debetur poena damnationis aeternae nisi mortali. Sed scandalo debetur poena damnationis aeternae, secundum illud Matth. XVIII, qui scandalizaverit unum de pusillis istis qui in me credunt, expedit ei ut suspendatur mola asinaria in collo eius et demergatur in profundum maris. Quia, ut dicit Hieronymus, multo melius est pro culpa brevem recipere poenam quam aeternis servari cruciatibus. Ergo scandalum est peccatum mortale. Objection 2: Further, no sin, save mortal sin, deserves the punishment of eternal damnation. But scandal deserves the punishment of eternal damnation, according to Mt. 18:6: "He that shall scandalize one of these little ones, that believe in Me, it were better for him that a mill-stone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea." For, as Jerome says on this passage, "it is much better to receive a brief punishment for a fault, than to await everlasting torments." Therefore scandal is a mortal sin.
Praeterea, omne peccatum quod in Deum committitur est peccatum mortale, quia solum peccatum mortale avertit hominem a Deo. Sed scandalum est peccatum in Deum, dicit enim apostolus, I ad Cor. VIII, percutientes conscientiam fratrum infirmam, in Christum peccatis. Ergo scandalum semper est peccatum mortale. Objection 3: Further, every sin committed against God is a mortal sin, because mortal sin alone turns man away from God. Now scandal is a sin against God, for the Apostle says (1 Cor. 8:12): "When you wound the weak conscience of the brethren [*Vulg.: 'When you sin thus against the brethren and wound their weak conscience'], you sin against Christ." Therefore scandal is always a mortal sin.
Sed contra, inducere aliquem ad peccandum venialiter potest esse peccatum veniale. Sed hoc pertinet ad rationem scandali. Ergo scandalum potest esse peccatum veniale. On the contrary, It may be a venial sin to lead a person into venial sin: and yet this would be to give scandal. Therefore scandal may be a venial sin.
Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, scandalum importat impactionem quandam, per quam aliquis disponitur ad ruinam. Et ideo scandalum passivum quandoque quidem potest esse peccatum veniale, quasi habens impactionem tantum, puta cum aliquis ex inordinato dicto vel facto alterius commovetur motu venialis peccati. Quandoque vero est peccatum mortale, quasi habens cum impactione ruinam, puta cum aliquis ex inordinato dicto vel facto alterius procedit usque ad peccatum mortale. I answer that, As stated above (Article [1]), scandal denotes a stumbling whereby a person is disposed to a spiritual downfall. Consequently passive scandal may sometimes be a venial sin, when it consists in a stumbling and nothing more; for instance, when a person is disturbed by a movement of venial sin occasioned by another's inordinate word or deed: while sometimes it is a mortal sin, when the stumbling results in a downfall, for instance, when a person goes so far as to commit a mortal sin through another's inordinate word or deed.
Scandalum autem activum, si sit quidem per accidens, potest esse quandoque quidem peccatum veniale, puta cum aliquis vel actum peccati venialis committit; vel actum qui non est secundum se peccatum sed habet aliquam speciem mali, cum aliqua levi indiscretione. Quandoque vero est peccatum mortale, sive quia committit actum peccati mortalis; sive quia contemnit salutem proximi, ut pro ea conservanda non praetermittat aliquis facere quod sibi libuerit. Si vero scandalum activum sit per se, puta cum intendit inducere alium ad peccandum, si quidem intendat inducere ad peccandum mortaliter, est peccatum mortale. Et similiter si intendat inducere ad peccandum venialiter per actum peccati mortalis. Si vero intendat inducere proximum ad peccandum venialiter per actum peccati venialis, est peccatum veniale. Active scandal, if it be accidental, may sometimes be a venial sin; for instance, when, through a slight indiscretion, a person either commits a venial sin, or does something that is not a sin in itself, but has some appearance of evil. On the other hand, it is sometimes a mortal sin, either because a person commits a mortal sin, or because he has such contempt for his neighbor's spiritual welfare that he declines, for the sake of procuring it, to forego doing what he wishes to do. But in the case of active direct scandal, as when a person intends to lead another into sin, if he intends to lead him into mortal sin, his own sin will be mortal; and in like manner if he intends by committing a mortal sin himself, to lead another into venial sin; whereas if he intends, by committing a venial sin, to lead another into venial sin, there will be a venial sin of scandal.
Et per hoc patet responsio ad obiecta. And this suffices for the Replies to the Objections.

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Whether passive scandal may happen even to the perfect?

Ad quintum sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum passivum possit etiam in perfectos cadere. Christus enim fuit maxime perfectus. Sed ipse dixit Petro, scandalum mihi es. Ergo multo magis alii perfecti possunt scandalum pati. Objection 1: It would seem that passive scandal may happen even to the perfect. For Christ was supremely perfect: and yet He said to Peter (Mt. 16:23): "Thou art a scandal to Me." Much more therefore can other perfect men suffer scandal.
Praeterea, scandalum importat impedimentum aliquod quod alicui opponitur in vita spirituali. Sed etiam perfecti viri in processibus spiritualis vitae impediri possunt, secundum illud I ad Thess. II, voluimus venire ad vos, ego quidem Paulus, semel et iterum, sed impedivit nos Satanas. Ergo etiam perfecti viri possunt scandalum pati. Objection 2: Further, scandal denotes an obstacle which is put in a person's spiritual way. Now even perfect men can be hindered in their progress along the spiritual way, according to 1 Thess. 2:18: "We would have come to you, I Paul indeed, once and again; but Satan hath hindered us." Therefore even perfect men can suffer scandal.
Praeterea, etiam in perfectis viris peccata venialia inveniri possunt, secundum illud I Ioan. I, si dixerimus quoniam peccatum non habemus, ipsi nos seducimus. Sed scandalum passivum non semper est peccatum mortale, sed quandoque veniale, ut dictum est. Ergo scandalum passivum potest in perfectis viris inveniri. Objection 3: Further, even perfect men are liable to venial sins, according to 1 Jn. 1:8: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." Now passive scandal is not always a mortal sin, but is sometimes venial, as stated above (Article [4]). Therefore passive scandal may be found in perfect men.
Sed contra est quod super illud Matth. XVIII, qui scandalizaverit unum de pusillis istis, dicit Hieronymus, nota quod qui scandalizatur parvulus est, maiores enim scandala non recipiunt. On the contrary, Jerome, in commenting on Mt. 18:6, "He that shall scandalize one of these little ones," says: "Observe that it is the little one that is scandalized, for the elders do not take scandal."
Respondeo dicendum quod scandalum passivum importat quandam commotionem animi a bono in eo qui scandalum patitur. Nullus autem commovetur qui rei immobili firmiter inhaeret. Maiores autem, sive perfecti, soli Deo inhaerent, cuius est immutabilis bonitas, quia etsi inhaereant suis praelatis, non inhaerent eis nisi inquantum illi inhaerent Christo, secundum illud I ad Cor. IV, imitatores mei estote, sicut et ego Christi. Unde quantumcumque videant alios inordinate se habere dictis vel factis, ipsi a sua rectitudine non recedunt, secundum illud Psalm., qui confidunt in domino, sicut mons Sion, non commovebitur in aeternum qui habitat in Ierusalem. Et ideo in his qui perfecte Deo adhaerent per amorem scandalum non invenitur, secundum illud Psalm., pax multa diligentibus legem tuam, et non est illis scandalum. I answer that, Passive scandal implies that the mind of the person who takes scandal is unsettled in its adherence to good. Now no man can be unsettled, who adheres firmly to something immovable. The elders, i.e. the perfect, adhere to God alone, Whose goodness is unchangeable, for though they adhere to their superiors, they do so only in so far as these adhere to Christ, according to 1 Cor. 4:16: "Be ye followers of me, as I also am of Christ." Wherefore, however much others may appear to them to conduct themselves ill in word or deed, they themselves do not stray from their righteousness, according to Ps. 124:1: "They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion: he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth in Jerusalem." Therefore scandal is not found in those who adhere to God perfectly by love, according to Ps. 118:165: "Much peace have they that love Thy law, and to them there is no stumbling-block [scandalum]."
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut supra dictum est, scandalum large ponitur ibi pro quolibet impedimento. Unde dominus Petro dicit, scandalum mihi es, quia nitebatur eius propositum impedire circa passionem subeundam. Reply to Objection 1: As stated above (Article [2], ad 2), in this passage, scandal is used in a broad sense, to denote any kind of hindrance. Hence Our Lord said to Peter: "Thou art a scandal to Me," because he was endeavoring to weaken Our Lord's purpose of undergoing His Passion.
Ad secundum dicendum quod in exterioribus actibus perfecti viri possunt impediri. Sed in interiori voluntate per dicta vel facta aliorum non impediuntur quominus tendant in Deum, secundum illud Rom. VIII, neque mors neque vita poterit nos separare a caritate Dei. Reply to Objection 2: Perfect men may be hindered in the performance of external actions. But they are not hindered by the words or deeds of others, from tending to God in the internal acts of the will, according to Rm. 8:38,39: "Neither death, nor life... shall be able to separate us from the love of God."
Ad tertium dicendum quod perfecti viri ex infirmitate carnis incidunt interdum in aliqua peccata venialia, non autem ex aliorum dictis vel factis scandalizantur secundum veram scandali rationem. Sed potest esse in eis quaedam appropinquatio ad scandalum, secundum illud Psalm., mei pene moti sunt pedes. Reply to Objection 3: Perfect men sometimes fall into venial sins through the weakness of the flesh; but they are not scandalized (taking scandal in its true sense), by the words or deeds of others, although there can be an approach to scandal in them, according to Ps. 72:2: "My feet were almost moved."

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Whether active scandal can be found in the perfect?

Ad sextum sic proceditur. Videtur quod scandalum activum possit inveniri in viris perfectis. Passio enim est effectus actionis. Sed ex dictis vel factis perfectorum aliqui passive scandalizantur, secundum illud Matth. XV, scis quia Pharisaei, audito hoc verbo, scandalizati sunt? Ergo in perfectis viris potest inveniri scandalum activum. Objection 1: It would seem that active scandal can be found in the perfect. For passion is the effect of action. Now some are scandalized passively by the words or deeds of the perfect, according to Mt. 15:12: "Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized?" Therefore active scandal can be found in the perfect.
Praeterea, Petrus post acceptum spiritum sanctum in statu perfectorum erat. Sed postea gentiles scandalizavit, dicitur enim ad Gal. II, cum vidissem quod non recte ambularent ad veritatem Evangelii, dixi Cephae, idest Petro, coram omnibus, si tu cum Iudaeus sis, gentiliter et non Iudaice vivis, quomodo gentes cogis iudaizare? Ergo scandalum activum potest esse in viris perfectis. Objection 2: Further, Peter, after receiving the Holy Ghost, was in the state of the perfect. Yet afterwards he scandalized the gentiles: for it is written (Gal. 2:14): "When I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the Gospel, I said to Cephas," i.e. Peter, "before them all: If thou being a Jew, livest after the manner of the gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the gentiles to live as do the Jews?" Therefore active scandal can be in the perfect.
Praeterea, scandalum activum quandoque est peccatum veniale. Sed peccata venialia possunt etiam esse in viris perfectis. Ergo scandalum activum potest esse in viris perfectis. Objection 3: Further, active scandal is sometimes a venial sin. But venial sins may be in perfect men. Therefore active scandal may be in perfect men.
Sed contra, plus repugnat perfectioni scandalum activum quam passivum. Sed scandalum passivum non potest esse in viris perfectis. Ergo multo minus scandalum activum. On the contrary, Active scandal is more opposed to perfection, than passive scandal. But passive scandal cannot be in the perfect. Much less, therefore, can active scandal be in them.
Respondeo dicendum quod scandalum activum proprie est cum aliquis tale aliquid dicit vel facit quod de se tale est ut alterum natum sit inducere ad ruinam, quod quidem est solum id quod inordinate fit vel dicitur. Ad perfectos autem pertinet ea quae agunt secundum regulam rationis ordinare, secundum illud I ad Cor. XIV, omnia honeste et secundum ordinem fiant in vobis. Et praecipue hanc cautelam adhibent in his in quibus non solum ipsi offenderent, sed etiam aliis offensionem pararent. Et si quidem in eorum manifestis dictis vel factis aliquid ab hac moderatione desit, hoc provenit ex infirmitate humana, secundum quam a perfectione deficiunt. Non tamen intantum deficiunt ut multum ab ordine rationis recedatur, sed modicum et leviter, quod non est tam magnum ut ex hoc rationabiliter possit ab alio sumi peccandi occasio. I answer that, Active scandal, properly so called, occurs when a man says or does a thing which in itself is of a nature to occasion another's spiritual downfall, and that is only when what he says or does is inordinate. Now it belongs to the perfect to direct all their actions according to the rule of reason, as stated in 1 Cor. 14:40: "Let all things be done decently and according to order"; and they are careful to do this in those matters chiefly wherein not only would they do wrong, but would also be to others an occasion of wrongdoing. And if indeed they fail in this moderation in such words or deeds as come to the knowledge of others, this has its origin in human weakness wherein they fall short of perfection. Yet they do not fall short so far as to stray far from the order of reason, but only a little and in some slight matter: and this is not so grave that anyone can reasonably take therefrom an occasion for committing sin.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod scandalum passivum semper ab aliquo activo causatur, sed non semper ab aliquo scandalo activo alterius, sed eiusdem qui scandalizatur; quia scilicet ipse seipsum scandalizat. Reply to Objection 1: Passive scandal is always due to some active scandal; yet this active scandal is not always in another, but in the very person who is scandalized, because, to wit, he scandalizes himself.
Ad secundum dicendum quod Petrus peccavit quidem, et reprehensibilis fuit, secundum sententiam Augustini et ipsius Pauli, subtrahens se a gentilibus ut vitaret scandalum Iudaeorum, quia hoc incaute aliqualiter faciebat, ita quod ex hoc gentiles ad fidem conversi scandalizabantur. Non tamen factum Petri erat tam grave peccatum quod merito possent alii scandalizari. Unde patiebantur scandalum passivum, non autem erat in Petro scandalum activum. Reply to Objection 2: In the opinion of Augustine (Ep. xxviii, xl, lxxxii) and of Paul also, Peter sinned and was to be blamed, in withdrawing from the gentiles in order to avoid the scandal of the Jews, because he did this somewhat imprudently, so that the gentiles who had been converted to the faith were scandalized. Nevertheless Peter's action was not so grave a sin as to give others sufficient ground for scandal. Hence they were guilty of passive scandal, while there was no active scandal in Peter.
Ad tertium dicendum quod peccata venialia perfectorum praecipue consistunt in subitis motibus, qui, cum sint occulti, scandalizare non possunt. Si qua vero etiam in exterioribus dictis vel factis venialia peccata committant, tam levia sunt ut de se scandalizandi virtutem non habeant. Reply to Objection 3: The venial sins of the perfect consist chiefly in sudden movements, which being hidden cannot give scandal. If, however, they commit any venial sins even in their external words or deeds, these are so slight as to be insufficient in themselves to give scandal.

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Whether spiritual goods should be foregone on account of scandal?

Ad septimum sic proceditur. Videtur quod bona spiritualia sint propter scandalum dimittenda. Augustinus enim, in libro contra epistolam Parmen., docet quod ubi schismatis periculum timetur, a punitione peccatorum cessandum est. Sed punitio peccatorum est quoddam spirituale, cum sit actus iustitiae. Ergo bonum spirituale est propter scandalum dimittendum. Objection 1: It would seem that spiritual goods ought to be foregone on account of scandal. For Augustine (Contra Ep. Parmen. iii, 2) teaches that "punishment for sin should cease, when the peril of schism is feared." But punishment of sins is a spiritual good, since it is an act of justice. Therefore a spiritual good is to be foregone on account of scandal.
Praeterea, sacra doctrina maxime videtur esse spiritualis. Sed ab ea est cessandum propter scandalum, secundum illud Matth. VII, nolite sanctum dare canibus, neque margaritas vestras spargatis ante porcos, ne conversi dirumpant vos. Ergo bonum spirituale est dimittendum propter scandalum. Objection 2: Further, the Sacred Doctrine is a most spiritual thing. Yet one ought to desist therefrom on account of scandal, according to Mt. 7:6: "Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine lest... turning upon you, they tear you." Therefore a spiritual good should be foregone on account of scandal.
Praeterea, correctio fraterna, cum sit actus caritatis, est quoddam spirituale bonum. Sed interdum ex caritate dimittitur, ad vitandum scandalum aliorum; ut Augustinus dicit, in I de Civ. Dei. Ergo bonum spirituale est propter scandalum dimittendum. Objection 3: Further, since fraternal correction is an act of charity, it is a spiritual good. Yet sometimes it is omitted out of charity, in order to avoid giving scandal to others, as Augustine observes (De Civ. Dei i, 9). Therefore a spiritual good should be foregone on account of scandal.
Praeterea, Hieronymus dicit quod dimittendum est propter scandalum omne quod potest praetermitti salva triplici veritate, scilicet vitae, iustitiae et doctrinae. Sed impletio consiliorum, et largitio eleemosynarum, multoties potest praetermitti salva triplici veritate praedicta, alioquin semper peccarent omnes qui praetermittunt. Et tamen haec sunt maxima inter spiritualia opera. Ergo spiritualia opera debent praetermitti propter scandalum. Objection 4: Further, Jerome [*Hugh de S. Cher., In Matth. xviii; in Luc. xvii, 2] says that in order to avoid scandal we should forego whatever it is possible to omit without prejudice to the threefold truth, i.e. "the truth of life, of justice and of doctrine." Now the observance of the counsels, and the bestowal of alms may often be omitted without prejudice to the aforesaid threefold truth, else whoever omitted them would always be guilty of sin, and yet such things are the greatest of spiritual works. Therefore spiritual works should be omitted on account of scandal.
Praeterea, vitatio cuiuslibet peccati est quoddam spirituale bonum, quia quodlibet peccatum affert peccanti aliquod spirituale detrimentum. Sed videtur quod pro scandalo proximi vitando debeat aliquis quandoque peccare venialiter, puta cum peccando venialiter impedit peccatum mortale alterius, debet enim homo impedire damnationem proximi quantum potest sine detrimento propriae salutis, quae non tollitur per peccatum veniale. Ergo aliquod bonum spirituale debet homo praetermittere propter scandalum vitandum. Objection 5: Further, the avoidance of any sin is a spiritual good, since any sin brings spiritual harm to the sinner. Now it seems that one ought sometimes to commit a venial sin in order to avoid scandalizing one's neighbor, for instance, when by sinning venially, one would prevent someone else from committing a mortal sin: because one is bound to hinder the damnation of one's neighbor as much as one can without prejudice to one's own salvation, which is not precluded by a venial sin. Therefore one ought to forego a spiritual good in order to avoid scandal.
Sed contra est quod Gregorius dicit, super Ezech., si de veritate scandalum sumitur, utilius nasci permittitur scandalum quam veritas relinquatur. Sed bona spiritualia maxime pertinent ad veritatem. Ergo bona spiritualia non sunt propter scandalum dimittenda. On the contrary, Gregory says (Hom. Super Ezech. vii): "If people are scandalized at the truth, it is better to allow the birth of scandal, than to abandon the truth." Now spiritual goods belong, above all others, to the truth. Therefore spiritual goods are not to be foregone on account of scandal.
Respondeo dicendum quod, cum duplex sit scandalum, activum scilicet et passivum, quaestio ista non habet locum de scandalo activo, quia cum scandalum activum sit dictum vel factum minus rectum, nihil est cum scandalo activo faciendum. Habet autem locum quaestio si intelligatur de scandalo passivo. Considerandum est igitur quid sit dimittendum ne alius scandalizetur. Est autem in spiritualibus bonis distinguendum. Nam quaedam horum sunt de necessitate salutis, quae praetermitti non possunt sine peccato mortali. Manifestum est autem quod nullus debet mortaliter peccare ut alterius peccatum impediat, quia secundum ordinem caritatis plus debet homo suam salutem spiritualem diligere quam alterius. Et ideo ea quae sunt de necessitate salutis praetermitti non debent propter scandalum vitandum. I answer that, Whereas scandal is twofold, active and passive, the present question does not apply to active scandal, for since active scandal is "something said or done less rightly," nothing ought to be done that implies active scandal. The question does, however, apply to passive scandal, and accordingly we have to see what ought to be foregone in order to avoid scandal. Now a distinction must be made in spiritual goods. For some of them are necessary for salvation, and cannot be foregone without mortal sin: and it is evident that no man ought to commit a mortal sin, in order to prevent another from sinning, because according to the order of charity, a man ought to love his own spiritual welfare more than another's. Therefore one ought not to forego that which is necessary for salvation, in order to avoid giving scandal.
In his autem spiritualibus bonis quae non sunt de necessitate salutis videtur distinguendum. Quia scandalum quod ex eis oritur quandoque ex malitia procedit, cum scilicet aliqui volunt impedire huiusmodi spiritualia bona, scandala concitando, et hoc est scandalum Pharisaeorum, qui de doctrina domini scandalizabantur. Quod esse contemnendum dominus docet, Matth. XV. Quandoque vero scandalum procedit ex infirmitate vel ignorantia, et huiusmodi est scandalum pusillorum. Propter quod sunt spiritualia opera vel occultanda, vel etiam interdum differenda, ubi periculum non imminet, quousque, reddita ratione, huiusmodi scandalum cesset. Si autem post redditam rationem huiusmodi scandalum duret, iam videtur ex malitia esse, et sic propter ipsum non sunt huiusmodi spiritualia opera dimittenda. Again a distinction seems necessary among spiritual things which are not necessary for salvation: because the scandal which arises from such things sometimes proceeds from malice, for instance when a man wishes to hinder those spiritual goods by stirring up scandal. This is the "scandal of the Pharisees," who were scandalized at Our Lord's teaching: and Our Lord teaches (Mt. 15:14) that we ought to treat such like scandal with contempt. Sometimes scandal proceeds from weakness or ignorance, and such is the "scandal of little ones." In order to avoid this kind of scandal, spiritual goods ought to be either concealed, or sometimes even deferred (if this can be done without incurring immediate danger), until the matter being explained the scandal cease. If, however, the scandal continue after the matter has been explained, it would seem to be due to malice, and then it would no longer be right to forego that spiritual good in order to avoid such like scandal.
Ad primum ergo dicendum quod poenarum inflictio non est propter se expetenda, sed poenae infliguntur ut medicinae quaedam ad cohibendum peccata. Et ideo intantum habent rationem iustitiae inquantum per eas peccata cohibentur. Si autem per inflictionem poenarum manifestum sit plura et maiora peccata sequi, tunc poenarum inflictio non continebitur sub iustitia. Et in hoc casu loquitur Augustinus, quando scilicet ex excommunicatione aliquorum imminet periculum schismatis, tunc enim excommunicationem ferre non pertineret ad veritatem iustitiae. Reply to Objection 1: In the infliction of punishment it is not the punishment itself that is the end in view, but its medicinal properties in checking sin; wherefore punishment partakes of the nature of justice, in so far as it checks sin. But if it is evident that the infliction of punishment will result in more numerous and more grievous sins being committed, the infliction of punishment will no longer be a part of justice. It is in this sense that Augustine is speaking, when, to wit, the excommunication of a few threatens to bring about the danger of a schism, for in that case it would be contrary to the truth of justice to pronounce excommunication.
Ad secundum dicendum quod circa doctrinam duo sunt consideranda, scilicet veritas quae docetur; et ipse actus docendi. Quorum primum est de necessitate salutis, ut scilicet contrarium veritati non doceat, sed veritatem secundum congruentiam temporis et personarum proponat ille cui incumbit docendi officium. Et ideo propter nullum scandalum quod sequi videatur debet homo, praetermissa veritate, falsitatem docere. Sed ipse actus docendi inter spirituales eleemosynas computatur, ut supra dictum est. Et ideo eadem ratio est de doctrina et de aliis misericordiae operibus, de quibus postea dicetur. Reply to Objection 2: With regard to a man's doctrine two points must be considered, namely, the truth which is taught, and the act of teaching. The first of these is necessary for salvation, to wit, that he whose duty it is to teach should no' teach what is contrary to the truth, and that he should teach the truth according to the requirements of times and persons: wherefore on no account ought he to suppress the truth and teach error in order to avoid any scandal that might ensue. But the act itself of teaching is one of the spiritual almsdeeds, as stated above (Question [32], Article [2]), and so the same is to be said of it as of the other works of mercy, of which we shall speak further on (ad 4).
Ad tertium dicendum quod correctio fraterna, sicut supra dictum est, ordinatur ad emendationem fratris. Et ideo intantum computanda est inter spiritualia bona inquantum hoc consequi potest. Quod non contingit si ex correctione frater scandalizetur. Et ideo si propter scandalum correctio dimittatur, non dimittitur spirituale bonum. Reply to Objection 3: As stated above (Question [33], Article [1]), fraternal correction aims at the correction of a brother, wherefore it is to be reckoned among spiritual goods in so far as this end can be obtained, which is not the case if the brother be scandalized through being corrected. And so, if the correction be omitted in order to avoid scandal, no spiritual good is foregone.
Ad quartum dicendum quod in veritate vitae, doctrinae et iustitiae non solum comprehenditur id quod est de necessitate salutis, sed etiam id per quod perfectius pervenitur ad salutem, secundum illud I ad Cor. XII, aemulamini charismata meliora. Unde etiam consilia non sunt simpliciter praetermittenda, nec etiam misericordiae opera, propter scandalum, sed sunt interdum occultanda vel differenda propter scandalum pusillorum, ut dictum est. Quandoque tamen consiliorum observatio et impletio operum misericordiae sunt de necessitate salutis. Quod patet in his qui iam voverunt consilia; et in his quibus ex debito imminet defectibus aliorum subvenire, vel in temporalibus, puta pascendo esurientem, vel in spiritualibus, puta docendo ignorantem; sive huiusmodi fiant debita propter iniunctum officium, ut patet in praelatis, sive propter necessitatem indigentis. Et tunc eadem ratio est de huiusmodi sicut de aliis quae sunt de necessitate salutis. Reply to Objection 4: The truth of life, of doctrine, and of justice comprises not only whatever is necessary for salvation, but also whatever is a means of obtaining salvation more perfectly, according to 1 Cor. 12:31: "Be zealous for the better gifts." Wherefore neither the counsels nor even the works of mercy are to be altogether omitted in order to avoid scandal; but sometimes they should be concealed or deferred, on account of the scandal of the little ones, as stated above. Sometimes, however, the observance of the counsels and the fulfilment of the works of mercy are necessary for salvation. This may be seen in the case of those who have vowed to keep the counsels, and of those whose duty it is to relieve the wants of others, either in temporal matters (as by feeding the hungry), or in spiritual matters (as by instructing the ignorant), whether such duties arise from their being enjoined as in the case of prelates, or from the need on the part of the person in want; and then the same applies to these things as to others that are necessary for salvation.
Ad quintum dicendum quod quidam dixerunt quod peccatum veniale est committendum propter vitandum scandalum. Sed hoc implicat contraria, si enim faciendum est, iam non est malum neque peccatum; nam peccatum non potest esse eligibile. Contingit tamen aliquid propter aliquam circumstantiam non esse peccatum veniale quod, illa circumstantia sublata, peccatum veniale esset, sicut verbum iocosum est peccatum veniale quando absque utilitate dicitur; si autem ex causa rationabili proferatur, non est otiosum neque peccatum. Quamvis autem per peccatum veniale gratia non tollatur, per quam est hominis salus; inquantum tamen veniale disponit ad mortale, vergit in detrimentum salutis. Reply to Objection 5: Some have said that one ought to commit a venial sin in order to avoid scandal. But this implies a contradiction, since if it ought to be done, it is no longer evil or sinful, for a sin cannot be a matter of choice. It may happen however that, on account of some circumstance, something is not a venial sin, though it would be were it not for that circumstance: thus an idle word is a venial sin, when it is uttered uselessly; yet if it be uttered for a reasonable cause, it is neither idle nor sinful. And though venial sin does not deprive a man of grace which is his means of salvation, yet, in so far as it disposes him to mortal sin, it tends to the loss of salvation.

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Whether temporal goods should be foregone on account of scandal?

Ad octavum sic proceditur. Videtur quod temporalia sint dimittenda propter scandalum. Magis enim debemus diligere spiritualem salutem proximi, quae impeditur per scandalum, quam quaecumque temporalia bona. Sed id quod minus diligimus dimittimus propter id quod magis diligimus. Ergo temporalia magis debemus dimittere ad vitandum scandalum proximorum. Objection 1: It would seem that temporal goods should be foregone on account of scandal. For we ought to love our neighbor's spiritual welfare which is hindered by scandal, more than any temporal goods whatever. But we forego what we love less for the sake of what we love more. Therefore we should forego temporal goods in order to avoid scandalizing our neighbor.
Praeterea, secundum regulam Hieronymi, omnia quae possunt praetermitti salva triplici veritate, sunt propter scandalum dimittenda. Sed temporalia possunt praetermitti salva triplici veritate. Ergo sunt propter scandalum dimittenda. Objection 2: Further, according to Jerome's rule [*Cf. Article [7], Objection [4]], whatever can be foregone without prejudice to the threefold truth, should be omitted in order to avoid scandal. Now temporal goods can be foregone without prejudice to the threefold truth. Therefore they should be foregone in order to avoid scandal.
Praeterea, in temporalibus bonis nihil est magis necessarium quam cibus. Sed cibus est praetermittendus propter scandalum, secundum illud Rom. XIV, noli cibo tuo illum perdere pro quo Christus mortuus est. Ergo multo magis omnia alia temporalia sunt propter scandalum dimittenda. Objection 3: Further, no temporal good is more necessary than food. But we ought to forego taking food on account of scandal, according to Rm. 14:15: "Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died." Much more therefore should all other temporal goods be foregone on account of scandal.
Praeterea, temporalia nullo convenientiori modo conservare aut recuperare possumus quam per iudicium. Sed iudiciis uti non licet, et praecipue cum scandalo, dicitur enim Matth. V, ei qui vult tecum in iudicio contendere et tunicam tuam tollere, dimitte ei et pallium; et I ad Cor. VI, iam quidem omnino delictum est in vobis quod iudicia habetis inter vos. Quare non magis iniuriam accipitis? Quare non magis fraudem patimini? Ergo videtur quod temporalia sint propter scandalum dimittenda. Objection 4: Further, the most fitting way of safeguarding and recovering temporal goods is the court of justice. But it is unlawful to have recourse to justice, especially if scandal ensues: for it is written (Mt. 5:40): "If a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him"; and (1 Cor. 6:7): "Already indeed there is plainly a fault among you, that you have lawsuits one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" Therefore it seems that we ought to forego temporal goods on account of scandal.
Praeterea, inter omnia temporalia minus videntur dimittenda quae sunt spiritualibus annexa. Sed ista sunt propter scandalum dimittenda, apostolus enim, seminans spiritualia, temporalia stipendia non accepit, ne offendiculum daret Evangelio Christi, ut patet I ad Cor. IX; et ex simili causa Ecclesia in aliquibus terris non exigit decimas, propter scandalum vitandum. Ergo multo magis alia temporalia sunt propter scandalum dimittenda. Objection 5: Further, we ought, seemingly, to forego least of all those temporal goods which are connected with spiritual goods: and yet we ought to forego them on account of scandal. For the Apostle while sowing spiritual things did not accept a temporal stipend lest he "should give any hindrance to the Gospel of Christ" as we read 1 Cor. 9:12. For a like reason the Church does not demand tithes in certain countries, in order to avoid scandal. Much more, therefore, ought we to forego other temporal goods in order to avoid scandal.
Sed contra est quod beatus Thomas Cantuariensis repetiit res Ecclesiae cum scandalo regis. On the contrary, Blessed Thomas of Canterbury demanded the restitution of Church property, notwithstanding that the king took scandal from his doing so.
Respondeo dicendum quod circa temporalia bona distinguendum est. Aut enim sunt nostra, aut sunt nobis ad conservandum pro aliis commissa; sicut bona Ecclesiae committuntur praelatis, et bona communia quibuscumque reipublicae rectoribus. Et talium conservatio, sicut et depositorum, imminet his quibus sunt commissa ex necessitate. Et ideo non sunt propter scandalum dimittenda, sicut nec alia quae sunt de necessitate salutis. Temporalia vero quorum nos sumus domini dimittere, ea tribuendo si penes nos ea habeamus, vel non repetendo si apud alios sint, propter scandalum quandoque quidem debemus, quandoque autem non. Si enim scandalum ex hoc oriatur propter ignorantiam vel infirmitatem aliorum, quod supra diximus esse scandalum pusillorum; tunc vel totaliter dimittenda sunt temporalia; vel aliter scandalum sedandum, scilicet per aliquam admonitionem. Unde Augustinus dicit, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, dandum est quod nec tibi nec alteri noceat, quantum ab homine credi potest. Et cum negaveris quod petit, indicanda est ei iustitia, et melius ei aliquid dabis, cum petentem iniuste correxeris. Aliquando vero scandalum nascitur ex malitia, quod est scandalum Pharisaeorum. Et propter eos qui sic scandala concitant non sunt temporalia dimittenda, quia hoc et noceret bono communi, daretur enim malis rapiendi occasio; et noceret ipsis rapientibus, qui retinendo aliena in peccato remanerent. Unde Gregorius dicit, in Moral., quidam, dum temporalia nobis rapiunt, solummodo sunt tolerandi, quidam vero, servata aequitate, prohibendi; non sola cura ne nostra subtrahantur, sed ne rapientes non sua semetipsos perdant. I answer that, A distinction must be made in temporal goods: for either they are ours, or they are consigned to us to take care of them for someone else; thus the goods of the Church are consigned to prelates, and the goods of the community are entrusted to all such persons as have authority over the common weal. In this latter case the care of such things (as of things held in deposit) devolves of necessity on those persons to whom they are entrusted, wherefore, even as other things that are necessary for salvation, they are not to be foregone on account of scandal. On the other hand, as regards those temporalities of which we have the dominion, sometimes, on account of scandal, we are bound to forego them, and sometimes we are not so bound, whether we forego them by giving them up, if we have them in our possession, or by omitting to claim them, if they are in the possession of others. For if the scandal arise therefrom through the ignorance or weakness of others (in which case, as stated above, Article [7], it is scandal of the little ones) we must either forego such temporalities altogether, or the scandal must be abated by some other means, namely, by some kind of admonition. Hence Augustine says (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 20): "Thou shouldst give so as to injure neither thyself nor another, as much as thou canst lend, and if thou refusest what is asked, thou must yet be just to him, indeed thou wilt give him something better than he asks, if thou reprove him that asks unjustly." Sometimes, however, scandal arises from malice. This is scandal of the Pharisees: and we ought not to forego temporal goods for the sake of those who stir up scandals of this kind, for this would both be harmful to the common good, since it would give wicked men an opportunity of plunder, and would be injurious to the plunderers themselves, who would remain in sin as long as they were in possession of another's property. Hence Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 13): "Sometimes we ought to suffer those who rob us of our temporalities, while sometimes we should resist them, as far as equity allows, in the hope not only that we may safeguard our property, but also lest those who take what is not theirs may lose themselves."
Et per hoc patet solutio ad primum. This suffices for the Reply to the First Objection.
Ad secundum dicendum quod si passim permitteretur malis hominibus ut aliena raperent, vergeret hoc in detrimentum veritatis vitae et iustitiae. Et ideo non oportet propter quodcumque scandalum temporalia dimitti. Reply to Objection 2: If it were permissible for wicked men to rob other people of their property, this would tend to the detriment of the truth of life and justice. Therefore we are not always bound to forego our temporal goods in order to avoid scandal.
Ad tertium dicendum quod non est de intentione apostoli monere quod cibus totaliter propter scandalum dimittatur, quia sumere cibum est de necessitate salutis. Sed talis cibus est propter scandalum dimittendus, secundum illud I ad Cor. VIII, non manducabo carnem in aeternum, ne fratrem meum scandalizem. Reply to Objection 3: The Apostle had no intention of counselling total abstinence from food on account of scandal, because our welfare requires that we should take food: but he intended to counsel abstinence from a particular kind of food, in order to avoid scandal, according to 1 Cor. 8:13: "I will never eat flesh, lest I should scandalize my brother."
Ad quartum dicendum quod secundum Augustinum, in libro de Serm. Dom. in monte, illud praeceptum domini est intelligendum secundum praeparationem animi, ut scilicet homo sit paratus prius pati iniuriam vel fraudem quam iudicium subire, si hoc expediat. Quandoque tamen non expedit, ut dictum est. Et similiter intelligendum est verbum apostoli. Reply to Objection 4: According to Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 19) this precept of Our Lord is to be understood of the preparedness of the mind, namely, that man should be prepared, if it be expedient, to suffer being harmed or defrauded, rather than go to law. But sometimes it is not expedient, as stated above (ad 2). The same applies to the saying of the Apostle.
Ad quintum dicendum quod scandalum quod vitabat apostolus ex ignorantia procedebat gentilium, qui hoc non consueverant. Et ideo ad tempus abstinendum erat, ut prius instruerentur hoc esse debitum. Et ex simili causa Ecclesia abstinet de decimis exigendis in terris in quibus non est consuetum decimas solvere. Reply to Objection 5: The scandal which the Apostle avoided, arose from an error of the gentiles who were not used to this payment. Hence it behooved him to forego it for the time being, so that they might be taught first of all that such a payment was a duty. For a like reason the Church refrains from demanding tithes in those countries where it is not customary to pay them.

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