I spend the weekend at my girlfriend’s apartment in a separate bedroom because we live 1.5 hours away. We are chaste and not sexually active. Is this scandalous to the neighbors, whom we say hi and bye to on occasion, if they do not know we are Catholic?
Not if they keep their noses out of your business
Are the neighbors led into sin because of your actions?
No, it is not scandal.
What about the not-implausible scenario where they don’t keep their noses out of his business though…?
It depends on the nieghbors. Some might be scandalized that you are not sexually active, feeling it a reproach of their lifestyle. Others could be scandalized if you are. And most probably do not care. You would have to get to know them if you really care what they think.
I don’t get why it would disturbed them. People should know that there are people like us who view romantic relationships serious and desire to save sex for marriage. If they happen to find it scandalous that is their problems. God of approves of it and that is what matters.
Fr Mike Schmitz summed up the sin of Scandal to be causing someone to think that something that is sinful isn’t, so it could be, but at the same time of the people know you are waiting for marriage/don’t know that he y’all spent the night then I don’t know that there is a clear problem though I wouldn’t risk it in the future.
That still isn’t scandal. See the Catechism re: definition of scandal.
The English have a saying, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’, which means roughly, ‘Let him who thinks badly of it be shamed’.
I think this video sumarizes church teaching well (I don’t have the ability to re-watch it now and type an extrapolated version of the applicable portion)
Frankly, many things we do could be generating “scandal” if someone makes rash assumptions. Hypothetical situation: Lets say, there is a Joe Schmoe at my Parish and for some reason he has watched me like a hawk at Mass for months, and he goes to Confession every other week and has not once seen me in line, but has seen me Receive Communion.
But Joe Schmoe doesn’t know that I might do something like see my Confessor by appointment or go to a different Parish where they don’t know me (or something else some people do for confession) on a fairly regular basis. So he concludes he should be more lax and take Communion always, even though he has a problem staying out of trouble for too long…but all of this was based on his thoughts on what he thought was going on, not the reality.
Isn’t scandal, though, by its very nature based on appearance of sin not sin itself (when then causes others to sin)?
Scandal has to be deliberate or you have to be actually committing a sin and tempting others by giving a bad example, particularly if you are an authority figure. Having someone think you are sinning and setting a bad example because of their rash judgment is not your fault.
from the CCC:
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.