Hi this is my response to a post on ‘frustrated about cohabitation’ - I didnt want to hijack the thread so I thought I woudl post here instead!

I am so fed up with ‘scandal’ - i dont care if my behaviour cause scandal or if anyone thinks the things I do are wrong I live my live as well as I can and I know that only HE has the right to judge me!

WE Have NO right to judge anyone the only person with that right is god last time i checked he didnt post on this forum!!!

That is my point!

Why is it that so many people believe that they do have this right - WE ARE ALL SINNERS - you are, I am we all are.

I dont expect anyone but god to judge me for mine and I dont judge you for yours. I wont be living with my h2b till marriage but that is my choice and god loves us enough to allow us to make our own choices be they good or bad - we suffer the consequences and hopefully repent.

Any form of gossip is wrong it assumes that we have a higher worth than we do and I do not care what anyone but HE thinks of me if myh2bs family want to judge me for being catholic let them their grandkids will be catholic too!!! If my friends want to judge me for not drinking let them at least my liver will survive past 40! If I gossip about my friends make sure I attend confession and repent,

But we shouldnt presume that our opinions are actually worth anything in the long run we dont know HIS plan and we can only try to live a life as close to HIM as possible!


This sounds more like a rant than a train of thought, but sin is sin and God has revealed, through the Church, what things are sin. When people ignore the Church in blatant ways, and call themselves devotees of that God who guides the Church, there is real scandal. This is neither gossip or judging, it is shock at the apparently faithful abusing the faith in public ways. God will most certainly judge these conscious, free abuses of his grace in a just - and from the prospective of an unrepentant scandalizer - *terrible *way.


Having an opinion about someone’s behavior doesn’t equate to sitting in judgement of them. Telling someone that cohabitating is a bad idea is a whole other bucket of worms than telling someone that they’re going to hell for it.


If my friends want to judge me for not drinking let them at least my liver will survive past 40!

By the way, according to your definition of judgement… your friends who drink are doomed to suffer liver failure by 40 because they drink. Just sayin’… :thumbsup:


As Catholics, we are called upon to instruct the ignorant and admonish the sinner. Pointing out to someone that they are committing grave is NOT being judgmental.

Presuming on God’s mercy, now that is a real problem.


Matthew 18, 6 and 7: Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!

This is what the Church means by “causing scandal”.

It’s like this: you know you’re not sinning, your fiance knows you’re not sinning, and certainly God knows you’re not sinning. Right? But if other people see an unmarried couple (not necessarily you) living together, especially if they’re attending Mass and receiving communion, what are they thinking? Oh, I don’t mean the ones who are looking for something to talk about (they’ll find it no matter HOW holy a life you’re leading!) I’m talking about young people questioning the Church’s moral teachings, people who are new to the Faith, people who are wondering if they should move in with their fiance/e (and not necessarily as brother and sister). They see this and think, “well, gee, I thought it was wrong to live together before marriage, but they’re doing it AND going to communion, so it must be okay.”

We live in such a sex-saturated society that the automatic assumption is that a couple living together is having sex. And since you’re unlikely to be advertising the state of your chastity to all and sundry, no one will really know that you AREN’T having pre-marital sex. So in a way, without meaning to, you CAN be leading people astray by an APPEARANCE of living in sin. I know it’s not your fault that people seem to be conditioned to assume the worst (or the “norm”, if we look at it from our morally lax society’s viewpoint), but the truth is, people are NOT going to automatically assume that you are living chaste lives.

I know it’s not fair; BELIEVE ME, I know it’s not fair. My husband and I have been married twenty years. We have fertility problems and have only one child by adoption. We don’t advertise this; it’s our life and our business. But this world has such a contraceptive mentality, how many people probably think that we only have one child because we are using contraceptives? Too many Catholics see nothing wrong with ABC, so a lot of people probably assume we’re using it, too. They’re wrong, of course, and I pray that what they SEE (or think they see) does not lead them to assume that ABC is okay with the Church… and thus lead them into sin.

I don’t know if this makes a lot of sense or not. I’m just trying to explain what is meant by causing scandal and why we should try to avoid it.


Bluerose is right. I think we tend to look at “scandal” as upsetting a bunch of busy bodies. That really misses the mark though. Scandal is where by giving the impression that you are involved in sin that you are having a negative moral influence on someone who might be very vulnerable. So, say a very religious and morally upright couple live together as brother and sister for practcal purposes. What happens if they unknowingly are causing the 14 year old girl down the street to think that fornication is ok, afterall this very nice Christian couple she knows seems to think so.

I used to not worry about scandal at all, but in truth it is something that we should be very careful about.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea…”


When you really wrap your mind around the fact that there is someone watching what you do - you may know the person or they may just be a face on the street - but they are watching you and consider you an example.

Knowing that you may be the only example of a Catholic Christian that someone sees - is your life, every day and every moment a shining example of Christ? We ARE Ambassadors, we are walking talking advertisments of Jesus. It makes you humble, and makes you think about scandal.


Doing things publicly that are against Church teaching goes against that saying “Always teach Christ. Sometimes use words.”

People watch us. We are supposed to be a light in the world. If we aren’t, we have failed God.

If someone sins because they follow our example, we are culpable too.

It’s not being judgmental, it’s seeing the world through God’s eyes and following what He taught us.

I’m sorry you feel judged. Is that your conscience pricking you? We didn’t make the rules, Bunny. Jesus said those who cause scandal… better they get the millstone treatment, you know?

He knew that most of us ignore what people say and pay more attention to what they do. So your outward life should match your inward heart. That is what integrity is. You are whole. There is no contradiction.

Please don’t be mad at us. I understand you’re in a bad situation. But unless you are prepared to tell everyone you meet that you are not sinning, and hang a sign around your neck, then people will draw their own conclusions.

How are the wedding preparations coming along?


Well said Bluerose!!!


To be fair Im lucky enough to live in a community where my actions are not judged by others in relation to my religion (aside from my h2bs parents) I just find that the catholics that I know seem to be the most judgemental people that I know (I understand because I guess I do it too - I just dont think its right)

Why is that? I see it so many times even on this sight when I went through a hard time about 6 months ago 60% of the people on this board were supportive and gave good advice which didnt neccessary agree with me was constructive and heartfelt whilst the other 40% were downright judgemental and even nasty - for that reason I left the board for a while.

So I guess whilst my OP was a rant now its more of a question why is that so many of us choose to cast the first stone in the name of ‘righteousness’?

God Bless
Night from the UK



One cannot comment on the thoughts and minds of others. I would not even begin t speculate why you feel people are being judgmental toward you.

And when I say judgmental, I mean that they are judging your soul and believe that you belong in Hell. Anything else, such as pointing out public sins or apparent public sins, is fair game. More than that, it is what a good Catholic is bound to do.


So what you are saying is that you don’t care if your sins cause other people to sin. This is not Biblical (Jesus told us not to cause others to stumble, and also to reprove a brother who is in sin), and it is not charitable. If I love someone, I don’t want to cause them to fall into sin. Love is the first and highest commandment there is, and without Love we are not Christians.


Still seems there is a backward view of what “causing scandal” is. This does not mean “if you do something that on the outside does not meet MY standards of conformity I can waggle my finger and tut tut you for being bad. I can judge you.”

It means that by claiming the title “Christian”, we have volunteered to be examples of Christian behaviour. People around you, think of the people younger than you - your little siblings, or the kids next door, the children at your Parish - they will admire and look up to you. What they see you doing, they will naturally sees as the right thing to do.

By claiming the name of Christian, you have said “I will live in a way that leads those people around me to God”. If the litte girl who lives down the street admires and looks up to me, She wants to be just like me when she grows up. If she sees me stumbling in drunk singing at the top of my lungs, she will think that is okay for her to do. If she sees me living with a man before marriage, when faced with the temptation to have relations with her boyfriend she might be more easily led into sin - because by my public actions I told her it was okay.

It took me years to realize that I am my brother’s keeper, what I do does have an impact on others - even on others I do not know. WOW, that is a tremendous responsiblilty.

Think of a spider web. When one tiny area is touched, the entire web vibrates. That is our lives, we are all connected. Non man is an island.


Scandal is not about judgement.

Scandal is about setting a bad example.

**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.

So you SHOULD care about it. Your soul depends on that.:slight_smile:


Let’s expound on that.

Setting a bad example and showing others that it may possibly be ok to live together - heck everyone does it. Friends that look at you as practicing Catholics, but get confused as to what Catholicism teaches because you live together.

Younger nieces and nephews, cousins, seeing that you live together . When they get older, they don’t give it another thought because Auntie Susie did it. It can’t be so bad - she’s a practicing Catholic.

It sets a horrible example.


I’m in the same boat as you. My husband and I don’t use any form of family planning, artificial or otherwise. I get pregnant very rarely (from symptoms I’m guessing about once per year, although I don’t test anymore) and when I do I lose the babies by the 5th week of pregnancy. Yet as we’ve been married nearly 5 years and we both work, I’m sure the assumption is that we use contraceptives. I’ve never been able to get a straight answer as to whether or not we are causing scandal simply by the circumstances of our situation and if so, what we should do about it.

It appears that you feel that this is a scandalous situation. Based on the Church’s definition of scandal, I kind of agree. I don’t know what to do, though. It seems the only way to avoid it would be to undergo possibly immoral artificial techniques (such as IVF) and not tell anyone. The resulting baby would take care of the scandal, but then we would have incurred a worse sin (IMO). We’re not about to do that, though. I don’t know if this situation would be considered any worse than a venial sin, as we don’t have any control over it. It just is. I’ll take this venial sin over the mortal sin of IVF any day.


**No, I don’t believe you, or others in your situation, are causing scandal. ****2284 **Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. **[size=3]You aren’t doing anything. You haven’t made a choice to appear this way to others. Please don’t add possible guilt of scandal on top of your painful infertility issues:(

The only possible thing I could think of is that infertile couples be more open with their struggles. As painful as it must be it would plant seeds in others’ heads that contraception is not the ONLY reason that couples are childless. But I wouldn’t expect you to do this and I doubt anyone else would either. Just a thought.

I think the important part about scandal is being in a situation of doing a behavior that you have the option to change if you just stop and think “what would others perception of this be?”. NOT that we have to make every little step in life based on the opinions of others…just the ones that could inadvertently cause others to sin.



hi bunny–it’s funny, i used to feel a lot like this a few years ago…when people would say ‘scandal’ i was like…why doesn’t that person(s) mind their own business?:o so, i know where you are coming from. BUT…now that i see the reason behind the RCC’s stance on this (which is guided by God)…i can see the point. I guess I started viewing it this way…Jesus wants us to not only care about our own souls, but to try to be ‘fishers of men,’ like the Apostles. The Apostles were not charged with walking through their communities pointing out wrong, and condemning people–but they were commissioned, if you will, to be helpers of Christ…to share the ‘good news’ and to gently bring people who were living in darkness to the Light. That is what essentially we are all charged with, really. Like other posters have said…if we as Catholics talk the talk, then we must in good responsibility to others…walk the walk. We all are sinner, absolutely true…but, if WE KNOW THE RIGHT WAY, AND STILL DO THE WRONG THING…it is hard to be a good witness for the faith–by mere words. Hey don’t live together, but I do…hey, donn’t have sex before marriage, but I do. Don’t be a glutton, but can I have a fourth helping of those mashed potatoes? ha If I want to convince others of the beauty of being Catholic…I have to try to live it. It’s all in the trying.

St Francis of Assissi said…‘witness often, use words if necessary.’ Our everyday lives are good or bad examples of the faith. No one should gossip, that too is sinful–but those who are walking in darkness–might not see how we are any different, if we live our lives in immoral ways.

But, you are saying that it shouldn’t cause scandal…being the fallen world we live in…people talk. Just the way human nature is…it’s not right, but it happens.

Hope I’ve made some sense here…I’m a wee bit tired. Blessings to you, bunny.

PS: I have noticed some nasty remarks on these boards too…I marvel at that as well…the first thing we are to do…is to love God, and then, love our neighbor. Being nasty and rude to fellow Catholics and people in general, as a Catholic, is kind of a head scratcher to me, as well.


For my part, I know at least two couples who, from all outside appearances, appear to be faithful Catholics. These couples have no children. My presumptions is that they have fertility problems. That is, after all, the more charitable assumption. I think most other faithful Catholics would make a similar presumption.

An I pray for them as well because, as I am sure I do not have to tell you, it is a very painful and difficult thing to deal with. I do not pray that they will “stop sinning”, I pray that God will help them to learn and follow His will and that He will bring comfort and peace to them.

I can pray for you and BlueRose as well, if you would allow me the honor.

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