We have seen scandals in the Church, in church organizations, in the hierarchy. When a priest, a bishop, a cardinal, or even a pope leads other people to sin, that is called “spiritual murder.” It is murder because the one who is supposed to give life snuffs out the faint life of somebody. The one who is supposed to be a channel of blessing becomes a channel of sin. That is spiritual murder.
On the other hand, if we see the scandalous life of somebody—if we see the scandalous life of a priest, a cardinal or even a pope, or a bishop—and we allow our faith to die, or be damaged, we call that “spiritual suicide.” In other words, we cannot put all the blame on the scandals that others have brought into our lives. The fact is we give them permission to kill us. We give them permission to destroy us. We give them permission to look at us as inferior. When we see scandals of those in charge of us, that is spiritual murder and they are accountable to God. But if we allow them to kill our faith, that is spiritual suicide for us.
There are some among us who say that the Church is not holy. We claim that the Church is not founded by Jesus Christ because of the lifestyle of priests, the religious, the men and women in the Church.
The Gospel for today precisely points that out: These scandals and sins that we are seeing in the Church are actually proofs that we, as the Church, are divine. If the Church were only a human corporation, it would have crumbled a long time ago. If we are still standing in spite of the scandals that the Church has seen, it can only be because this Church, this organization, is run not by men, but by the Holy Spirit.
Love Like Jesus