In his Monday homily, Pope Francis said that scandal has the capacity to destroy the faith, while those who cannot forgive others create scandal.
"When a Christian man or a Christian woman, who goes to church, is part of the parish, does not live in this way, they cause scandal," he said, according to Vatican Radio
He noted that the scandal need not be large in scale, but it can be caused by simply not living as a Christian.
"How often have we heard men and women say: ' I do not go to church because it is better to be honest at home and not go to church like that man or woman who then do this, this, this ...'. Scandal destroys, it destroys the faith!" Pope Francis continued.
The pope's remarks on scandal were related to the Gospel for today in which Jesus counsels the Apostles that "it would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin”.
In addition to openly stressing forgiveness of all sinners, Pope Francis has been actively seeking to rid the Catholic Church of scandals.
In October, Pope Francis dispatched a special envoy to a diocese in the northern Italian city of Albenga to investigate allegations that a group of so-called "playboy priests," who had been sexually harassing parishioners, posting naked photos of themselves online and stealing from church funds, reported London's Daily Telegraph
But in changing his approach to Catholic teaching, embracing a more forgiving and welcoming tone, Francis has alienated some more conservative members of the Church.
One such member is Cardinal Raymond Burke, who openly expressed his frustration in a February 2014 article in the Vatican newspaper with Pope Francis' intent to change Catholic teaching on certain "critical moral issues of our time," reports the Catholic News Service
On November 8, the Vatican announced that Burke was being reassigned from his position as head of its highest court into the role of Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a largely ceremonial role with no real authority.
The reassignment had been expected, but that it was announced just before today's gathering of U.S. bishops in Baltimore and may signal a rift between the Vatican and the U.S. Catholic Church, reports Fox News Latino
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