"And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off (Mark 9:43).
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off (Mark 9:45).
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out (Mark 9:47).
Holy Fathers interpret 'the hand,' 'the foot,' and 'the eye' as a
friend dear to our heart with which we share our life, to whom we are
bound by ties of affection, harmony and solidarity. There is a limit to
this relationship. Christian friendship submits to the law of God. If
my friend, my companion, a person dear to me is for me an occasion of
sin, a stumbling block for me in journey, I have no other choice.
According to the criterion of the Lord, this relationship must be cut.
Who would deny the agony of such a choice? Is this a cruel amputation?
Yet the Lord is clear: It is better for me to go alone in the Kingdom
(without a hand, without a foot, without an eye), than to go with my
friend 'into hell, into unquenchable fire' (Mark 9:43; cf. Mark 9:
- Msgr. Charles Scicluna
Vatican official, from a morning prayer in St. Peter's Basilica in
Rome. The address, full of quotes from Scripture and prominent
theologians, is being seen
as a veiled but notably harsh condemnation of priestly pedophilia.
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
hhorn at theatlantic dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.