By Padre Fernado
The Catechism teaches that pharisaical scandal takes place when a word or an action, not reprehensible in itself, causes fear or scandal in some tendentious persons, who at the same time close their eyes to other facts which are truly scandalous. The name comes from the attitude of the Pharisees, of whom Jesus said that "they screen the fly and swallow the camel" (Matt 23:24). They were committing the greatest crimes and injustices, but were scandalized for example when in order to do good, Jesus did not follow the Sabbath Law as they wished. History repeats itself.
How many rend their garments as the Pharisees, scandalized because Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, in order to continue the Tradition of the Church and to oppose heresy, had decided to consecrate truly Catholic Bishops. But they were not scandalized when, with several Cardinals, John Paul II, in a Lutheran Church in Rome, took part in an heretical ceremony and recited a prayer composed by Luther (December 11, 1983)!
They were not scandalized when John Paul II received a delegation of Jewish Masonry of the B'nai B'rith, calling this audience a "meeting between Brothers" (April 17, 1984)!
They were not scandalized when John Paul II sent an official representative to the laying of the foundation stone of the largest mosque in Europe at Rome (December 11,1984)!
They were not scandalized when, in Togo, he assisted in the Sacred Forest at Animist (pagan) rites (August 8, 1985)!
They were not scandalized when John Paul II, in India received from a Hindu Priestess the "Testa, sign of the Tilak" (February 2, 1986)!
They were not scandalized when John Paul II visited the great synagogue of Rome in which he took part in the recitation of psalms (April 13,1986)! Neither when John Paul II invited Catholics and Jews to prepare the world together for the coming of the Messiah (June 24, 1986)!
They were not scandalized when in the Church of St. Peter, in Assisi, during the meeting organized by the Vatican, the Buddhist monks adored the Dalai Lama, who is for them the reincarnation of Buddha, sitting with their back towards the tabernacle, where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved (cf. Avvenire, October 28, 1986)!
Neither were they scandalized when, during the same meeting, in the same church, the idol of Buddha was placed on the tabernacle of the main altar, where it was the object of their adoration (cf. Avvenire and II Mattino, October 28,1986)!
Neither when, during the meeting of Assisi which was organized and sponsored by the Vatican, the Hindus invoked their gods, sitting around the altar of St. Mary Major (II Corriere della Sera, October 28,1986)!
Thus those who do not feel a profound sorrow in their hearts in seeing the Blood of Christ trod under foot and the Mission of the Church betrayed, will only, with a great hypocrisy, be able to rend their garments and throw stones in the face of the firm and courageous attitude of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (and all those who with him hold to the Catholic faith of all time) who was led by his love for the Holy Church of God.
As St. Gregory the Great said: "It is better that scandal takes place rather than to hide the truth." It would be a double scandal to tolerate error and hide the crime under the cover of innocence, not to say complicity.