"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).
Several 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: 45,47).
- 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.