I know two or three people who can only gossip about marginal individuals and events in Church life, the more scandalous the better, as far as they are concerned. I try to avoid them because their conversations and even, in one case, blog, are so negative. They therefore accuse me of being naïve. I could in fact tell them far more scandals than they are aware of. I do not tell them and indeed I try to forget what I do know and the scandals that I have personally been a victim of. Why?
Firstly, I believe in being edifying as far as possible. Dung exists, but I prefer to spend time with the bees which gather nectar from the flowers rather than go with the flies. If we repeat negative stories, we will only stain our own souls and the souls of others.
Secondly, suppose some of these stories are just slanders? By repeating slanders, we will only stain our own souls and the souls of others.
Thirdly, such stories fail to keep reality in proportion. In every basket of apples there will always be a bad one, but scandal-mongers and muckrakers give the impression that all the apples in the basket are bad. That is why scandal-mongers are so depressing. They are so intent on looking at the darkness that they cannot see the light. Despair is their lot.
And fourthly, those who engage in scandal-mongering are suffering from spiritual and psychological illness, a sickness of the soul, in which I do not share and do not wish to share. If they wish to show off their knowledge, then they are suffering from vanity. If their revelations make them feel superior, then they are suffering from pride. In any case they are suffering from a love of dirt which makes their souls cynical, hard, dry and judgemental. They will ultimately lose their already weak faith. This is not the path to salvation.
We are not scandalized because we are Orthodox Christians. We go to Church not for the sake of a bishop or a priest, but for the sake of Christ. We follow not the concerns of men, but the teachings of Christ, His Holy Mother and His Saints.