St. Benedict on how to deal with trouble-makers in the church.


Rule of St. Benedict

“If any pilgrim monk from distant parts wish as a guest to dwell in the monastery, and will be content with the customs which he finds in the place, and do not perchance by his lavishness disturb the monastery, but is simply content with what he finds: He shall be received, for as long a time as he desires.

If, indeed, he find fault with anything or expose it, reasonably and with the humility of charity, The Abbot shall discuss it prudently, lest perchance God had sent him for this very thing.

But if he have been found gossipy and contumacious [ rebellious or stubbornly disobedient towards authority] in the time of his sojourn as guest, not only ought he not be joined to the body of the monastery, but also it shall be said to him, honestly, that he must depart.* If he does not go, let two stout monks, in the name of God, explain the matter to him”.

*Some manuscripts include at this point, “…depart, lest by sympathy with him, others also become contaminated.”

I think this should be the rule for everyone who attends or joins the local church!