12. In its most usual sense the word offence means any action which goes ostensively against morality or decorum. The offence is not in the action itself so much as in the repercussion it may cause. The word always implies a certain amount of commotion and dispute. Many people are content if they avoid causing offence in public, because this would cause them to suffer loss of prestige, so hurting their pride. They do their best to hide their mistakes as this is sufficient to quieten their consciences. They are, as Jesus said: "As white sepulchres which are full of rottenness, like vessels which are clean without, but dirty within."
But in the evangelic sense the accepted meaning of the word 'offence', used so repeatedly, is very much more generalised and this is why in certain cases its meaning is not understood. It becomes not only that which affects the conscience of another person, but also everything which is the result of vice and human imperfections, every bad reaction from one individual to another, with or without repercussion. In this case the offence is the effective result of bad morality.