"Woe be to the man by whom the scandal cometh!"

This quote from the Bible (Matthew 18:7) is applied to Parnell by Mrs. Riordan as he married a divorced woman, Katharine O'Shea, with whom he had relations before her divorce. As divorce, not to mention adultery, is considered a sin by the Roman Catholic Church, this scandal damaged Parnell's standing among Irish Catholics.