Calumny is worse than defamation, as by defamation you say something bad done by your brother, while by calumny you say something which your brother didn`t do and which was invented by your irrational passions and wickedness!
`Injustice spoke on your tongue (Psalm 51, 1). For this God will destroy you till the end` (Psalm 51, 4). Those who calumniated others and especially the priests opened the way to the devil and became demonized.
Saint Gregory the Thaumaturge, the Bishop of Neocaesarea studied in his youth in the famous – at that time – city of Alexandria. He was an exemplary student and many of his colleagues and even of his friends envied him. They talked to do something to humiliate him. They found a prostitute and told her: `We want you to say to the world that Gregory had been at you and debauched with you and we will pay you for this.` While Gregory was talking with some colleagues the woman showed up and started crying out: You had been at me at the brothel and you didn`t pay me. I want my money now!`
Gregory remained untroubled. The prostitute went on crying out as loud as she could and Gregory paid her to solve the problem. But when the woman took the money she became demonized: she fell down with rolling eyes and started crying and pulling her hair and bite herself terrifying the people who were present. Gregory was praying for her and the woman got rid of the devil and recovered. Then she confessed aloud the whole truth.
Thus it is possible when you calumniate, especially holy persons, to open the gate of your soul and the devil that waits such opportunities may enter within and you become demonized.
Excerpt from The words may hurt – how not to be unjust through word – Archimandrite Vasilios Bacoianis, Tabor Publishing, via http://doxologia.ro