Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The New Deadly Sins

To keep up with today’s world, the Vatican has overhauled its list of mortal sins.

They’ve added several more to cope with the age of globalisation.

The new sins take aim at those who undermine society in far reaching ways, including by taking or dealing in drugs, polluting the environment, and engaging in "manipulative" genetic science.

Also new to the list are paedophilia, abortion, and social injustices that cause poverty or "the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few".

They join the long-standing evils of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride as mortal sins - the gravest kind, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession or penitence.

The church's revised position came as the Pope lamented the "decreasing sense of sin" in today's "secularised world," and falling rates of Roman Catholics going to confession.

Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said after a week-long Lenten seminar for priests that surveys showed 60 per cent of Catholics in Italy no longer went to confession.

He said priests must take account of "new sins which had appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation".

"Whereas sin in the past was thought of as being an individual matter, it now had social resonance," he said.

"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour's wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos," he said.

The old deadly sins

  • Envy
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Lust
  • Wrath
  • Pride

The new deadly sins

  • Polluting
  • Genetic modification
  • Experiments on humans
  • Social injustice
  • Poverty
  • Obscene wealth
  • Drugs

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