7 New Deadly Sins - Are you screwed?

The Vatican, notoriously slow to change on anything, have rapidly moved with the times in the past 24 hours. They have decided to increase their traditional 7 deadly and mortal sins by double that number. And thankfully they are less about the individual and more about one's role in and on society.

Pope Gregory the Great drew up the original list in the 6th Century, which in trun was made popularly known through Dante's Inferno - they were pride, envy, gluttony, lust, wrath, greed and sloth. They have now been joined with the following newcomers:

8. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control
9. "Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research
10. Drug abuse
11. Polluting the environment
12. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor
13. Excessive wealth
14. Creating poverty

Well, we all know that for every vice there is a virtue. The original 7 holy virtues are: chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.

The original 7 offences also had interesting punishments:

Pride Broken on the wheel
Envy Put in freezing water
Gluttony Forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes
Lust Smothered in fire and brimstone
Anger Dismembered alive
Greed Put in cauldrons of boiling oil
Sloth Thrown in snake pits
Source: The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft; Ernst and Johanna Lehner

So what will the 7 new virtues be?

Well, one things seems certain. The top 1,125 Forbes gold horders and all living the lives of pseudo Kings and Queens are totally fucked!!!


varus said…
I take it you are serious?

The Vatican has actually released a new list of deadly sins?

ok, lets looks at them:

8. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control
- surly a moral issue and as such upto the individual.

9. "Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research
- In whic part of the bible is science disclaimed?

The others i can uderstand, but do we kneed them?

10. Drug abuse
11. Polluting the environment
12. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor
13. Excessive wealth
14. Creating poverty

The first onse surly covered most eventualities.

Proclamations like this just drive me away from the Church.
Damien Moran said…

you should know by now that I never kid around here;)

Indeed, I am 100% serious.

10. DA - Surely addicts are to be reached out to, not condemned by the church.

11. Poll. the Environ. - It would have been clearer to say 'Driving to mass is a sin'

12. The biggest contributors to the church are also the ones who create these problems.

13. What's excessive exactly?

14. Confirmation the WTO, IMF, WB are going to hell, speculators, etc. are going down under (and not to Australia)!

Do we need them? - maybe, maybe not. But it can't be such a bad thing that the focus is on the social impact of our lives and the focus is less on whether we swear the lord's name when we hit our fingernail with a hammer; eat an extra jelly bean in the cinema before we pay for our packet; or look at Mr./Mrs. Jones and think, hmmmm!
Quickroute said…
hmmm...I notice buggering school kids was left off the list by his Holiness, must've been an oversight I'm sure!
Anonymous said…
Seems to be a remaining ambiguity on the question of violence. Something we had clarity on in the first 3 centuries before we got co-opted by empire and the relativist ethic of the just war theory emerges.

Apparently Constantine (central in the co-option) was deployed in Britain when the news came through that his father had died and he was emperor of Rome. This may go someways to explaining the ginoromous statue to him outside of York Cathedral...if not justifying such bad taste.

The sin remains the church getting into bed with empire....and blessing/rationalising the violence that is central to empire building and maintenace

Both recent Popes have mused that the Just War theory may now be redundant given the nature of modern warfare technology. That a German Pope who played an arm role in WW2 just betaified Franz Jaggerstater who was martyred for refusing to join the same military the future pope joined...is an interesting development!

So with a relativist ethic applied to war and an absolutist pacifist ethic applied to abortion & stem cell research...of course there is little credibility or traction for the Church's position

Quickroute....child abuse (physical and sexual) abounds at every level of society (shrinks, medical professionals, boy scout leaders, teachers, "A for a Lay" academics. swimming coaches, hip rock scene liberals etc etc etc). To think it is a church, christian brothers, irish problem is to be distracted from engaging a serious problem.

Of course the church set itself up for a fall by only emphasising ethics in this area.
Anonymous said…
Here's my shallow response:

those new sins aren't quite as catchy as the good old ones, are they?
Damien Moran said…
Anon -

Catchy, that's true - one can hardly imagine a sequel with Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey where Kevin is going around finishing off people who throw litter out of their humvee windows; have backstreet cloning clinics; trade on the stock market and determine world trade rules (actually, this is one that might be interesting for a film); or heading off to Herat to slice open a farmer growing poppies for a living!

Hmmm, I'm beginning to convince myself that a blockbuster film could be made out of this extended list afterall!
Damien Moran said…

I remember some time ago a repentent protestant Dubliner asking my advice about whether I thought decapitating historical British imperialist statues in St. Patrick's and Christchurch cathedral were a legitimate and nonviolent act of resistance. I thought, why not!

Of course, educating the public with political graffiti on the statue would also be worthwhile - I wonder has that statue of Constantine ever got a dressing down from anti-imperialists?

It's true of course that priests or those in the religious life are only a fraction of society's sexual abuse perpetrators, but then again swimming coaches have never had a list of deadly sins - so the reaction from society and the faithful is justifiably one of extreme bitterness.

It does, however, as proven in Ireland by the lack of will to deal with how prevalent and widespread the problem of silence was (amongst cops, the faithful active within the church) within broader society bring us back to our own complicity in these issues.

We can hang, draw and quarter the gobshites who carry out such heinous deeds, but the majority were only able to carry on for so long and damage so many people due to the fact that the faithful and the society in which they operated granted them the role of omniscients.
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Damien Moran said…
That's it - I'm starting a campaign to make spamming the 15th deadly sin. Are ye with me???
geez said…
Simply more bullshit, exagerated press coverage from the mainstream sensationalist media.

Here's a more reasonable response, methinks from Catholic World News (which isn't always reasonable):

"When a second-tier Vatican official gives a newspaper interview, he is not proclaiming new Church doctrines. Archbishop Girotti was obviously trying to offer a new, provocative perspective on some enduring truths. The effort backfired-- but in a very revealing way.

An ordinary reader, basing his opinion only on the inane Telegraph coverage, might conclude that a "sin," in the Catholic understanding, is nothing more than a violation of rules set down by a group of men in Rome. If these rules are entirely arbitrary, then Vatican officials can change them at will; some sins will cease to exist and other "new sins" will replace them. But that notion of sin is ludicrous.

Sin is an objective wrong: a violation of God's law. What is sinful today will be sinful tomorrow, and a deadly sin will remain deadly, whether or not Telegraph editors recognize the moral danger. The traditional list of deadly sins remains intact; nothing has replaced it. Greed, gluttony, and lust are as wrong today as they were a day or a year or a century ago. If Archbishop Girotti referred to "new" sins, it is because some of the offenses he named (such as genetic manipulation) were impossible in the past, and others (such as international drug trafficking) are much more prevalent today, in a global society. Insofar as people could have engaged in these activities a century ago, they would have been sinful then as well.

A sin is not a sin because simply an archbishop proclaims it so. Sin, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us, "is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience…" The precepts of "reason, truth, and right conscience" do not shift in response to political trends, nor do they change at the whim of Vatican officials.

The fundamental point of the L'Osservatore Romano interview was that Catholics need to recover a sense of sin, make use of the sacrament of Confession, and receive absolution for their offenses. Sin, the archbishop insisted, is a reality that man cannot escape.

Archbishop Girotti said that the modern world does not understand the nature of sin. With their coverage of the interview, the mass media unintentionally underlined the prelate's point."
varus said…

that was a truly enlightened respose and i thank you for it. I agree that sin is eternal and that it does not depend on the Vatican. However, interpretation does and it is here that the Vatican can be, if it chooses, all powerful.

The point is not that the Vatican has created new sins, rather that it has proclaimed its own interpretation. To suggest that birth control is a sin is at the most debatable and at least tragically erroneous.
geez said…
I'm not so sure that "the Vatican" has ever proclaimed birth control to be a sin. Maybe so. I found this website that seems to consider the matter pretty thoroughly:

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