Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Calling my Catholic readers

Hey folks, those of you who know where to find information (*cough* Ryan *cough*), what can you tell me about this story?

After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice.

Now, not being Catholic, I'm not really concerned with this to any great degree. Still, I'd love some more details about this and the rationale behind it. I have to assume that "genetic engineering" has a very specific meaning to the bishops who wrote that, or else the Catholic Church risks alienating a large swath of the scientific world. It would essentially tell the entire biological sciences community that their profession is a mortal sin. Is that what they did here? I'd say probably not, but then the news story isn't clear.

And what does "causing social injustice" mean? That starts sounding like some of the more liberal, social theology that's penetrated certain parts of the Catholic Church, so I'm even more curious what the details are in this.

So, Catholic readers . . . anyone know where I can get more details on this?

2 comments:

-Murphy said...

Everything I've read on it seems to indicate that the Bishop was trying to give examples of sins in a modern context, rather than trying to propose seven new "deadly sins". "Accumulating excessive wealth" is greed or gluttony (though what "excessive" is is hard to pin down), "pedophilia" is lust, drug dealing is... I guess greed? Sloth? Maybe gluttony?

The point being that even in the article, it seems that the Bishop's point is that people have an antiquated idea of sin and don't think of things that are done in the modern world as sinful.

That "genetic engineering" is included is troubling, as it smacks of the same kind of hysteria that caused much of Africa to reject genetically engineered crops that could have saved millions and causing social injustice is rather vague.

It seems to be part of the same sense of reaching Catholics as brought us the Ten Commandments of Driving last year.

Vanadis said...

A bit late maybe, but some useful links on this story can be found at GetReligion

http://www.getreligion.org/?p=3265
http://www.getreligion.org/?p=3255
http://www.getreligion.org/?p=3267

Hope that helps