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New Catholic Deadly Sins

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    Monday, 10 March 2008, 16:06 GMT Fewer confessions and new sins By David Willey BBC News, Rome The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 11, 2008
      Monday, 10 March 2008, 16:06 GMT

      Fewer confessions and new sins

      By David Willey
      BBC News, Rome

      The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins
      by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent
      in what it calls an era of "unstoppable globalisation".

      Those newly risking eternal punishment include drug pushers, the
      obscenely wealthy, and scientists who manipulate human genes. So
      "thou shalt not carry out morally dubious scientific experiments" or
      "thou shalt not pollute the earth" might one day be added to the Ten


      Environmental pollution
      Genetic manipulation
      Accumulating excessive wealth
      Inflicting poverty
      Drug trafficking and consumption
      Morally debatable experiments
      Violation of fundamental rights of human nature

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "immediately after
      death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend
      into Hell".

      The new mortal sins were listed by Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti at
      the end of a week-long training seminar in Rome for priests, aimed at
      encouraging a revival of the practice of confession - or the
      Sacrament of Penance in Church jargon.

      According to a survey carried out here 10 years ago by the Catholic
      University, 60% of Italians have stopped going to confession
      altogether. The situation has certainly not improved during the past

      Catholics are supposed to confess their sins to a priest at least
      once a year. The priest absolves them in God's name.

      Talking to course members at the end of the seminar organised by the
      Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican department in charge of fixing
      the punishments and indulgences handed down to sinners, Pope Benedict
      added his own personal voice of disquiet.

      The seven deadly sins don't need modernising, secular law will suffice.

      Chris Ashworth, Australia

      "We are losing the notion of sin," he said. "If people do not confess
      regularly, they risk slowing their spiritual rhythm," he added. The
      Pope confesses his sins regularly once a week.

      Greatest sins of our times

      In an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano,
      Archbishop Girotti said he thought the most dangerous areas for
      committing new types of sins lay in the fields of bio-ethics and

      He also named abortion and paedophilia as two of the greatest sins of
      our times. The archbishop brushed off cases of sexual violence
      against minors committed by priests as "exaggerations by the mass
      media aimed at discrediting the Church".



      Father Gerald O'Collins, former professor of moral theology at the
      Papal University in Rome, and teacher of many of the Catholic
      Church's current top Cardinals and Bishops, welcomed the new
      catalogue of modern sins.

      "I think the major point is that priests who are hearing confessions
      are not sufficiently attuned to some of the real evils in our world,"
      he told the BBC News website. "They need to be more aware today of
      the social face of sin - the inequalities at the social level. They
      think of sin too much on an individual level.

      "I think priests who hear confession should have a deeper sense of
      the violence and injustice of such problems - and the fact that
      people collaborate simply by doing nothing. One of the original
      deadly sins is sloth - disengagement and not getting involved,"
      Father O'Collins said. The Jesuit professor now teaches at St Mary's
      University in Twickenham.

      "It was interesting that these remarks came from the head of the
      Apostolic Penitentiary," he said. "I can't remember a time when it
      was so concerned about issues such as environmental pollution and
      social injustice. It's a new way of thinking."
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