Sinners and Saints


From the time we are children, we are taught that certain things are immutable. Things like death, taxes, the love of a good dog…these things were supposed to be unchangable by time and tide. Other such things were the time tested Seven Deadly Sins. Oh how wrong we were.

The Vatican, deciding the classic line-up of sins was no longer sufficient for our social injustice conscious modern world, added an additional seven to make them the Fourteen Deadly Sins. No official confirmation as of yet from the Pope on a rumored Eleventh Commandment.

I suppose I would not be so offended or amused by this if there were serious, reputable sins being added. Racism perhaps, or Sexism….Genocide would be a good one. Clerical sexual abuse maybe?

But Pollution?

Stem Cell Research???


If Lack of Perspective were included as one of these not-so-deadly sins, I guarantee that Cardinal would be going straight to hell on a trivialization of evil rap.

The following story has been reposted from Bloomberg.

Vatican Lists Seven Social Sins, Including Drug Abuse

By Flavia Krause-Jackson

March 10 (Bloomberg) — The Vatican has put together a list of seven “social” sins that includes excessive wealth, drug abuse, littering, genetic tampering and creating poverty.

Echoing the concept of the seven cardinal vices — set to paper by Pope Gregory I in the sixth century — the new list adds a social dimension, Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, said in an interview yesterday with the Vatican’s official newspaper l’Osservatore Romano.

“You offend God not only by stealing, taking the Lord’s name in vain or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by wrecking the environment, carrying out morally debatable experiments that manipulate DNA or harm embryos,” said Girotti, who is responsible for the body that oversees confessions.

Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out on social issues throughout his three-year papacy. He backs a current political initiative to outlaw abortions after 90 days and encouraged Catholics to abstain from a 2005 referendum on easing restrictive laws on fertility treatments, which failed to achieve the 50 percent participation level to make the vote to change the law binding.

The seven social sins are:

1. “Bioethical’ violations such as birth control

2. “Morally dubious” experiments such as stem cell research

3. Drug abuse

4. Polluting the environment

5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

6. Excessive wealth

7. Creating poverty

The original deadly sins:

1. Pride

2. Envy

3. Gluttony

4. Lust

5. Anger

6. Greed

7. Sloth



  1. “Excessive wealth” Doesnt that make the Pope a sinner?

    “Bioethical” violations such as birth control?!??! What about all those well intended catholics having babies because it’s a sin to end a pregnancy, and end up living in (creating) poverty because they cant provide for their “blessing from god”… are they sinners?

    “Polluting the environment”? Might one call the endless sprawl of man created structures “Polluting the environment”?

    Oh and #5 “Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor” Isn’t that a bit redundant? Doesn’t #6 and #7 cover that?

    And doesn’t “drug abuse” already get covered by the old “gluttony” rule?

    I am sorry, but… Didn’t someone.. ANYONE come out and say…

    “umm, with all due respect your eminence… but… erm… ARE YOU ON CRACK?!?!”

  2. can you say “attention whore” ?

    I am sure all those around him are on the same crack as he.

  3. With all due respect to the Bishop of Rome* … I really have to disagree with a couple of these.

    The alleviation of human suffering should be one of the highest goals of mankind, and I can make the case that advancing medicine via stem cell research is far from “morally dubious”. And as Miss Serra alludes to above, I could not personally agree with any policy that allows overpopulation, or the unimpeded transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, e.g., due to lack of appropriate contraception. Such a policy itself can be termed its own bioethical crisis.

    Along with the alleviation of suffering/the improvement of the human condition, proper care of the environment, and promotion of social justice should be higher priorities across the board, for everyone.

    For those readers watching from the religious sidelines, please remember that the Bishop of Rome does not speak for, nor hold sway over all of Christendom.

    Now, with this post, all I need to do is make some political comment somewhere, and I will have broken the old taboo against public commentary on politics, religion, and sex. Frankly, I’d prefer to comment upon the latter, and I’m sure Bardhaven can serve up the appropriate catalyst posts for us.

    * I will leave it up to the reader to determine how much respect is due that position, and not offer my interpretation.

  4. I thought that the first time there were some tablets from god and a burning bush? Are the vatican simply cutting out god and making up their doctrine now?

  5. Well, the Seven Deadly Sins were never said to be divine word like the 10 Commandments, but still, after being unchanged for 14 Centuries it is hard to think they need much revision.

    As for the concept of organized religions and their beliefs, seeing as my faith is best known for talking to torched shrubbery, refusing to stop to ask directions for 40 freakin’ years, and viewing bacon double cheeseburgers as the gateway to hell, I live in much too glassy a house to huck too many stones.

    The thing I always liked about the 7DS was that they dealt with cause, not effect. No sweating the details about sins, but getting right to the root issue. Why discuss murder as a sin when you can deal with the sources of most violence – Anger, Lust, Greed, Envy. The new ones go the other way, specific sins that it is really hard to work out the roots of, and which are highly debatable as sins to begin with. The first seven deal with passion, the new seven deal with politics.

    Of course, I like most people, tended to treat the 7DS as, to quote Hector Barbossa, more as guidelines, rather then rules. At times, they have been like the 4 Food Groups, to be balanced against one another in moderation. I also understood that some, like sloth, were really out of place on the list but were added so the Bishop’s serfs would understand hell awaited them unless they grew more turnips.

    Finally, I agree with the comments above that it seems to me that refraining from certain of these new sins would be the true sins. Anyone care to make their own list of 7 new sins? One a bit more relevant towards making the world a better place for all?

  6. A better list of Seven (additional) Deadly Sins? You had a good start, Baron. Were I declared Papessa, I would declare the following list:

    Negative Prejudice (Racism, Sexism, etc.)

    Negligence (at Zealot’s suggestion, which covers polluting the environment and a host of other things)

    Destruction of Human Accomplishments (Art, History, Science, etc)

    Harming Children

    Harming Oneself

    Creating Drahmah

    Using “full bright” on any objects that are not meant to be lights.

  7. My additions for the 7DS…

    Discrimination (Prejudice comes too closer to trying to legislate attitude. You can’t expect people not to feel prejudice, just from acting on it through discrimination)

    Negligence (covers a lot of sins)

    Slander (covers all word-based sins…libel, etc)

    Abuse of Public or Private trust (again, a major catch all)



    Rigidity (covers all the sins of judgement)

  8. As for the concept of organized religions and their beliefs, seeing as my faith is best known for talking to torched shrubbery, refusing to stop to ask directions for 40 freakin’ years, and viewing bacon double cheeseburgers as the gateway to hell, I live in much too glassy a house to huck too many stones.

    *cackles insanely and stops with effort*

    Err, ahh, sorry. That was amusing.

    But good gods, I thought you were joking. I hoped you were joking. I actually went off and researched this one, and got briefly despondent over the state of Catholic intelligence.

    Then I got slightly irked. At best, they’ve got *three* “sins” there that overlap–birth control and stem cell research, that’s really one category; and 5-7, that’s really one category, and…aren’t 5-7, truly, just subsets for “Greed”? Which is already in the–and you’ve already pointed this out–‘guideline set’ that includes the original ‘deadly sins’.

    Vague as it is, I like your list of ‘new’ seven deadlies…but at the same time, I also agree with your conclusions–the ‘new’ seven ‘moral’ sins are all political, changeable. Catholics shouldn’t get farther away from the core work of Biblical teachings, but these seem designed to separate them more from the word and land them into the far-from-authoritative lands of political correctness.

    What I find myself wondering on, though, more than anything else–everyone seems bound to rush out rules and thou-shan’ts and pass laws against various aspects of bioengineering, out of sheer unadulterated panic, it seems like–when the technology isn’t even there.

    And okay, that’s a yet, and yes, we’re moving into such regions–but really, no one’s growing human clones from recombinant frog and hippo DNA to take over the world with ubersoldiers that can bound out of water sources at will to slay misbehaving tourists despoiling Tahiti–so, why the rush?

  9. My dear Miss Orr, you don’t honestly think Steve Irwin’s death was an accident, do you?

  10. Well, but if they were trying to get him off the air? They FAILED.

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