Seven Social Sins?

With apologies to Subadei who blogged this story, reporting on it has been awful:

Soob: The Vatican’s Seven Social Sins
It’s been about a millenia and a half since the subject of that which renders the souls of sinners to a fiery eternity was last visited upon by Pope Gregory I.

Today the Vatican released something of an update to the seven deadly sins; The Seven Social Sins:

…Despite being baptized Catholic I’ve always engaged dogma from either a dismissive direction (my childhood) or one of suspicion (now.) Suspicion because, for example, it’s not at all hard to triangulate recent political events, recent Vatican commentary and some of this latest bit of church edict. There’s a certain amount of convenience present here which seems to defy much of what I’ve read of the Christian doctrine. There’s a fine line between piety and punitiveness; between faith and judgment. The latter of which, if I’ve read correctly, is reserved solely for God and yet…

I do not know what is going on with the story.  I doubt it’s dogma.  Was this released by an Office?  A Vatican office or a Holy See office?  Which one?  Is this draft, or final?  The bureaucracy of every modern nation-state’s is arguably based on the Church’s, but there’s no analysis or description on what’s going on.  Even supposedly good sources of information, like Foreign Policy, are filled with ignorant and hateful derision.

12 thoughts on “Seven Social Sins?”

  1. Hindustan Times has a good story with a bad headline: Vatican’s new seven deadly sins

    Bottom Line Up Front: There is no list of “deadly” mortal sins

    Globalisation has caught on at the Vatican. The Catholic Church on Sunday updated the 1,500-year-old list of seven deadly sins, publishing the new list in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

    Now, the souls of drug-pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and “manipulative” genetic scientists will go to Hell, unless they repent and seek redemption.

    The list came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “securalised world”.

    Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body that oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said priests must take account of “new sins which have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalisation”.

    The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins. It holds mortal sins to be ‘grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes’ and holds that ‘the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell’.

    There is no definitive list of mortal sins , but believers accept the seven deadly sins laid down in the sixth century by Pope Gregory the Great and popularised by Dante in The Inferno: lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride.

  2. Catholicgauze,

    Thank you for the very informative comment.

    Indeed, it’s unknown if any mortal has ever died in a state of mortal sin.

    I didn’t realize that this list is to be used in the distribution of indulgences. That makes sense.

  3. “The list came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “securalised world”.”

    Isn’t sin essentially a religious concept? How can we define ‘secular sins’ when most secular proscriptions have the same root as religious ones?

    Is the Pope saying that people who don’t believe in Catholic doctrine should still follow their rules, or is it just another way of promoting Catholicism as the one true faith?

  4. Rob,

    Maybe both. Certaintly nonbelievers would not recognize these seven issues as sins, but maybe just moral guidelines. They are pretty straightforward and universal, so I don’t think there is anything outlandish about them.

  5. No apologies necessary, Dan. I heard an interview on NPR today with a Bishop (I think, can’t recall his name) who when asked if these sins were venial or mortal replied that it “depends” on the severity of the sin.
    How would you define being “in the state of a mortal sin?”

    Stephen, I’m going to have to disagree with your assertion that these social sins are universal in terms of moral acceptance. Specifically the first two:

    1. “Bioethical’ violations such as birth control

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

  6. “The list came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “securalised world”.”

    I find the above pretty funny.

    New sins 4-7 are all political sins aimed to re-enforce leftist agendas.

    Missing from the list: Molesting/Raping alter boys and covering up aka facilitating the molestation/rape of alter boys.

    Here is my post on it:

    http://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/the-crap-that-is-the-vacticans-new-list-of-seven-social-sins/

  7. People are mixing up terms.

    The “seriousness” of sin is objective. Stealing a dollar as opposed to managing the Auschwitz death camp.

    To be “mortal” a sin must be serious. But being serious is a necessary but not sufficient condition for it to be mortal.

    Sins are committed by persons. A rock or a fish cannot sin. The rock obeys the laws of nature, a fish does that but also possesses instincts. Humans have free will. All human persons have a subjective element, and that is part of the calculus.

    The catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

    “Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.”

    Note, full knowledge and complete consent, the two additional elements beyond seriousness. This tracks the Church’s usual division of the personality into intellect and will. To commit a mortal sin both must be engaged.

    The idea that these are “new sins” strikes me as wrong. All good actions fall under one or another of the cardinal virtues (prudence, fortitude, temperance and justice). Similarly, all sins fall under the traditional categories. “New” sins just mean the application to current conditions of the established descriptions of wrongful behavior.

    See also:

    “For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.”

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1859.htm

    http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1857.htm

  8. Speaking of Deadly Sins, Geraldine Ferraro has found herself in some serious trouble for dissenting from the State Religion of Political Correctness. Here’s what she said:

    “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

    This comment has lead to the Obama people calling for the firing of Ferraro. The Clinton people have also displayed their required displeasure for the comment as well.

    Aside from the entertainment value, this comment is very significant. In one of my first posts at this blog, I perdicted that in the future, white liberals will start reacting in “funny” ways to their normally very loyal colored companions turning their backs on them. For years, minorities (especially blacks) have displayed strict obedience to their white liberal “champions.” Bill Clinton was even referred to as “the first black President” for his intense loyalty to the African American community.

    But that’s changing now. Minorities are gaining their own power in this country today, which means that white liberals are loosing one of their most loyal constituants. The idea that a very liberal-almost socialist-politico would say something that in the past, only right wingers would say marks a very significant change and is just the tip of the iceberg of what we’ll be seeing in the future.

    Link to story:
    http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2008/03/ferraros-if-oba.html

  9. Seerov,

    In the part of the interview I heard, Ferraro said that in 1984, if her name had been Gerald she wouldn’t’ve been on the ticket. I think Ferraro is accurate. Not everyone who is qualified gets a chance to be President.

    Earlier, I condemned Hillary’s identity politics [1], and applauded Obama from staying away from that poison. Sadly, as his camp now raises a ruckus about this, it’s clear he’s gone down in the mud as well.

    PurpleSlog,

    Thanks for the link!

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/01/16/identity-politics-hillary-and-barack.html

  10. TDAXP…different topic.

    I just happened to go to your blog with IE instead of firefox. It looks really nice. I thought your new site has been under construction for awhile because under firefox I see none of the nice formatting, colors, or images.

    Does everybody see it this way under firefox, or just me? Any suggestions?

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