Monday, January 5, 2009

Vatican tells us what's new in sin

[Image from Vatican.va/news_services]

Isn't it wonderful that we have an international organization with a direct pipeline to the Almighty? The Roman Catholic Church, on more or less regular occasions, receives directives from on high to relay to the rest of us about what is and what isn't "sin."

Complicating the matter, however, is that God has told the Vatican impresarios there are two types of sin: venial and mortal. Venial sins are relatively minor, like telling a white lie. No biggie. Mortal sins, though, carry eternal weight. Unconfessed, these can send you to an eternity of hellfire.

Somewhere along about the 6th century C.E., a pope named Gregory defined what have become known as the Seven Deadly Sins. You won't find a list of these in the Bible, but nevertheless, they are bad. They are:

Lust
Gluttony
Greed
Sloth
Wrath
Envy
Pride

They are not only bad but they are pervasive. Can you name one single person you've known who has not committed all of them at some point in his/her life? Actually, when you think about it, when you put them all together, they sort of define the Vatican hierarchy.


Not only so, but the RC Church has traditionally also listed the following as mortal sins:

Murder
Contraception
Abortion
Perjury
Adultery



Now, however, having just received a communique from god herself, the Vatican says that while those sins are still "deadly," there are some other things we'd better be concerned about if we care at all for our immortal souls.

Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, the Vatican poohbah who heads up the Apostolic Penitentiary and who thus speaks for the pope and other high and mighty prelates, claims god said that engaging in the following will leave one with hell to pay:

Drug dealing
Being "obscenely" rich
Polluting the environment
Genetic engineering
Abortion (again)
Pedophilia
Causing social injustice

Girotto wants us to know the Church considers the Seven Deadlies as "individual matters," but that these new "sins" have "social resonance." [That makes no sense when you think about it! The Seven Deadlies can and usually do sure as hell lead to "social resonance"!]

"You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor's wife," warns Girotti, "but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos."

Furthermore, you put your mortal soul in danger by dealing in drugs, causing people to be poor, or having too damn much money.


Abortion continues to play its part as a really big sin. And Girotti noted that the Vatican was offended by whatever damages "the dignity and rights of women." That's just too funny, coming from an old dress-wearing celibate who claims his god won't allow women to be priests!

Oh, and the Church doesn't like pedophilia, in spite of the fact a fair percentage of its clergy have practiced it. Of course, the "media" has "blown up" the whole pedophilia scandal "to discredit the Church," says Girotti.

Of course.


I just think it wonderful that we are blessed with an institution which speaks for God and thus is able to tell the rest of us what is right and what is wrong. If only the media wouldn't keep confusing the issue by reporting on the evil that the Church and its priests commit!

Now, I just need to find a way to quit being "obscenely rich." Maybe just plain obscene is OK?

2 comments:

Bob Poris said...

Now if all Catholics would set the example, maybe others will follow. There are a lot of Catholics in the world, some are even Catholic priests. Then some of the 2000 plus Protestant denominations in the USA could follow; then the few million Jews and Muslims. If that happened maybe the unaffiliated would follow and peace would prevail, except in the Middle East.

Russell said...

I am confused. Wouldn't raining hellfire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah constitute polluting the environment?
It amazes and boggles the mind, to think that in some posh and opulent room in the Vatican, around a large table, a group of old, and fabulously dressed in medieval fassion, men debate and draw up a list of these sins. They then say, or hint or imply, that it is god's will. Not only do they want all believers to believe that, and adhere to it, but somehow they must convince themselves that it wasn't really themselves that made the list, but god acting through them.
The human mind is truly a wonder.

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