We’ve got some new additions to the Deadly Sins, the ones that will get you consigned straight to hell as soon as you die.
“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbour’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said.
Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few”.
He said that two mortal sins which continued to preoccupy the Vatican were abortion, which offended “the dignity and rights of women”, and paedophilia, which had even infected the clergy itself and so had exposed the “human and institutional fragility of the Church”.
The mass media had “blown up” the issue “to discredit the Church”, but the Church itself was taking steps to deal with it.
The article also mentions using contraception is a mortal sin.
It’s a strange list. There are a couple that are common practices of the Catholic church itself, the excessive accumulation of wealth and pedophilia (and isn’t that just the cutest little disclaimer? The church is “taking steps to deal with it” — which usually means hushing it up and sending the offending priest off to virgin hunting grounds). Does the Vatican really haven any credibility when an old guy in silk robes encrusted with jewels declares the virtues of poverty?
The dictum against polluting the environment is a good one, but awfully vague. Is he promoting a zero-carbon footprint? Is he arguing against nuclear power? Should we stop exhaling carbon dioxide? Similarly, the prohibition against drugs isn’t very specific — are all pharmacists going to hell now?
Declaring that meddling in the fate of embryos is also terribly broad, suggesting that all developmental biologists are also going to hell. This is one mean and nasty pope, I think — he has me damned on several counts!
And I’m sorry, but it is not defending the dignity and rights of women to deny them family planning. It also contradicts any sincere desire to improve the livability of the planet to argue that people are not allowed to take simple action to limit their fecundity.
But of course this is all an exercise in empty rhetoric. The pope does not have any better knowledge of the mind of any god than I do, and does not know anything about the actual fate of human souls after death. It is a bit presumptuous to be declaring that there is an immortal omnipotent being who will torture you for eternity for putting a condom on, don’t you think?