Mortal Sins for the Noughties

So the Vatican has updated the of mortal sins to meet the needs of 21st century sinners. The new list includes environmental pollution; Genetic manipulation; Accumulating excessive wealth; Inflicting poverty;Drug trafficking and consumption; Morally debatable experiments; Violation of fundamental rights of human nature.  Abortion and paedophilia were also mentioned- although a spokesman said that cases involving Catholic priests had been exaggerated to discredit the church- I’m sure the victims don’t think they have been exposed clearly enough.

It of course begs the question of why add this new list of sins? Seemingly the problem is a dramatic falling off in the number of people attending confession. So the logic goes if you rbing the sins up to date people will confess. Interesting theory. The new sins are clearly directed towards corporate/social evil rather than personal responsibility. I fail to see how if people are refusing to face up to personal sin they are now going to go and confess to nameless, faceless corporate sin.

Of course the really key issue is the definition of sin and the problem of trying to define it in terms of specific acts.  The real problem with sin is the sinful human nature that leads to acts of sin and until that is dealt with then acts of sin will follow freely. And moving sins up and down a list of priorities is not going to change anything. Nothing less than a regenerate nature which is the fruit of Christ’s atoning sacrifice upon the cross can deal with mankind’s fallen nature.

The Vatican is falling into one of the great traps of our time- removing a sense of personal responsibility and culpability before God and replacing it with a generic sense of corporate evil. Not only does this undermine any sense of personal morality but it removes the gospel from ordinary people who are not engaged in corporate evil but who need the forgiveness that God alone can bring through Jesus Christ.

PS The original mortal sins were-Pride; Envy; Gluttony; Lust; Anger; Greed; Sloth

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