The Vatican has doubled the number of “deadly sins” from 7 to 14, expanding the 6th-century list to include pollution, genetic engineering, accumulating enormous wealth, dealing drugs, abortion, pedophilia and “social injustice.” The move comes as a surprise, and opens up all kinds of movie sequel possibilities for Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.
From the Times of London:
“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”.
I have to say, I’m a little concerned that “morally debatable” science would make the list. The science of Galileo and Copernicus was morally debatable once, and the wording at least makes it seem like a ban on all potentially contentious experimentation. Isn’t debate a good thing?
The swipe against polluters is nice to see, and refreshingly progressive, though the inclusion of wealth as a sin may have some critics saying that for someone who’s taken a vow of poverty, the Pope seems to do pretty well for himself.
Incidentally, the Times article also outlines the Church’s former punishments for the original “seven deadly sins”:
Pride: Broken on the wheel
Envy: Put in freezing water
Gluttony: Forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes
Lust: Smothered in fire and brimstone
Anger: Dismembered alive
Greed: Put in cauldrons of boiling oil
Sloth: Thrown in snake pits
Compared to the others, envy is looking pretty good.
UPDATE: This post has been picked up by Buzzfeed. (Thanks!)