Littering Not New "Deadly Sin," Bishops Clarify

Say Vatican Didn't Publish List of 7 Modern Misdeeds

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LONDON, MARCH 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Reports that the Vatican has published a new list of the seven deadly sins of modern times that includes littering and economic inequality is simply not true, affirmed the episcopal conference of England and Wales.



The conference released a statement today clarifying that an interview published Sunday by L'Osservatore Romano with Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the tribunal of he Apostolic Penitentiary, was misinterpreted in the media as an official Vatican update to the seven deadly sins, laid out by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century.

"The Vatican has not published a new list of seven deadly sins; this is not a new Vatican edict," said the conference. "The story originated from an interview that Bishop Gianfranco Girotti gave to the L'Osservatore Romano in which he was questioned about new forms of social sins in this age of globalization."

The Vatican newspaper interviewed the bishop at the conclusion of a course that took place last week on the "internal forum" -- questions of conscience -- organized by the tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary to strengthen the training of priests in administering the sacrament of confession.

In the interview titled "Le Nuove Forme del Peccato Sociale" (The New Forms of Social Sin), journalist Nicola Gori asked the prelate what he thought are the new sins of the modern era.

Bishop Girotti responded: "There are various areas in which today we can see sinful attitudes in relation to individual and social rights.

"Above all in the area of bioethics, in which we cannot fail to denounce certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature, by way of experiments, genetic manipulation, the effects of which are difficult to prevent and control."

"Another area, a social issue, is the issue of drug use, which debilitates the psyche and darkens the intelligence, leaving many youth outside the ecclesial circuit."

The bishop also mentioned social inequality, "by which the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, feeding an unsustainable social injustice," and the "area of ecology."