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Polluting the environment: one of 7 “new” mortal sins, Vatican says

March 11 2008:

Pollution is wrong, says the Vatican

Polluting the environment is now one of the seven “new” mortal sins for Roman Catholics .

The others, named by the Apostolic Penitentiary, and quoted in the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on March 5th, are: genetic modification, human experimentation, social injustice, causing poverty, financial gluttony, and drug abuse.

Head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, said that: "The sins of today have a social resonance as well as an individual one. In effect, it is more important than ever to pay attention to your sins."

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

This is the first time in 1500 years that the Church has published a new set of mortal sins, reflecting the new challenges of living in the world today.

Roman Catholics divide sins into venial sins, which are less secret, and mortal sins which threaten the soul with damnation unless they are absolved through confession and penitence. Orthodox, or Eastern Catholics do not recognise the same distinction between mortal and venial sins as the Latin Church.

This new list of mortal sins is an addition to the traditional list of “seven deadly sins” cited by Pope Gregory in the sixth century - of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride.

Catholics are speaking out to protect the environment

Clifton Cathedral in Bristol - taking an environmental lead


Link here for details of The Sound of Many Waters initiative and one year eco-programme by the Catholic Diocese of Clifton, in Bristol, UK.

Link here to find out more about ARC's Catholic Eco-Schools newsletter.

Article in The Times.

Article in The Times.

Article in The Daily Telegraph.

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