Greed, sloth, pride, envy, lust, gluttony and anger just don’t cut it anymore. In a startling revelation, the Catholic Church has adopted new social sins to scare its members into confessing.
For the sake of brevity, here is the list of new offenses: “Bioethical” violations such as birth control, “Morally dubious” experiments such as stem cell research, drug abuse, creating poverty, contributing to widening divide between rich and poor, excessive wealth, and polluting the environment.
Now, I completely understand where the Church could be coming from. Times have changed and with it the world has evolved into a technological machine. However, the motive behind the introduction of these social sins appears to stem from the lack of confessions seen in recent years. If there is nothing on this list that applies to you, you are a saint and have no need to confess. However, the Catholic Church must realize that most items on this list will apply to a large majority of people and it is a cry for churchly attention.
Demonizing drug abuse and addiction is a huge social problem, but it is also an illness that affects millions of people world wide. People are hospitalized for these problems and spend vast amounts of money on therapy and detoxification programs. People already do what they can to help loved ones afflicted with these illnesses, just like any other illness.
The next three social sins all tie together – creating poverty, widening the gap between rich and poor, and excessive wealth. I don’t think anybody honestly tries to create poverty. Money doesn’t bring happiness, but I bet those who are excessively wealthy and those who are in extreme poverty would beg to differ. I don’t think it is fair to tell people who worked extremely hard to reach their positions of wealth that they are social sinners.
I think what the purpose of these sins could be is to encourage people to donate money perhaps – but donate money to who? The Church, as I said, is facing a serious slide in confessors – could that also mean a slide in donations? Does the Church want people to give up all their money? By issuing these three sins, the Church is basically saying 1. Don’t have money unless you are the Church. 2. Give your money away to people who may not be trying to earn an income. 3. If you don’t do these first two you are creating poverty and that is a sin.
My biggest problem comes from the last sin on the list – polluting the environment. At this point, polluting the environment is unavoidable. Most of us drive cars – now a sin. Those who don’t drive cars maybe take the bus – sin. Many people smoke cigarettes – sin. People fail to recycle – sin. People litter – sin. We’re all going to hell, and it seems the Catholic Church had South Orange County in mind when they created this list.