The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent in what it calls an era of “unstoppable globalisation”.  The new seven sins are:

  • Environmental pollution
  • Genetic manipulation
  • Accumulating excessive wealth
  • Inflicting poverty
  • Drug trafficking and consumption
  • Morally debatable experiments
  • Violation of fundamental rights of human nature

The original seven were:

  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Gluttony
  • Lust
  • Anger
  • Greed
  • Sloth

Father Gerald O’Collins, former professor of moral theology at the Papal University in Rome, and teacher of many of the Catholic Church’s current top Cardinals and Bishops, welcomed the new catalogue of modern sins:

I think the major point is that priests who are hearing confessions are not sufficiently attuned to some of the real evils in our world … They need to be more aware today of the social face of sin – the inequalities at the social level. They think of sin too much on an individual level.

I think priests who hear confession should have a deeper sense of the violence and injustice of such problems – and the fact that people collaborate simply by doing nothing. One of the original deadly sins is sloth – disengagement and not getting involved.  

It is good to see the Church continuing to engage with modern society – I want to do some more thinking about the list – have they got the right things, and what does it mean for us today but I appreciate the church acknowledging that some of the biggest sin is us doing nothing, this is especially obvious in the middle of Fair-Trade fortnight where so many of the problems are down to us not really doing anything.


Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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