Friday, March 14, 2008

The Pope Invents 7 New Deadly Sins

Although billed as a conservative, Benedict XVI has proved to be not only an autocrat but a revolutionary. Without convoking a Vatican council, he has taken it upon himself to revise Catholic teaching at will, adding and subtracting as the spirit (hopefully) moves him: first he disposed of limbo, the waystation for innocent sinners (i.e. the unbaptized) without saying whether under the new dispensation they will be admitted into heaven directly or not at all; next he reintroduced the Tridentine mass, which is celebrated in Latin with the priest facing the altar not the communicants; and now he has invented seven new deadly sins, as if there were not already enough ways for the faithful to be shoved into hell.

The seven original deadly sins are: pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. Since these mortal sins are 1500 years old, I will not raise any objection to them. They are exactly what they should be: a product of the age of feudalism intended to teach humility and resignation to the downtrodden; in short, to keep them in their place. The great, of course, didn't have to worry about committing mortal sins because the Church sold dispensations that allowed them to be as prideful, envious, gluttonous, lusty, angry, greedy and slothful as they could wish without forfeiting the hope of heaven. The notion that the meek would inherit the earth terrified the Church and she did everything in her power to prevent it. She blessed the "divine rule" of kings and threatened dissenters with fire and brimstone and not just in the hereafter. She was then as she is now and as she will always be: the accomplice and enabler of the powerful. Cubans recently had occasion to see what a perfect fit there still exists between a feudal church and a feudal state.

The seven new deadly sins proclaimed by Benefict XVI constitute an attempt to deny the feudal nature of the Church by solemnizing politically correct causes which, the pope hopes, will prove the Church's modernity and relevance. The newly-invented deadly sins are: practicing birth control, biochemical experimentation, drug abuse, pollution of the environment, widening divisions between rich and poor, excessive wealth and creating poverty.

You will note immediately one important difference between the old deadly sins and the new deadly sins. It used to be that you could only sin against God, yourself, or your fellow man. It is now also possible to sin against inanimate (or soul-less) objects such as trees, oceans and the atmosphere. No longer will the Church teach that God gave man dominion over the earth to satisfy his needs. Now he is only Mother Nature's caretaker and must answer in the afterlife for having offended our brother the tree and our sister the rainbow. Now, there is already a religion which attributes conscious life to objects and natural phenomena; it is tens of thousands of years old, that is, many times older than the Catholic religion. It is known as animism, or the religion of the forest. It is there, apparently, that the Church wishes to return the faithful. In any other age this would be known as heresy. In fact, this particular heresy was fought and extinguished by sword and fire at the birth of the Church. Now, under the rubric of "enviromentalism," it has been enshrined as a sacred precept of the Church. Where will the Church go from here? Will the pope in his next encyclical sanction the worship of the Sun-God to accommodate global warming?

It has now also become a triple-sin to widen divisions between rich and poor, create excessive wealth or excessive poverty. What is "excessive wealth" and what is "excessive poverty?" Marx didn't try to define those terms and neither does the pope. Sensible economists will argue that creating wealth actually bridges the divisions between poor and wealthy in a captalist society. But the Vatican condemned capitalism as "materialistic" in the 19th century and has never softened its opposition to it even as she used it, both licitly and illicitly, to enrich herself in the 20th. Can anything be more hypocritical than for the Church to blame poverty on the wealthy while herself being the richest institution on earth? There is enough excessive wealth in St. Peter's basilica alone to extinguish a large share of the world's excessive poverty. And what could the Church, the world's largest landholder, accomplish in the way of ending poverty if it ceded those lands to the poor for cultivation? Of course, the Church has always been very good at preaching charity to others (especially on its own behalf). But as pertains to herself, she is a Church of words not works.

The pope's inclusion of contraception among the deadly sins is the greatest blow that the Church could deal on behalf of abortion. If you eliminate birth control you increase exponentially the number of unwanted babies and hence of abortions. Just as no sensible human being could deny that abortion is murder, so is it impossible to reasonably claim that babies should be created for the expressed purpose of being aborted. This puts the Vatican in the same league as their arch-enemies, the proponents of stem-cell research. While condemning biochemical experimentation, the Church is facilitating it with its proscription on contraception. Finally, there is drug-abuse, which is now also a mortal sin. Why not alcoholism? Or pedophilia? I suppose the pope didn't want to send the whole clergy to hell.


Vana said...

As far as I know the church has always opposed birth control, it would do away with grow and multiply, but now is actually a sin, yes pedophilia should have been there for to me is the cruelest thing one could do to a child, as you say the church did not want to send it's own to hell, ah the church always inventing stuff to make it's minions run for their lives away from it.

Ms Calabaza said...

Wow MaT,
pretty controversial post. One of my favorite quotes is by Mahatmas Ghandi:

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

As a fallen Roman Catholic, I seem to have the same issues that you have with my church. How dare they teach what they don't preach?

I met a woman yesterday from El Salvador who told me her sister has 17 children. She cannot support these kids so is sending some over the border to the US to various family members. She is begging this woman to take her 14 year-old daughter and put her to work in the states so she can send some money home.

As much good as I believe Mother Teresa tried to achieve, can you imagine if she taught and made birth control an option for her flock?

Instead, we have millions of unwanted children in our world or in the alternative, aborted ones.

The greed of the Catholic Church is well documented. . . so, I won't even go there.

The cover-up of pedophilia is pathetic and I keep thinking that Cardinal Law of Boston is still living it up at the Vatican right now after years of sweeping pedophiles under the rug. He should be sitting in jail.

I think the hierarchy of the church is out of touch with the people and this proclamation by the pope and Cardinal Bertone's visit in Cuba clear illustrate that.

Although I am not an atheist, I recently read Christopher Hitchens' book, God is not Great: How Religion Ruins Everything and I found I agreed with a great deal of his thesis.

Anonymous said...

I was raised and still am a practicing Catholic but on this decision I agree.People obviously have alter, twist or change or even ignore many other scriptures in the bible.Some are absolutely ridiculous like,Thou shall not pollute the Earth.ah, yea Newsflash Pope...A little late with this one, isn't He?I mean, you'd think this one would get handed down before there was actually a problem. okay, second one..Thou shall beware genetic manipulation. This is outrageously silly. All sex and viral infections are genetic manipulation, as is growing near any modern commercial food crop.Meanwhile, throwing in a religious clunker to roadblock genetic engineering is counterproductive, because this is probably the only path to a sustainable future that there is, and is most assuredly the only path we know of where the results are demonstrated as being viable.

Moving to the next Sin...the obscenely rich..Look who's calling the kettle black. The scandal that rocked the world of international finance one of the most compelling real-life mysteries of the century: the involvement of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (I.O.R.), better known as the Vatican bank. Founded in 1942 to invest and increase the funds given to the Holy See for religious works, the I.O.R. is much like any other international commercial bank. It accepts savings and checking accounts, transfers funds in and out of the Vatican and makes investments. There are, however, some interesting differences in the bank, which is tucked away in the medieval tower of Sixtus V. Depositors must be connected with the Vatican. The list of those eligible includes members of the Curia (the Pope has a personal account, No. 16/16), the 729 permanent residents of Vatican City, and a small group of clergymen and laymen who have regular business dealings with the Vatican. No others need apply. The bank's assets are thought to be modest by international standards.Just so I understand...what's the dividing line between risque rich and obscenely rich? And does it just apply to individuals or would it also apply to institutions, like, say, you know, the Catholic Church?

And Thou shall not buy bag of weed from your friendly neighborhood drug dealer.

So, are Pharmacists on this hook, or off it? How about anesthesiologists (holy crap, spell check say I got that right...)? Does it depend on what the drugs are used for? If I sell Valium in the street corner, and my neighbor sells the same valium in a pharmacy, am I on the hook for a mortal sin while he's perfectly fine? Basically, is this a moral sin for failing to be properly licensed?

causing social injustice:

Well damn. I hope none of the founding fathers were Catholic. Damn "Boston Tea Party" and such, definite "social injustice" in their form of Government (and all others). Actually, "social inequality" is often called "social injustice". Does opposition to socialism and communism now count as a mortal sin? Should we really try to all starve together?

I think the world audience needs some clarification from the Church on some of these new sins that Mr. Spitzer "may" have committed with his "unsafe" sexual preferences.

Fantomas said...

Mat dejame saber si te gustaria tener aqui el Cuba Freedom Chat que tenemos funcionando so far 4 blogs have link together and now I am inviting you, mea visas si lo deseas para enviarte el code, solo haces un copy and paste y lo pones como post , le puedes poner una fecha futura para que se quede arriba. so far el feedback ha sido trremendo , esto es como los comments pero en vivo y a la gente le gusta eso