Monday, March 10, 2008

Vatican on Mortal Sins

From FoxNews:

After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession.

…The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell.”

…Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican body which oversees confessions and plenary indulgences, said after a week-long Lenten seminar for priests that surveys showed 60 percent of Catholics in Italy no longer went to confession.

He said that priests must take account of “new sins which have appeared on the horizon of humanity as a corollary of the unstoppable process of globalization.” Whereas sin in the past was thought of as being an individual matter, it now has “social resonance.”

“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said.

Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few.”
Update: It looks like this story was misreported by most News agencies. For a Catholic perspective see here and here. The original source of the material (L’Osservatore Romano) should be available online in the next day or two.

18 comments:

------- Theo ------- said...

I'd like to see the real source of this report. I'm suspicious, given that right off the bat, the article seems to equate "mortal sin" with breaching the ten commandments, implying that the Vatican has suddenly added to them.

This report has the feel of the "ten commandments of driving" hoopla from last year, reported in a manner to make it seem like the Church is playing fast and lose with God's directives, when the reality is nothing more than a summary of some Christian application in the modern world of already revealed, ancient moral truth.

For example, although I wonder what Bishop Girotti would instruct the rich to consider the tipping point in wealth-gathering, there is at least a good precedent if we believe Jesus spoke literally about rich men, camels and eyes of needles.

Even so, are we looking at something lifted from a personal opinion, summary or homiletical advice, or an official Vatican declaration? My guess is the last is NOT what we’re seeing at all. Media reports on Church doctrine tend to be even less accurate than those found on some particular blogs known for partial and / or creatively interpretive reporting.

As always, I remain by grace, your humble servant and brother in Christ,
--Theo

------- Theo ------- said...

"the article seems to equate "mortal sin" with breaching the ten commandments, implying that the Vatican has suddenly added to them."

I meant to write: "The seven deadly sins," not "the ten commandments," in reference to the quoted article.

BJ Buracker said...

Carrie,

Actually this article is incorrect, just as Theo has pointed out. Eric Scheske, of The Daily Eudemon, and one of his commentors have pointed out the error in the reporting. The Vatican is declaring "new" sins to be of grave matter, and thus mortal if done with knowledge and full intent. It is not adding to the list of Seven Deadly Sins. It's just bad reporting by the British media.

In Christ,

Stupid Scholar

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I confess it strikes me as being a very strange article. How are any of these things to be defined? Am I "ruining the environment" by merely failing to pick up litter on the ground? Most of science has debatable moral elements to it, that's why we have debates about it. It's all kind of vague.

Strong Tower said...

Well, since the disiples thought that it applied to them and all other people rich and poor alike: "Who then can be saved." I guess it doesn't matter what the bish might think!

And, it really doesn't matter what the circumstances of the pronouncement are. It is just as foolish to name any so called mortal or venial sins, let alone greenial sins. We are condemned by the act of one man Adam, and are justified by the One man Christ. Nothing else matters.

So, whether the Pope is misquoted or taken out of context, a buffoon remains a buffoon.

rr1213 said...

There is nothing new under the sun. Any "new" sin is merely an updated variation on the common sins of old.

James Swan said...

The Vatican is declaring "new" sins to be of grave matter, and thus mortal if done with knowledge and full intent.

If God is infinite in holiness & righteousness, what finite creature, with whatever minor imperfection of moral character, could stand in His presence? [See Isa 6:1-7] I would be interested in knowing how Isaiah's "unclean lips" are classified according to Rome's schema. Why did Isaiah consider himself "ruined" in verse 5?

James Swan said...

We are condemned by the act of one man Adam, and are justified by the One man Christ. Nothing else matters.

Good point. sometimes we forget, we do not die because God punishes us for our own mortal sins. We die because we are condemned in Adam. I would be interested in knowing how Rome "classifies" the sin of Adam in their schema. For instance, everytime we sin, we make a choice not to obey God. God says don't do it, and we do what we want instead. This is what Adam did, and look at the consequences.

On a related While the RCC, if I recall, doesn't state if Mary was bodily assumed alive or dead, by RC implication, she must have been alive when taken, for death would mean she was a condmened child of Adam, as we all are.

James Swan said...

"On a related While"

should say, "On a related point, While..."

Mike Burgess said...

James Swan said:
"Good point. sometimes we forget, we do not die because God punishes us for our own mortal sins. We die because we are condemned in Adam."

Doesn't Romans 5:12 say "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"? [emphasis added, obviously]

There's something I don't quite get about how the condemnation of man in Adam therefore militates against the view that God punishes our sins. This seems to be what you're saying, and I know that can't be right.

The Bible nor the Church have pronounced officially whether Mary died before the Lord assumed her into heaven. You are correct that Munificentissimus Deus does not address the question of her separation of soul and body. Hebrews does tell us that Enoch did not see death when he was assumed. The Eastern Churches commemorate the Dormition of our Lady, and assert that she died naturally, but there is a different schema associated with their view of original sin and the consequences of sin and death, etc.

Ott (Fundamentals, Book III, Pt. 3, Ch. 2, §6) says this:
""for Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin. However, it seems fitting that Mary's body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death..."

Chad Toney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad Toney said...

Thanks for posting the update, Carrie. Another good roundup of the recent hack journalism is

PS. I like your graphic design work.

James Swan said...

Doesn't Romans 5:12 say "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"? [emphasis added, obviously] There's something I don't quite get about how the condemnation of man in Adam therefore militates against the view that God punishes our sins. This seems to be what you're saying, and I know that can't be right.

We are indeed punished for our own sins, as is obvious from the Bible. However, the Scriptures also state death is the result of our fall in Adam. I suggest reading all of Romans 5-

14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15….For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

16 …The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation…

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man,…

18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men..

Munificentissimus Deus does not address the question of her separation of soul and body. Hebrews does tell us that Enoch did not see death when he was assumed.

That’s a good point about Enoch.

However, the implication of Mary being assumed alive has to be weighed accordingly. If Mary was freed from original sin before her birth (rather than baptism), and committed no personal sin, she stands neither condemned in Adam, nor condemned for her own actions. It must follow that Mary had to be assumed because she would not have died. She would still be walking the earth today. There’s a Highlander joke in all this somewhere, but I’m too tired to put it together.

I’m not sure why there would be any debate on this- although, I admit, I don’t know every fine point of distinction and delineation Rome makes in order to stretch language and reason to accommodate whatever Rome needs logic and the Bible to state. If Rome needs to allow for the possible death of Mary in order to maintain homeostasis, well fine. Rome has already stretched logic and the Bible to state that Mary was sinless, and that her body was assumed, so it’s obvious they can come up with whatever they want, and need to come up with. Rome has Mary making appearances and visiting children with messages. Rome has people praying to Mary. So, if you (and Rome) need Mary to have the possibility of dying, well then have it. I would not dare to convince you otherwise. If you can already believe what Rome DOES teach about Mary, you will believe anything Rome teaches on Mary- if they teach she could have possibly died, well, no amount of logic will convince you otherwise.

James Swan said...

PS. I like your graphic design work.

Chad,

I admit, I’m not always good at decoding people’s motives and intentions, but what does the link you posted have to do with either Carrie or “graphic design work” or her “graphic design work”? The link doesn’t even appear to be yours, but rather links to what appears to be a Catholic blog by Amy Welborn Dubruiel. Now, I’m not much of a conspiratist, but are you suggesting Amy and Carrie are the same person? If so, and I’ve been duped by a Catholic [or reversely, Catholics have been duped by a Protestant], you get the Columbo Investigative blogger award of the year.

BJ Buracker said...

James,

Your comment about Mary made me think of the Tree of Life, and I'm curious what your thoughts are. You said,

It must follow that Mary had to be assumed because she would not have died. She would still be walking the earth today.

Would this necessarily be true? Wouldn't she also need to eat of the Tree of Life, which we have lost contact with? I have read several theologians who link Adam's potential eternal life to the Tree.

Also, this brings up an interesting question about the relationship between physical death and Original Sin. Obviously, death has entered the world because of Adam's sin. However, not all physical death can be linked to Original Sin. For instance, clearly all creation groans because of Adam, and now animals die because of Adam. However, I don't think I'd ascribe Original Sin to animals. So what is the link between Original Sin and physical death? This may seem like a really basic question, and I apologize if it is.

Depending on how that is fleshed out, based on Catholic Dogma, I could see how it could be argued that Mary, while not being tainted with O.S., still felt the effects of sin in the world (i.e. death), in ways analogous to the rest of creation.

For the record, I don't buy that, because I don't buy Mary's sinlessness. I just wonder if her sinlessness requires an assumption without death.

Just some thoughts.

BJ

Stupid Scholar

Chad Toney said...

James,

No, it was an html error. The link was supposed to go with the word "here" at the end of my main paragraph, in order to provide more info on the Mortal Sins news story.

The PS comment wasn't supposed to be involved in the link at all.

I tried this twice and even after a correct preview, it didn't turn out correctly! Sorry!

Strong Tower said...

But, we do know that Mary sinned after her birth:

She did not know who Jesus was; Did you not know I had to be about my Fathers's business.

She failed to recognize his proper role; Woman what does that have to do with me.

She thought him crazy: His mother and brothers sought to have him put away thinking he was insane.

She abandons him at the cross and goes into hidding with the disciples.

She disbelieved him concerning the resurrection; she went to prepare the body for final burial.

All fulfilled what the angel proclaimed; a sword would pierce her own heart also.

Mary was no different than any manchild ever.

So what is the link between Original Sin and physical death?

Perhaps death shows that the flesh which is the sin nature is undercondemnation and this still proclaims the judgement of God against sin. We also know, that we enter into Christ through his death, however, he has said that we have to take up our cross and follow him, fulfilling all righteousness, for we too must go through the baptism that he has gone through ahead of us.

Matthew Bellisario said...

The Vatican has not changed anything on its moral teachings. This is once again another example of this relentless attack on the Catholic Church. Come on, lets get serious here.

Matthew.
catholicchampion.com