Vatican Says "Pollution" Is Now A Sin

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In olden days, the deadly sins included lust, gluttony and greed. Now, the Catholic Church says pollution, mind-damaging drugs and genetic experiments are on its updated thou-shalt-not list.

Also receiving fresh attention by the Vatican was social injustice, along the lines of the age-old maxim: “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.”

In the Vatican’s latest update on how God’s law is being violated in today’s world, Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, was asked by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano what, in his opinion, are the “new sins.”

He cited “violations of the basic rights of human nature” through genetic manipulation, drugs that “weaken the mind and cloud intelligence,” and the imbalance between the rich and the poor.

“If yesterday sin had a rather individualistic dimension, today it has a weight, a resonance, that’s especially social, rather than individual,” said Girotti, whose office deals with matters of conscience and grants absolution.

It’s not the first time that the Vatican has sought to put a modern spin on sin. Last year, the Vatican took on the problem of highway accidents, issuing a kind of “Ten Commandments” for drivers against the sins of road rage, alcohol abuse and even rudeness behind the wheel.

Vatican officials, however, stressed that Girotti’s comments broke no new ground on what constitutes sin.

On the environment, both Pope Benedict XVI and the late Pope John Paul II frequently expressed concern about the fate of the Earth. During Benedict’s papacy, Vatican engineers have developed plans for some Holy See buildings to use solar energy, including photovoltaic cells on the roof of the auditorium for pilgrims’ audiences with the pontiff.

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