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Pollution, drugs make Vatican’s updated sins list

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – 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.

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, also cited 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 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.

Closer to home, Girotti was asked about the many “situations of scandal and sin within the church,” in what appeared to be a reference to allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.

The monsignor acknowledged the “objective gravity” of the allegations, but contended that the heavy coverage by media of the scandals must also be denounced because it “discredits the church.”

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