More On The “New” Deadly Sins

The ever calm and rational Anchoress sets us straight on yesterday’s #2 story.

I suggested to the reader that there would be clarification of all of this coming down the pike, but that she’d probably have hard time finding it in the press.

Today, both Deacon Greg Kandra and Fr. James Martin did a better job explaining what was actually going on:

Greg, who works over at CBS when he’s not deaconing, writes on this from a veteran newsman’s position:

I was assigned to write that story for last night’s CBS Evening News, and the more I read about it, the more it sounded like something else that pollutes the environment: horse manure.

Every story on the wires told a different version. There were seven. No, there were six. It included abortion. No, one of them was stem cell experiments. It mentioned pedophilia. The guy who issued the decree was a monsignor. No, he was a bishop. He was the pope’s right hand guy. No, he was a Vatican spokesman. And on and on and on. It made my head hurt.

Finally, in the afternoon, I spoke with the CBS News religion consultant at the Vatican, Fr. Thomas Williams. He confirmed what I expected: there’s nothing new in the “new” deadly sins — and they aren’t necessarily deadly, and they don’t number seven, and it’s all one person’s interpretation of moral failings that are as old as time itself. The pope had nothing to do with it. It doesn’t change doctrine or dogma one iota. There was no there there.

Fr. Martin talked on NPR about the non-story, and also write an editorial over at America Magazine:

The Vatican’s intent seemed to be less about adding to the traditional “deadly” sins (lust, anger, sloth, pride, avarice, gluttony, envy) than reminding the world that sin has a social dimension, and that participation in institutions that themselves sin is an important point upon which believers needed to reflect.

In other words, if you work for a company that pollutes the environment, you have something more important to consider for Lent than whether or not to give up chocolate.

Fr. Martin takes pains to say he doesn’t think the press’ bizarre reporting comes from a place of malice, but of ignorance.

Yeah, I had a feeling it would turn out to be something like that.  Much hooey about nothing, to paraphrase Shakespeare.  The Anchoress reminds us that we always see something like this around Holy Week.  Remember the Gospel of Judas?

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