The Vatican recently announced a whole slew of new sins along with a relaxing of confessional requirements. Apparently, Catholics are going to have little time for confession with all the new sins they’ll be wanting to try.
And keeping all these new rules straight is going to be tough, especially since it’s been less than a year since the Vatican revamped the 10 commandments, and Catholics have barely had time to adjust to those.
The 10 commandments for drivers issued in June had Catholics slinking down in their seats when they drove past churches, just in case. Now, they’re going to have to find new routes altogether- because even compliance with all of those pesky new commandments won’t get them off the hook if the Good Father spots them driving. You see, one of the new sins is pollution. Since it is impossible to drive a car without creating pollution, all those June commandments pretty much go out the window. But not the car window because that brings you headlong into that pollution problem again. You can see that this is going to be tricky time for Catholics.
What are some of the other new rules that Catholics are going to have to muddle through? Being too rich is one. Now how rich is too rich will likely be a matter of some debate but it’s nothing that can’t be cured by having a couple more kids. And those kids will throw Father off the trail when it comes to sniffing out “bioethical violations such as birth control.” Now, seriously, Padre, we need that money to raise these offspring and any more the good Lord may see fit to bless us with, isn’t that the truth?
Genetic manipulation probably won’t cause too much grief for the ordinary Catholic. How many people even know how to commit that sin? Then again, doesn’t that mean poor Gregor Mendel needs to be posthumously defrocked? An Augustinian priest whose name is practically synonymous with genetic cross-breeding simply won’t do now that genetic manipulation is one of the mortal sins.
How about drug use? While undoubtedly the Pope was thinking of serious narcotics, some elderly parishioner is sure to get the twitters remembering all that communion wine she guzzled before drug use was declared a mortal sin. Surely, there’s a grandfather clause to protect those who might have had the self-control to abstain had the mortal offense been proscribed prior to their imbibing?
Morally dubious experimentation such as stem cell research is out. Serves that research right for having the audacity to be dubious. Morally sound and morally reprehensible the Church can deal with, but its tolerating that dubious stuff is too much to expect. Dubious means someone has to make a decision as to which side of the line the conduct belongs on, and you know, no matter which answer you pick, someone is going to find fault. Easier to ban morally dubious experimentation altogether.
Creating poverty is another no-no. This one is a doozy in the interpretation department. The Vatican is going to need an entire research facility to issue proclamations about proverty-creating conduct. If I spend my money foolishly, am I sinning by creating my own poverty? If I demand what is rightfully mine to spare myself poverty while concommitantly causing he who owes me to become impoverished, is it still a sin?
One survey online asked readers to choose which of the new sins was the worst. I have a better idea. I will create my own list of sins and mail it to the Vatican for consideration at its next synod. Topping that list? Talking on a cell phone in a moving vehicle (just in case those Catholics find a loophole and remain on the road). Right behind that, I’m going with inexcusable ignorance. When I place avocados on the checkout counter, there’s no reason I should be charged for artichokes, now, is there? Next up is poor customer service. Amazon.com sets the standard for poor customer service, but they won’t be so smug once the Vatican declares them world class sinners.
Do you have ideas for new sins the Church might want to consider? Suggest them below; I’ll be glad to forward them to Pope Benedict along with some of my own.