Pope declares genetic engineering a mortal sin
March 11, 2008
The Vatican has brought up to date the traditional seven deadly sins by adding seven modern mortal sins it claims are becoming prevalent in what it calls an era of “unstoppable globalisation.”
The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice.
The Pope told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that the greatest danger zone for the modern soul was the largely uncharted world of bioethics.
“(Within bioethics) there are areas where we absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control,” he said.
Girotti, in an interview headlined “New Forms of Social Sin,” also listed “ecological” offences as modern evils.
In recent months, Pope Benedict has made several strong appeals for the protection of the environment, saying issues such as climate change had become gravely important for the entire human race.
Under Benedict and his predecessor John Paul, the Vatican has become progressively “green.” It has installed photovoltaic cells on buildings to produce electricity and hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming and climate change, widely blamed on human use of fossil fuels.
The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence.
It holds mortal sins to be “grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes,” including murder, contraception, abortion, perjury, adultery and lust.