March 10, 2008

Recycle or go to Hell, warns Vatican

Failing to recycle plastic bags could find you spending eternity in Hell, the Vatican said after drawing up a list of seven deadly sins for our times.


According to Roman Catholic doctrine, mortal sins are a "grave violation of God's law" and bring about "eternal death" if unrepented by the act of confession.

In other words, it's fine to commit as many "mortal sins" as you want as long as you repent through confession. What a cop-out.

Read more.


Luis Fernandez said...

I'm trying to find official sources on this... let's just say that it has come to my attention that MSM articles regarding what the Vatican states have been less than reliable. Unfortunately, the Vatican website hasn't been updated yet with anything about this.

Luis Fernandez said...

One other thing :)

It's not that someone can "repent through confession"; repentance is as a prequesite to a good, and in fact, valid, reconciliation with the Church (which is a "process", confession being one step). As the Catechism states (1451), "Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is 'sorrow of the soul and destination for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.'" Unfortunately, it is historically true that many Catholics skip this step, thinking that confession of sins is sufficient. This is less frequent today, I think, simply because this has been replaced by the more grievous practise of skipping reconciliation with the Church altogether. Nonetheless, Catholics who try to "scheme" their way into reconciliation with the Church do not receive the benefits of the sacrament (see Cathechism, 1456).

Also, it's not "fine to commit as many 'mortal sins' as you want", since having such a nonchalant attitude towards sin tends to preclude contrition. However, it is possible to commit various, and even many, mortal sins, be contrite in reconciliation, and yet commit these sins again. It is not uncommon for someone to have a proclivity towards a given sin, be determined to abandon the behavior, yet through weakness fall back. The key lies in contrition, and a willingness to strive to abandon sinful behavior.

This points to a fundamental difference between Catholicism and mainline Protestantism. Catholic doctrine holds that sinful behavior is an act of free will, that this act seperates one from God, and therefore an act of free will is required to reconcile the relationship. Protestants hold that since Jesus died to secure the salvation of man, no action of man could seperate someone who has faith from the salvation gifted by Christ (and some would even argue that faith is not a requirement). Of course, when I say "Protestants", I mean "most Protestants"... we can't really assume that they all hold this, since there are so many flavors.