The Seven Deadly Sins

May 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

The “seven deadly sins” have a long history in the Jewish and Christian traditions. Rooted in the Book of Proverbs, they were consolidated in the 4th century by Evagrius Ponticus, a monk, and reconfigured in 590 CE by Pope Gregory I; Dante likewise included them in his Divine Comedy.

The seven deadly sins have had a very long run. In parochial school in Philadelphia in the 1950s I memorized the pre-Vatican II version and I still know it by heart:








But since Vatican II, as you perhaps know, very much has changed, including a shift from a broader notion of the Catholic Christian faith to a narrower and narrower fixation on sexual morality . Appropriately enough, the seven deadly sins have been reconfigured to reflect these changes. Now they are:

Abortion, even if mother and child will die without it;

Gay sex and marriage;

Failing to work actively against these first two sins;

Use of artificial contraceptives;

Women getting ordained, or even discussing the possibility;

Spending too much time on justice and peace;

Advocating for health insurance in a country where millions don’t have it.

I trust that those of my readers who are Catholic will take note of these changes and behave accordingly.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. Amen. How can our church so hopelessly have lost its way? It seems that the more enlightened some members become, the more entrenched in their narrow ignorance — and fear — the hierarchy becomes. I love my faith. But I’ve lost faith in my church management. Where is Hildegard of Bingen when we need her?


  2. Hildegarde of Bingen is the LCWR or maybe all of us coming to their defense. Sinning proudly!


  3. We are all called to listen to the Gospel, as the Sisters have been doing, and we will suffer the way Christ did if we have to, but we know the One who gave us our conscience will judge us on reality, not the way the Pope views it but as She does. Thank you Marian for expressing some of our frustration!


  4. Brilliant! I’m not a Catholic, but plenty of my ancestors were (pre-Vatican II, and pre-Reformation). I’ll take note.


  5. I guess we’ll just have to choose a better place to support with our tithe…I think
    the boys do understand money if nothing else.


  6. The Gospel says “Whose sins you have forgiven, they are forgiven.” If it is possible for the 7 deadly sins to be forgiven, surely, the one’s you mention can be forgiven.

    Mary Gindhart


  7. As a Catholic in exile (or is it the Church that’s in exile?), I smiled grimly at your blog today. I wish that people would simply stop attending Mass, but even despite antagonism from their own clergy when they “step out of bounds,” they return each week. I still wonder why, although I kinda know. The richness of Catholic tradition is found nowhere else, all apologies to my current Episcopal address. It’s hard to leave that, and that I know. Now I look on sadly because I still love the Catholic church.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: