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Seven Deadly Sins Updated by Vatican

Updated on April 19, 2008

John Paulson Hedge Fund King

A Hotbed of Sins, Be They Old or New by Clyde Haberman NYT 4-18-07

Clyde Haberman of the NY Times reports that a few weeks before Pope Benedict's visit, the Vatican issued a new lineup of what are commonly referred to as the seven deadly sins--pride, anger, envy, avarice, lust, gluttony and sloth--which have stood the test of time.

Many of the sin updates appear to be aimed at New York City and Wall Street in particular, for example, "the accumulation of excessive wealth," which may have been aimed at the likes of John Paulson who made $2.7 billion on his hedge fund last year.

Social inequality and injustice were also included in the Vatican updates which could have referred to a study showing that the gap between the rich and poor in New York keeps widening and to the failure of the city to enforce construction safety regulations which have resulted in the possibly unnecessary deaths of many construction workers.

Causing poverty is also on the new list was cited by Haberman as another possibly applicable to the new union contract in NYC reducing pay for police recruits from $40 thousand to $25,000.

Drug abuse also made the new list without recommendation for a solution. Haberman questions whether NYC is doing right by sending low-level users to prison.

Environmental pollution was also added to the list of sins. Wrt pollution the legislature recently shot down the mayor's proposal to reduce traffic congestion and vehicle pollution from certain parts of the city.

Morally debatable experimentation was listed for the first time also. Perhaps the traffic congestion proposal ran afoul of this category.

According to Haberman, "One thing is certain: There is more than enough here to lead to damnation. But we must trust the Pope to be merciful and to forgive us our trespasses when he celebrates mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.

"Besides, we are not irredeemable sinners. One other transgression on the list involves genetic manipulation. Unless you know someone who is trying to clone a human in a secret lab, we seem to be OK on that one."

Any additions to the list?

Walker Evans Photo


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    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Brett, thanks for your comment.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 

      7 years ago from Asia

      Interesting hub, the title alone made me want to know more. I had to laugh at the comment from "Kitchy Wytch" though, as the church and most religions are the richest and most powerful organizations in the world. That said, they often do a lot of good with their wealth.

    • profile image

      Mario B 

      7 years ago

      Mario B. Its in view of brakind the bridge and closing the gap between the haves & the have nots. The rich and the poor. There is need for clear cut definition by the Vatican on the sinfulness basd on wealth. The seven capitals has it all.

    • fortunerep profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Reminds me of the movie "Seven". Great and informative hub.


    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      9 years ago from United States

      great Hub...reminds me of a poem on sins I wrote when I was nine.

      The say Money's the root of all evil,

      and it's probably true I'll admit,

      but from all of the wrongs

      this all world tempts us with,

      it's the sin I like most to commit.

      Keep on preaching, the choir wwent home, and the sinners are lined up at your door.~~~lol~~~MFB III

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Thanks for the comment and the link. From the linked article it appears to me that the NYT article may have been less than totally accurate. But there appears to be some basis for based on comments by a Vatican official about sins of modern life.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      it's not true. according to that site. ;)

    • Ms Chievous profile image


      10 years ago from Wv

      Hmm last two photos are truly humbling.. I fully expect an increase in povery with the gas and food prices on the rise... and then what?

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      This is a very thought provoking hub that deal with current issues. God job and thanks for sharing.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I suppose the Vatican would distinguish individual wealth from the assets of an organization such as the Roman Catholic Church. Don't many priests take a vow of poverty?

    • Kitchy Wytch profile image

      Kitchy Wytch 

      10 years ago from Alabama

      How in the world can the Vatican claim that the accumulation of excessive wealth is a "deadly sin". Aren't they EXTREMELY wealthy?!

    • profile image

      sandra rinck 

      10 years ago

      Robie2 LOL, you crack me up.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      In all seriousness, the Vatican update on the seven deadlies makes a good point about the sinfullness of Western society. I think some CEOs and Hedge Fund managers definitely need absolution but the problem is, in order to get forgiveness you have to be conscious that you have sinned and I don't think Wall Street has a clue:-)

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 

      10 years ago from Central New Jersey

      I too was happy to be confronted with the seven deadlies rather than the "thou shalt nots" Call me old fashioned, but nothing will ever replace pride, envy sloth etc as far as I am concered( My favorite is sloth and I am quite adept at it I must say). But if the pope wants to add to the list, why not....another reason to call New York sin city I guess. Good stuff here Ralph. Thanks

    • profile image

      Graceful Guardian 

      10 years ago

      Hi thanks for showing this view,I thought I was going to read a new list of commands that the Vatican had put out.I am relieved that was not the issue.Great hub.

    • profile image

      sandra rinck 

      10 years ago

      how'bout chemically altered food. medical break throughs that have made us vulnerable to the most premitive bacteria or viruses. Neglect of children in persuite of more money (though not always a parents fault). Making sperm without a Man....OMG, hello, then someone can actually say, I do not have a father, and my mother is an abomination for having "intercourse" with something other than a human. I could go on and on, but then again, I guess it is how I view a sin that makes it sinful right?


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