10 March 2008

Ex oribus dei: Obscene wealth a mortal sin

Not a source I normally pay much attention to or trust, the Vatican has just pronounced that the accumulation of wealth - "obscene wealth" - is to be considered a modern-day mortal sin. (Like gluttony, greed and sloth hadn't already got this covered.) Call me peevish, but I can't help thinking that this is a perverse combination of too little too late and the pot calling the kettle black. (See this 1965 Time Magazine article about the Vatican's own wealth accumulation.) Not that the Roman Catholic church is particularly predisposed to reflect on its own worst practice. Another of the updated mortal sins is paedophilia but, according to a BBC report, the spokesperson who announced the new sins "brushed off cases of sexual violence against minors committed by priests as 'exaggerations by the mass media aimed at discrediting the Church'". But I digress...

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