Monday, March 10, 2008

"New Sins" According to the Vatican (Green Ones Too)

Reuters reports that the Vatican has made a statement about "new sins" of the current era. The decidedly modern sins include pollution, genetic manipulation and other bioethical issues, drug trafficking, and others.

Obviously such sins aren't new; the Vatican is not saying that such sinful things would have been permissible before today. But sometimes one needs to clarify how contemporary practices must be seen in light of God's unchanging Law.

The angle the Reuters' story took was the "green one," which raises the question, is it sinful to have a "large carbon footprint?" Should Christians be obligated to reduce emissions and buy fluorescent bulbs for their homes? Is it sinful not to?

We are forbidden as Christians from "polluting" our body (2 Cor. 7:1 NJB), but this does not address junk food and polyunsaturated fats. It addresses sin, and the passage hardly applies to environmentalism. But we are called to be stewards of all that we have received from God. Most of the time we describe this in terms of time, talents, and treasure, but our use of the gifts of the earth and the fruit thereof are not excluded. As Christians we ought to honor the Earth as Creation, not in and of itself, but as something God made good. Spoiling and despoiling our environment without regard for the one who created would be sin for sure.

Let us not forget that brazen, intentional pollution, littering and the like are also illegal and show despise for others.


  1. Doorman-Priest said...

    Good to see the Catholic church has it's finger on the pulse of the contemporary world.