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New Sins for the Modern Age

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According to the Catholic Church, there are seven deadly sins. These include pride, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, greed, and laziness. The church believes that all people should try to live a life free of the seven deadly sins, which will then ensure entrance into heaven. The original sins were written in the sixth century. Because church officials thought a more modern list was needed to deal with the complexities of society today, the Vatican has added several new sins.

You shall not pollute the Earth. You shall avoid genetic manipulation. These are only two examples from a longer list of mortal sins which includes buying, selling, and using drugs, and social and economic injustices. These new sins require punishment, and differ from other less sinful behavior.

The second in charge at the Vatican released the information on sins, modern evils, and forgiveness. In particular, he criticized cloning, stem cell research, and similar acts brought about because of advances in biology and medicine. The Catholic Church holds the point of view that stem cells represent a destroyed human life, and hence experimentation with them is a deadly evil. But it believes other areas of biotechnology and genetics represent unpredictable outcomes and should be avoided.

The environment received nearly equal attention from the Vatican, as the projected changes in climate signify a serious threat to the human race. The Vatican has gone green in recent years, and has hosted a scientific conference to discuss the ramifications of global warming.

Some priests welcomed the new list of sins, as many realize that modernization is required to fit the global world.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. One shouldn't harm the environment.
  2. It's sinful to harm the environment.
  3. The seven deadly sins are important for everyday life.
  4. You should always listen to spiritual leaders and institutions.
  5. Spiritual leads and institutions should make rules and guidelines about modern life.

Fill in the Blanks: Fill in the blank with the correct word.

  1. According to the Catholic Church, there are seven deadly sins, one of which is (                         ).
  2. (                         ), or jealousy, is a deadly sin, too.
  3. People should try to live a life free of the deadly sins, which will then (                         ) entrance into heaven.
  4. Church officials thought a more modern list was needed to deal with the (                         ) of society today.
  5. You shall avoid genetic (                         ).
  6. There is a longer list of mortal sins which includes social and economic (                         ).
  7. The Catholic Church holds the (                         ) that stem cells represent a destroyed human life.
  8. It believes other areas of biotechnology and genetics represent (                         ) outcomes.
  9. The (                         ) changes in climate signify a serious threat to the human race.
  10. The Vatican has hosted a scientific conference to discuss the (                         ) of global warming.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. What do you think of the seven deadly sins? Which is the worst? Why?
  2. Should the Catholic Church and/or other spiritual institutions comment on modern day life? Why/not?
  3. If you could fix one problem facing humankind, which problem would you fix? Why?
  4. If a spiritual leader said that pollution is a serious problem, would you not to pollute? Why/not?
  5. Select one of the new deadly sins and discuss the ramifications of it.

Google Search: Type "deadly sins" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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