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Associated Press – March 10, 2008
VATICAN CITY – A Vatican official has listed drugs, pollution, genetic manipulation and social and economic injustices as new areas of sinful behavior.
Sins increasingly manifest themselves as behavior that damages society as a whole, Monsignor Gianfranco Girotti said in an interview published Sunday by the Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
“While sin used to concern mostly the individual, today it has mainly a social resonance, due to the phenomenon of globalization,” said Girotti, who heads the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican body that issues decisions on matters of conscience and grants absolutions.
Catholic teaching distinguishes between lesser venial sins and mortal sins.
Listing the new areas of sinful behavior, Girotti denounced “certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments, genetic manipulations.”
He also mentioned drugs – which “weaken the mind and obscure intelligence” – pollution, and the widening social and economic differences between the rich and the poor.
Girotti said the Catholic Church continued to be concerned by other sinful acts, including abortion and pedophilia.
He said Church authorities had reacted with “rigorous measures” to child abuse scandals within the clergy, but he also claimed that the issue had been excessively emphasized by the media.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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