back to article Vatican updates list of mortal sins

Today is Monday, which means an addendum to the list of things Catholics should feel guilty about. Fresh off the red telephone with Providence, a senior member of the Vatican is upgrading a handful of lesser celestial bugaboos into what now will effectively destroy the grace of God within the heart of the sinner. The Vatican' …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Ok, where's the updated list?

    If possible, please put it in text format, preferably unified diff :)

  2. Anymouse

    Genetic engineering

    Hmmm, well they invented it in the first place... ...'nuff said.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah yes The Pope

    Is it just me or does this "advice" sound like a quote from the Godfather ?

    "I swear on the lives of my children -- give me a chance to redeem myself, and I will sin no more."

    "This pope has very different ideas from the last one."

    I hope the Pope doesn't make us an offer we can't refuse.....

  4. Christoph

    That should drum up trade

    They can now condemn to eternal torture all those people who have been doing genetic manipulation for the last few thousand years, by selective breeding.

  5. Dan

    My word, what on Earth has happened to that drumstick?

    Let's face it, Christianity jumped the shark in 313 with the Edict of Milan.

  6. carey pridgeon

    how handy

    How handy that we have all these old men to decide what would upset a supposedly omnipotent being.

    Interesting though, that an omnipotent being would get so upset, yet only these few people, of all those on earth, are privy to it. Remakable you might say....

  7. Herby

    Drugs, Pollution?

    Wine, breathing?

    No more of that sacramental wine for you!!

    Oh, and breathing generates carbondioxide, can't do that either.

    We're all doomed anyway!

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Well, good for the Chinese/Japanese. They can usher in serious genetic manipulation with no ill effects in the afterlife. Bummer.

    What about "mind manipulation and perversion"? Still not on the list? Pity, eh.

    Luckily, "engineering" is still allowed. Close shave here.

    Mine's the one with the embroidered Nietzsche on the back.

  9. adnim

    Right but so wrong

    "Today is Monday, which means an addendum to the list of things Catholics should feel guilty about." Not just catholics either, much of the planets populace could do with taking some of this on board. In my opinion although all religious types, not just catholics, are living with delusion they do have some valid points.

    Drugs... "weaken the mind and obscure intelligence." And faith in a fantasy doesn't?

    How wealthy is the catholic church? What kind of luxury do the pope and his minions live in? And what do catholic priests allegedly get up to with prepubescent choir boys? Oh that's it, indoctrination, I was struggling to find the word for a moment.

    "certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulations."... I presume they do not see the indoctrination of children as a violation of their rights to a balanced, open and honest education.

    I think they should clean up their own house before they start telling anyone else how to live.

    I am of the opinion that doing to others as you would have done unto yourself is sufficient premise by which to live without the threat of hell or damnation to confuse matters.

    Of course if these people are right I am most certainly going to hell.

  10. Ian Ferguson

    Not File Sharing?

    I know the Catholic Church is thought of for being out of date, but really, I would have thought piracy would be up there with the mortal sins, not to mention acquiring it's own circle of hell.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Certain Rights

    "certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature"

    Ah, the Catholica would be the ones to know. They who have violated just about every fundamental human right there was and denied that there were such rights to begin with.

    Redefine sin? Easy. Sin is to -- don't hold your breath unless you're a Catholic (in that case, hold your breath for 12 minutes) -- do something damaging to yourself. Like kicking your neighbour's dog. Get it? Do the Kantian imperative, and whatever the Vatican may think, you're probably a more decent person than that bunch of lunatics will ever produce. Wonder how much Ratzinger paid the other Cardinals, anyway; anybody except me notice his triumphant expression when he went out to announce his papal name?

    Aaaargh. Need more pirates, fewer Catholics.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Intelligent... scientists?

    I like it, obscures intelligence... surely they don't want more scientists?

    Isn't it the drugs that make people see god?

    Bill, because he is a sinner, for creating* home computers that suck up all of our coal...

    *yes I know he didn't create them, blah blah

  13. Jason tessmann


    this is in addition to the previous seven, right?

    So does that mean we get another seven holy virtues? Can we get an updated Divine Comedy, or maybe another Brad Pitt film featuring the updated set?

    And lets say you committed these new deadly sins before His Holiness updated the list... are you cool, or do you need to go to confession? If so, I might need to make a trip. Pretty sure I've racked up quite a few. I wonder if my penance could be prorated...

    It was tough before with just seven. Now these? Man I am so screwed...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Genetic Manipulation.

    Forgive me father for I have sinned; I helped feed starving nations.

  15. David Shea

    Rich v Poor religons

    Isn't the Catholic church one of the richest organisations in the world?

    Does that mean it's in sin, as opposed, to say the less-worldly-goods Hare Krishnas?

    mine's the cassock....

  16. Tim Blair

    kiddy fiddler?

    does vatican law still ban sex with women and hide sodomising alter boys between services? If in doubt move'em about and send all records straight to the vatican to dodge disclosure laws. sadly this is no joke......

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    They've been smoking too many drugs...

    I wonder if the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has a list? :)

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Religion 2.0

    I notice the trend is all social.

    May Allah strike them down with his botnets.

  19. Seán
    Thumb Up

    Kiddierape still ok

    Thankfully the sport of Bishops remains a venial matter, one up the bum no harm done as they say down the curia.

  20. heystoopid

    The next step

    The next step is to turn back the clock one thousand years before the printing presses released the masses from eternal servitude to the church and then ban all schools except those approved by the church !

    Oh sorry Sally Kern , the peoples repuke rep of the State of Oklahoma and of a certain new notoriety concerning a recent recording denigrating another class of person which just escaped to the tubes ! Anyway back to the story in hand , has just had her new bill passed in the state lower house and is busy lobbying or peddling influence to get it passed in the state upper house(hubby dearest , is a church pastor by the way) ! As with everything this one little stone cast into the pond will eventually generate a tidal wave in the bible belt where Southern Baptists wankers will fall for it hook line and sinker , just like another dry era as before in another century past !

    To me these new variations are identical to the old vices , but as rewritten by legal wankers in order to reapply the church from tending the spiritual needs of the flock to pulling all the strings from behind the throne as per pre Martin Luther reformation days of old, as bad habits and yearning for the imaginary illusion of the good old days just keep on resurfacing in different guises !

    Oh well , let the ignorance not reign supreme thus ! , or is it too late and "Idiocracy(with apologies to Mike J.)" has now begun in earnest ?

  21. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Bayerisches Ziel ...... Vorsprung durch TekNICQs

    "I hope the Pope doesn't make us an offer we can't refuse....." .... By Mark_T

    Posted Tuesday 11th March 2008 00:07 GMT

    I wish to Hell and the Heavens that he would, Mark_T, for I thought that was the mission/job/See.

  22. Chris Miller

    Greenpeace already have this concession sewn up

    They'll even sell you 'indulgences':

    Father forgive me, for I have exceeded my CO2 footprint.

    No worries son, recite 20 times 'there is no God but Gaia and Lovelock is Her prophet', buy a suitable number of carbon credits and sin no more.

  23. Chris G

    Jeesus H Kerist!

    If god had to depend on the vatican to get him elected as the supreme being, he would stand about as much chance of getting in as Adolf Hitler would as president of Israel.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this list self contradictory?

    One sin is contraception and another is pollution?

    Cars do not

    cause pollution.

    People cause pollution.

    The world is over populated and the Catholic church has done more to foster the cause of over population than anyone else of the planet.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    Please, please, please, don't start Christianity or God bashing because one single denomination utters such bullshit. Most other Christian denomination would not even accept the concept of "deadly sins". Its just something they use to make people feel more guilty thus giving them more power over their lives (thats why they change to more widespread sins, because then they have more power), thats not what Christianity is about and the Catholics do NOT define Christianity.

  26. michael


    nice story but shurley you are viloating a rule by placeing it in the scince section?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Those seven deadly sins in full.

    1. Thou shalt not scare children into believing rubbish with lies and fairy tales.

    2. Thou shalt not screw those special few attractive children in your care, (especially priests.)

    3. Thou shalt not rewrite murderer's wikipedia entries, just because they happen to be Catholic.

    4. Thou shalt not side with the third reich if they decide it's jews they want rid of.

    5. Thou shalt not brainwash men into fighting wars for you, that you may control those who survive.

    6. Thou shalt not covet your neighbour's (x-b) ox.

    7. Thou shalt not issue crusade immunity to murder thousands of women and children of religions you find "unconvenient."

  28. Dave

    Bring back the knuckle shuffle

    I knew a bloke who said "I can't take catholicism serious, if you're halfway through a wank, have a heart attach and die without the last rights, you are off to hell. Kill millions and repent on your death bed and you are off to heaven".

  29. jimbarter
    IT Angle

    from boingboing

    The seven social sins are:

    1. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control

    2. "Morally dubious" experiments such as stem cell research

    3. Drug abuse

    4. Polluting the environment

    5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

    6. Excessive wealth

    7. Creating poverty

  30. Anonymous Coward

    I'm so happy I left the church

    The money I save on tithes is enough to pay some nice ladies of negotiable affection a visit a few times a year.

    Ratzinger is completely off his rocker, not that they were ever really sane. I think it was in one of the Pratchett books: "the only real sin is to treat people as if they were things". I can kindof agree with that.

    Alien 'cos they're probably pissing themselves laughing if they're watching.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Drugs weaken the mind?

    Say that after 5 dried grammes of Psilocybin


    A drug which;

    * Is highly dependent

    * Causes depression

    * Causes street violence

    * Contributes to theft

    * Contributes to sex crimes (ok, so a pissed up tart may not be committing the crime, but it still contributes)

    Lets see what they do with the "blood of christ" now

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @ The Actual List

    OK, 1 and 7 are in direct conflict. Prohibiting birth control causes overpopulation which worsens poverty.

    2 is subjective because morals are subjective.

    3 If I use drugs as they were meant to be used, I'm not abusing them I guess...

    6 is in direct conflict with the catholic church's worldwide assets.

    Any more for any more?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh dear

    more proof that christianity is on the decline (yay!).

    1) invent a nasty sky fairy with an evil temper

    2) pretend that in fact, he's rather nice

    3) invent things he doesn't like

    4) offer the only absolution

    by the way - does anyone know why the bishops still have rights in the House of Lords?

  34. Spleen

    All jokes aside, this is an open and shut case

    There is a clear discrepancy between condemning "excessive wealth" and the Catholic Church's vast piles of gold, and between drug abuse and using one of the nastiest drugs in existence (alcohol) in ceremony. But those are at least defensible. "We contribute x to the poor every year" "one sip of wine is harmless" (although the Muslim consensus that bad is bad and the amount is irrelevant is far more consistent), etc.

    However, the Catholic Church policy of refusing birth control to the poorest people on the world keeps them in poverty. This is not exaggeration, this is not religion-bashing, this is direct cause-and-effect. Reduced family size is essential to lifting families out of poverty. They are, therefore, guilty of the seventh Sin 2.0 until this policy is reversed, which certainly won't happen under the current Fü... papa.

    Catholicism just dropped below Scientology in the "credible moral philosophy" list.

  35. amanfromMars Silver badge

    NeuReal Reformations ...... Another Bite at the Cherry Apple.

    "Alien 'cos they're probably pissing themselves laughing if they're watching." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 11th March 2008 09:24 GMT

    I imagine you are not wrong, AC. :-) Perhaps they'll Give US a little Push in A.N.Other DirectAXXXXIOn.

    And the alien because there's an XXXXPlanaNation for all of this ... a Simulated Cyber Assault on Systems of InfraStructure Control.

  36. Morten Ranulf Clausen


    Why do we even care? Truly a really all-powerful being would not need something as pathetic as the Catholic Church to bring out his message but would head straight for the core DNS servers. Ignore them, they're trolling. :-)

  37. Matt Siddall


    I think of all definitions of sin, my favourite (and the one I try to live by) is this, from Robert Heinlein:

    “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other 'sins' are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid)."

  38. Anonymous Coward


    Another predictable bunch of "Ug! Religious stupid. Me bash religious."

    Any religious group can tell its members whatever it likes -- if you're not one of them, how on Earth does it affect you?

    Besides -- you don't even know what they said: all you got was a pithy, watered-down soundbite version. I'm not sure, but I'd be surprised if the Vatican truly felt that vegetarian cheese (using GM bacteria in place of rennet) was a problem.

    If I want to find out, well I suppose I'll have to go to a church and hear what a priest has to say. Unless and until I do so, I cannot make any educated comment on the matter -- and neither can any of you.

    Grow up.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Save a space for me

    Looks like me and everyone I know are off to hell as I had enough trouble with the current 10!!!! (3 down and still counting)

    Anonymous Coward as her husband reads this site!!!!!!

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @AC Re: *Yawn*

    "Any religious group can tell its members whatever it likes -- if you're not one of them, how on Earth does it affect you?"

    - Because quite a few of them seem to want to convert me or even blow me up just because I don't agree with them. I'd say it affects all of us, every day.

    "If I want to find out, well I suppose I'll have to go to a church and hear what a priest has to say."

    - As long as you realise you won't be getting a balanced view, or anything based on fact or evidence.

    "Grow up."

    - I *am* a grown up, which is why I stopped believing in fairy stories.

  41. Christoph

    @AC Re: *Yawn*

    "if you're not one of them, how on Earth does it affect you?"

    How does it affect the women in third world countries who are refused access to contraception because these drooling lunatics are imposing their twisted hangups on the whole world? Quite a lot, I would think.

  42. Steve

    A bit hypocritical

    So the "good book", which is apparently the word of God, says that all the plants and animals were put here for my use. Does the Catholic Church know better than God?

    As for social injustice, Mother Theresa took money from the Duvaliers who had stolen it from the poor of Haiti then used it to help the poor by building nunneries. Of course these churned out nuns who agreed with her thinking - that suffering brought people closer to Jesus. Therefore, she let people die in squalor instead of using the money she was collecting to improve their lives.

    That's why I'm a Pastafarian - the rules make far more sense:

    The Eight “I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”

    1. I’d really rather you didn’t act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don’t believe in me, that’s okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn’t about them so don’t change the subject.

    2. I’d really rather you didn’t use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don’t require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

    3. I’d really rather you didn’t judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, Okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we’re talking about fashion and I'm sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

    4. I’d really rather you didn’t indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is go fuck yourself, unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.

    5. I’d really rather you didn’t challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bitches.

    6. I’d really rather you didn’t build multi million-dollar synagogues/churches/temples/mosques/shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):

    a. Ending poverty

    b. Curing diseases

    c. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

    7. I’d really rather you didn’t go around telling people I talk to you. You’re not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can’t you take a hint?

    8. I’d really rather you didn’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/vaseline. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it’s a piece of rubber. If I didn’t want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

  43. Lars Petersson


    And here I thought Catholics were people who are addicted to cats...

    Ba-dum tish...

  44. Dave


    And totally irrelevant to the real world.

    Why do people pay attention to these windbags again?

  45. George Johnson

    Re: *YAWN*

    I did grow up, part of which was casting of the shackles of a narrow mind, opening up and realising that if I communicate with people in a respectful manner, not ram my indoctrinated notions down their throats, they tended to be far more enjoyable company and I broadened my own horizons considerably.

    George Carlin said "When I was young I was a Catholic, that is until I reached the age of reason."

  46. John Foster

    Sin and go no more

    There's no sin in Cincinnati. It's all across the river in Newport, KY. That's where the red light district and cheap booze is.

    There are too many sinners out there. Where's an inquisition when we need one?

    Joan of Arc --- Wasn't she the patron saint of welding?

    We're "earth centric". Galileo was wrong-headed. Copernicus, be damned.

    Newton's Social Laws of Sin:

    I. A physical body will remain at rest, or continue to move at a constant velocity, unless a sin acts upon it.

    II. The net sin on a body is equal to its mass* multiplied by its acceleration.

    III. To every sin there is an equal and opposite sin.

    * We Catholics know about masses, don't we? Be there or be square.

    If anyone is going to foster any more sin lists, I'll have to take the mortal use of my name personally.

  47. Jason Harvey

    excessive wealth != greed ?

    I thought greedy people acquiring excessive wealth was the whole point of greed being in the original 7 deadly sins. so strike the excessive wealth, it's already covered.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Genetic Modification?

    Is that something like Creating Man? Or pinching a rib and modifying it to create someone of the opposite sex?

    And as for pollution, if it is a mortal sin, why doesn't God provide a few stone tablets with the plans for cheap fusion?

  49. Swee' Pea
    Paris Hilton


    Who's the guy with the bow-tie in the photo? Is he somebody I should recognize?

  50. John Foster

    God *DID* Provide, but somebody tripped

    Moses: The Lord, the Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen...

    [drops one of the tablets] *&#^CRASH&$%#@

    Moses: Oy! Ten! Ten commandments for all to obey!

    --History of the World: Part I (1981)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: RE: *yawn*


    "How does it affect the women in third world countries who are refused access to contraception because these drooling lunatics are imposing their twisted hangups on the whole world? Quite a lot, I would think."

    Oh yes, an awful lot. It affects the price of your food and consumer goods. As the population of third world countries increases, more of their land is needed to service their own needs, so less is available to sell to us (part of the reason for the current hike in world food prices). This means that there's more economic activity and more development. We lose our cheap labour, hence our cheap goods.

    I wish I could remember his name, but I once heard an economist state that as a result of the colonial wars and the slave trade (all done by us whites), most of Africa is still underpopulated, and that it will never be economically stable until it has a big enough internal consumer base. Well-meaning charities who promote population control as a means of bettering the lot of the Africans were, according to him, merely prolonging the status quo of underdevelopment, poverty and poor sanitation.

  52. Elmer Phud

    Global Warming didn't work last time.

    We've already done the plagues, floods and desert stuff before.

    Doesn't seem to have made much impact on piety (who ate all the piety?) and the RSPCA are still looking in to overcrowding on an animal transport vessel but the market for chocolate-covered locusts is looking good.

    Still, look on the bright side.

    We are patiently waiting for Yellowstone Park to erupt or a huge rock to impact or one side of Tenerife to slip in to the sea. As yet, despite biblical accounts of re-starting the operating system, we've not had the pleasure of a complete global re-boot apart from when the plug was pulled and the system re-started from a back-up few thousand humans.

  53. ian

    Genetic Manipulation?

    If that's off, my foreplay technique is crap! Sorry Miss, we'll just have to go right to the main event - the Pope told me so.

    Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

  54. vincent himpe

    god himself...

    is an atheist .... otherwise he would be a narcissist

  55. Steve

    @Elmer Phud

    Send for Nathan Brazil...

  56. Chaitanya

    Hows about ....

    1. making stup*d mortal sins

    2. spending time in the booth listening to guys talk about their pretty sister-in-law while secretly maturbating quietly

    3. breathing - gives off dangerous carbon dioxide, y'know

    4. thinking - goodness knows what sort of perverse thoughts appear in the brains of individuals so terribly spoiled by ... etc

    5. getting kids - bringing Gods gift to a planet full of sh*t and letting them suffer

    rubberish. and let me guess he's not 'invalidated' any of the old past rules like 'being a vampire' or 'conspiring with the devil'.

  57. Chaitanya
    Dead Vulture

    @vincent himpe and ian

    fucking genius. not laughed so hard in my life; guess the noise pollution factor adds up as a 'sin'.

    why do we bother listeing to these blasted windbags, because its bloody real entertainment.

    salute the quacks

  58. Fuzzy


    I didn't think that anyone listened to the howling fanatics in the vatican or those of other religions anymore. I thought we had evloved to a higher state of awareness and received our moral instructions from the likes of B5 or star Trek or at the very least south park & the simpsons.

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Sky Daddies Unite!

    The end is near!

  60. DV Henkel-Wallace

    Waay out of touch

    The Vatican wasnt paying attention when the list was dictated to them....they forgot to write down SPAM.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Two faced bastards

    I am not condeming the Catholic faith, just those hypocrits that run it, from the Pope down to the priests who are on the take.

    Living in a 3rd world, it makes me sick to see how the RC church is milking any money it can from those that least afford it, to line their own pockets, and the abuse of girls by these priests.

    These guys live one some of the best houses here (Philippines), have plenty food and gophers looking after them, while their parishioners are hungry, poorly dressed and no medical aid that they can afford. Yet the church bleeds them dry any time that it can, it makes me puke, all that keeps me sane is the thought that every dog will have his day, and those bastards will get their come uppance when they meet their God.

    I thought this had all stopped when the Spanish were kicked out by the Americans, but nothing has changed, even their politicians have got in on the act.

    I am anonymous as my name would be recognised here, and we do have a high drive by shooting rate.

  62. Andy

    Social injustice?

    It's okay for the pope to have his own pimped out car, have a solid gold bathroom, and live in a palace filled with treasure. It's not okay for you to do it. That's why its good to be the pope.

    Oh, and coward who yawned.... as soon as Christians stop trying to enforce their beliefs on the rest of the world is the moment we'll stop having to try to talk some common sense into them. I have my own invisible friend called Harry. I don't really want to play with your one so leave me alone.

    100 years ago Christians believed that slavery was acceptable. Todays Christians are mostly apologetic about this. In 100 years Christians will be apologizing for your hatred of science and homosexuals. You don't have a monopoly on the truth, nor is the Christian version of truth as immutable and constant as you'd like to believe.

  63. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The GOD Spot.

    "The Vatican wasnt paying attention when the list was dictated to them....they forgot to write down SPAM." ... Waay out of touch By DV Henkel-Wallace Posted Wednesday 12th March 2008 02:28 GMT

    Bulls Eye, DV Henkel-Wallace. :-)

  64. John Angelico


    Thanks for all the great laughs - ROTFLMAO!

    So many laughable ideas, any budding comedian could be set for a two-year tour with this lot!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I smell Giordano Bruno burning....

    Genetic manipulation's a mortal sin, huh? Sounds like another triumph of ignorance over science at St. Peter's Basilica.

    At the risk of pulling a Galileo and being beaten up by the Inquisition for calling the Vatican's teachings stupid... they're stupid. They were stupid when they were killing inoffensive monks like Giordano Bruno for daring to suggest that the earth revolves around the sun, and that there are no absolute positions in the universe, and that we should double check Aristotle's work for the errors we now know it to be riddled with... he was sort of a shabbily dressed Renaissance version of Carl Sagan. The closest thing to mercy he was permitted during his execution was that a friend was allowed to tie a bag of gunpowder around his neck, which, when the flames reached it, hopefully rendered him unconscious before his agony reached its apex.

    Genetic engineering has produced, among other things, the medicine that keeps my particular rare form of cancer at bay. I firmly believe that I would be dead now if we hadn't learned how to create analogues of human biological molecules.

    I'd like to think I'd be just as contemptuous of priests meddling in matters of which they are profoundly ignorant if my life hadn't been saved by technology the Vatican has declared a mortal sin. In any case, by letting morons like Fr. Girotti define knowledge and science as sins, the Papacy has at the very least shown a lack of leadership in its own organization; at worst a hankering to usher in a new Dark Age.

    This announcement makes me intensely proud NOT to be a Roman Catholic. My own church may be "defective" in the Pope's opinion, but that just makes the feeling mutual in my case.

  66. Vance P. Frickey

    Is Brother Gregor burning in Hell?

    Mendelian breeding just became a mortal sin. Instead of jumping on the opportunity to claim priority for the Church in the matter of genetic manipulation by honoring the work of Gregor Mendel, this mindless functionary has instead drawn the shades of darkness over genetic engineering work for the faithful of his Church, which I thankfully left long, long ago (for another Church which the current Pope has declared defective).

    I wish that someone in the Church would discover the mortal nature of spiritual arrogance.and condemn that, instead; then admonish its senior priests accordingly. I'm already nostalgic for John Paul II, the Pope who wasn't quite so much in love with the sound of his own voice.

  67. Jon Tocker

    Just to fill the collection boxes

    "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned - I have been drug trafficking."

    "OK, my son, say five Hail Marys and put 15% of your take in the Poor Box."

    Like the tale about the priest who starts confessional in the morning, first caller is an attractive young woman who confesses to sins of the flesh with Tommy Wilson.

    He tells her to say five Hail Marys and put 10 quid in the Poor Box.

    The next caller is another attractive woman confessing the same sin and gets the same penance.

    After five of these in a row, the priest is getting somewhat concerned and, by the end of the day after a couple of dozen of his female parishioners have all confessed to sins of the flesh with Tommy Wilson, he figures he should be locating this Tommy Wilson and having a word with him about his single-handed tarnishing of the virtue of the women of the parish.

    The Poor Box is fair bulging by this stage.

    He's just about to shut up the confessional and head out when the door opens again and a young man slips onto the bench.

    "Yes, my son?" the priest asks.

    "Good evening, Father," says the young man, "my name is Tommy Wilson, either you split the contents of the Poor Box with me or I take my cock to another parish"

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