Pope Benedict's emissary, Bishop Girrondolei began the conference with a statement of clarification. "The modern Roman Catholic Catechism lists what we have thought of as the 'original' Seven Sins: pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth. Now, in an about face, and with our views much more steadfastly in the 20th century, the Vatican has brought out the new list of seven recently identified sins. We have tagged it as 'V 2.0'. It will be read from the pulpits of every Catholic Church in the world on Christmas Day, 2008. The seven newly listed social sins are:
"Bio-ethical violations — birth control; morally dubious experiments — stem cell research; drug abuse; polluting the environment; contributing to the widening divide between rich and poor; excessive wealth and creating poverty."With a sly wink, the Bishop continued, "Don't worry that greed, sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, envy and pride (aka vanity) need to feel their time is up; no siree — they still have lots of applicants with these disgusting traits. It's just that all of us popes, priests, cardinals, bishops, archbishops and such are tired of using the old one-word sins. They have seemed to become somewhat inconsequential when compared to the newbies such as "bioethical sins" — now, won't that give the heart something to feel sorry about. Just imagine the size of the collections when that sin is properly laid out in a sermon.
"Not to mention what will enter the church treasury when the sin of "accumulating excessive wealth" becomes the topic of the day. And when the priest / cardinal / whatever pronounces from the pulpit the names of those sinners who will conduct "morally dubious experiments harmful to human embryos", then all Hell will surely bubble back up into the church." Girrondolei said with a light giggle.
A question was signaled from the gathered press pool. "Can you explain why there are three sins that seem to be interwoven around the wealth and poverty issue?" Asked Sam Donaldson from ABC-TV.
Sin seems to have lately developed a social resonance, or as Pope Benedict directed me to say in his behalf, "You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming and shtumping your neighbor’s wife, but also by trashing the environment, doing those dangerously silly stem cell experiments, and allowing the kids to carry condoms.”
He continued just a little more quickly, "and I must very quietly mention our own little pedophilia thing – blown up as it is by the media to discredit the Church – which has, here and there, touched on some of the clergy itself. A very expensive human tragedy for us to deal with in the Church. Ah, it seems my time is up. Thanks for all the questions. Arrivederci, sinners.”
"The Religious Right is not dead,"he began, "We think that the sooner we can drive out these 'God disbelievers', the better our Christian society will be. We believe that our form of theocracy is the true democratic process. Our culture has become vulgar and crude. Our list of sins herewith addresses what we see as our society's failings."
The Coalition of Religious Rights now opened their PowerPoint list of sinful upgrades. "We forsee only these five R–Right Sins," said Wildmon, "and they are:
"SpongeBob SquarePants Sin is the highest sin, it's the gay indoctrination of children; Homosexual Humor Sin, softens up the public for the gay agenda; Earth Day National Sin, a true sin on the sanctity of human life; Illegal Immigration Sin, truly the 'end-of-the -world' sin; and Crayons to Condoms Supreme Sin, for not or improperly teaching intelligent design."Rev. Wildmon finished his reading and stepped away from the podium. Harry P. Lessin, executive director of the group stepped up to take questions. He said, "I don't know what God thinks about the Vatican adding these laws all by themselves. When did God ever appoint Ratzinger as His spokesperson in the first place?"
"My question is exactly that," spoke Helen Thomas from Hearst. "Please continue your answer if you will."
"Our Jesus, as God, appointed Peter as His spokesman in the Bible, and allowed Peter to make laws on Earth that would be binding in Heaven. Therefore, God seems to be behind this nonsense 100%.
"From where we stand, apparently Peter's direct line to God got passed from Peter to Paul, all the way down to this Ratzinger who claims that he's calling the shots these days. We disagree. And we are considering a lawsuit as soon as Pat (Robertson) can teach a lawyer to file it."
"America and our democratic institutions were built on the Christian faith. There is no question about it," said the director. "America wasn't built on Hinduism. America wasn't built on Buddhism and America, as sure as hell exists, wasn't built on Islam. I can't find any indication in the Bible that speaks to the contrary on this belief."
James Dobson pushed forward and added, "The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. No, it's not. That is not in the Constitution…. It's not in the Bill of Rights. It's not anywhere in any foundational document I have read."