Vatican: Polluters and pot users don’t have a prayer

By Sujay Kumar

Forgive us Father, for we have sinned.

Fond memories of crossing my arms and being blessed at communion have given me faith in the Catholic Church’s compassion for everyone, no matter what they choose to believe. So listen, I’m not one to air my dirty laundry to strangers, but news from the Vatican has brought me to my knees before you.

Father, the world is coming to an end. The verdict has been reached, and we are guilty of the seven deadly sins. I don’t mean the classic seven deadly sins that your man Pope Gregory the Great coined in the sixth century. No it’s not lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride that afflict us now. Those seven words were known to strike a universal and sharp chord in our conscience. If we confessed every time we committed one of those, you would have to work weekends.

What really brings me to this confessional is the announcement by the Vatican’s number two in matters of conscience. As you are aware, the Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, has decreed a list of new sinful behaviors. The modern “thou shalt not” list is made up of violations of the basic rights of human nature.

After a week-long Vatican confession-fest, the Archbishop has listed the shameful acts of environmental pollution, genetic manipulation, accumulation of excessive wealth, infliction of poverty upon others, drug use and trafficking, experimentation on humans and causation of social injustice.

Monsignor Girotti believes that in today’s modern globalized world, sin no longer only concerns an individual, but has a deep weight on society as well. Society can be damaged and ultimately destroyed by the newly named deadly vices, and it seems as though we are all guilty, to some extent, of at least one of the sins. Since our only path to forgiveness is through confession and penitence, I come to the church.

So here goes nothing, I’ve never cleansed my soul before, and I’m not sure what to say. Anyway, I kneel before you on this pew, ready to confess to mankind’s sins.

We did it. We are guilty of everything, and we can’t stop.

Right now, we don’t have much of a choice. We are guilty of polluting the environment. No matter how many trees we plant or bottles we recycle, there will be ten more new gas guzzling cars and housing complexes. And when it comes to genetic manipulation, unless a vicious army of super clones is created or the government destroys all stem cells, it doesn’t seem like geneticists will slow their research. Research aimed at delaying the meeting with your boss above, of course.

Father, you have to understand that it is virtually impossible to bridge the financial gap in society. Those who are worth billions, such as Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and the Pope, no offense, would have to relinquish a giant chunk of their assets. And while the drug world is frowned upon when it isn’t the crux of a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s hard to imagine a true effort to eradicate a common narcotic like marijuana from our society. And the vague sins of experimenting on humans and causing unbearable social injustice may make us unknowingly guilty on many counts.

We yearn for the days of old Father, where being guilty of a cardinal vice rested solely on one person’s conscience.

Now that I have, let man’s guilt bleed out, you see why I have come here. If these are the new deadly sins, then we are all screwed. Don’t get me wrong, we are concerned with how we hurt others in the world we live in, but I have little faith in whether all sinners will confess to their new sins and repent.

That is, unless you can grant mankind absolution for this round, a grace period to smoothen the transition into a new age of sinning. If not Father, it’s likely that our next confession will be in hell.

Sujay is a junior in biochemistry, and you are at risk of burning in hell! No, not really.