Tuesday, 17 July 2012
I've just learned that for the last five or six years I've been labouring under a misapprehension. Ever since at the age of 5 at Prep School I've been able to recite, amongst other things, the Seven Deadly Sins: pride, covetousness, lust, envy, anger, gluttony and sloth (the language wasn't archaic when I was 5!).
I happened to be looking for some information on mortal and venial sins (don't even ask) a few days ago when I came across the information that in March, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI added the 8th Deadly Sin of ‘Excessive Wealth’ to the list of Deadly Sins.
What is excessive wealth? It must be a relative concept. So who determines it? I have excessive wealth in that I have far more than I require for my basic needs. So, in all probability, do many who are reading this post. Especially compared with the 900 million or so of the world's population who woke up hungry today.
I did wonder, too, whether, if excessive wealth was a Deadly Sin for individuals, then what about for organisations? Most of big business may be said to be enjoying excessive wealth and most religious organisations are very wealthy and indeed some of the larger religions are amongst the wealthiest organisations in the world.