“Men and women sin in different ways,” concludes Msgr Wojciech Giertych, theologian to the papal household, writing in the Vatican newspaper. The most common sin for women is pride, and for men it is lust.
The report is based on a study of confessions carried out by Fr Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar.
I don’t doubt there may be some psychological truth lurking in this observation, but it gets confused by the notion firstly that pride and lust are 'sins', and further that they are 'deadly', and therefore have dire consequences if you die without having confessed them. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell".
The idea of eternal damnation is an appalling one. How can a human being actually get their heads round this possibility? Torture that goes on and on FOR EVER.
With this sort of context, the confessions on which the study was based have to be taken as made under duress, and therefore unreliable.
Anyway, I can’t see anything wrong with lust or pride, taken in moderation. It’s normal and healthy to feel attracted to others (lust), and to enjoy feeling attractive (pride). If they become the basis of who you think you are, then that’s another matter. But it doesn’t damn you, and anyway you can’t force people to change, as the Catholic Church seems to try to do.
Catholicism isn’t the only religion that tries to terrorise people into behaving as it wants them to, though if we were to have a real war on terror, I think Catholic Doctrine would be a good place to start. Tibetan Buddhism also does this. You get these extraordinarily detailed and lengthy descriptions of the different types of hell, which are extremely difficult to escape from, in some of the Scriptures. And after you die, according to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, you eventually become so terrified by the white light of reality that you flee into another body. For any of you out there who still idealise Tibetan Buddhism, remember it is an organised religion that can be just as heavy-handed as the Catholics.
So don’t die, it’s not good for you!
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Incidentally, the modern Vatican gained its independence on 7 June 1929 at 11am in Rome. With Venus in Taurus and Mars in Leo, you would have thought it would be women who stand accused of sensuality/lust, and the men who stand accused of pride. With an intercepted Sun-Moon in Gemini, and nothing to speak of in water, the Vatican is not short on ideas, but not too good at connecting them to actual human beings.