A senior official of the Vatican has sanctimoniously come up with a new list of seven deadly sins.

Otherworldly mission aside, the Catholic Church* is just another globalised, hierarchical corporation. The proclaimed sins are like the guiding principles of the operations of this corporation.

Like many corporations, this smacks of a marketing exercise – yet one more attempt to make the corporation appear more relevant, and generate some press in the process.

Marketing is just expensive lying if the promises are not embodied in the day-to-day operations of the corporation. Actions are what count. So let’s look at the actions of the Church in relation to these new guiding principles:

  1. Polluting – The single largest contributor to pollution and resource-use is population. The Church is staunchly anti-contraception, especially in the third world. Cue Every Sperm is Sacred from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
  2. Genetic engineering – While the Church does not directly operate genetic engineering laboratories, I wonder if Church investments can be tracked to genetic engineering firms? How many of the Church’s properties worldwide are leased to companies working in fields related to genetic engineering?
  3. Obscene richesIs the Pope the richest man on earth?
  4. Taking drugs – See the Genetic Engineering item.
  5. Abortion – Unwanted pregnancies happen well within the ranks of the Church. To deny it is to deny human nature. Don’t tell me no representatives of the Church have ever resorted to abortion.
  6. Paedophilia – Duh, do I have to spell this out?
  7. Causing social injustice – Where do we start?!! Witch burning, AIDS babies from the ban on condoms, condemnation of single unwed mothers/divorcees/non-heterosexuals/Jews, supporting Nazis in WWII...

Clearly, do as we say, not as we do. Zero marks for authenticity.

The Church really does not help itself by its continual denial of its humanity. It is founded and operated by humans, the same "sinful" and "unworthy" beings it condemns and purports to “save”. The whole “holier than thou” approach is just plain fake – surely only God (ie other than human) can be holier than us!

Similarly, many businesses deny their humanity too. They try to be perfect, to create the (necessarily false) perception that they know everything and are perfect in every way.

It would be more authentic for the Church to embrace its fallibility like the rest of us. But of course, that would seriously undermine its credibility when trying to judge us, and tell us how to think, what to eat, and how to live.

* I am referring to the Catholic Church as a political and financial organisation. Religion often has little to do with God, Godliness or the Greater Good.