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Karen wrote:

Hi, guys —

The Vatican recently updated the seven deadly sins and it now includes pollution. I googled for more information on this and it said that the Vatican said that failing to recycle plastic bags could get you an eternity in Hell.

I can't recycle like cans and stuff since my apartment building does not have a recycling program and I have a bunch of papers that I am afraid to throw away because I think I will be sinning.

  • Based on what I have found out, am I sinning if I don't recycle?

  • On a different topic, is there a Catholic dress code?
  • Are women allowed to wear pants?

Karen

  { If I don't recycle am I sinning and is there a Catholic dress code for men and women? }

Mary Ann replied:

Karen,

You are misinformed. This article may help:

Littering Not New "Deadly Sin," Bishops Clarify, Say Vatican Didn't Publish List of 7 Modern Misdeeds

LONDON, MARCH 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Reports that the Vatican has published a new list of the seven deadly sins of modern times that includes littering and economic inequality is simply not true, affirmed the episcopal conference of England and Wales.

The conference released a statement today clarifying that an interview published Sunday by L'Osservatore Romano with Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the tribunal of he Apostolic Penitentiary, was misinterpreted in the media as an official Vatican update to the seven deadly sins, laid out by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century.

"The Vatican has not published a new list of seven deadly sins; this is not a new Vatican edict," said the conference. "The story originated from an interview that Bishop Gianfranco Girotti gave to the L'Osservatore Romano in which he was questioned about new forms of social sins in this age of globalization."

The Vatican newspaper interviewed the bishop at the conclusion of a course that took place last week on the "internal forum" — questions of conscience — organized by the tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary to strengthen the training of priests in administering the sacrament of Confession.

In the interview titled "Le Nuove Forme del Peccato Sociale" (The New Forms of Social Sin), journalist Nicola Gori asked the prelate what he thought are the new sins of the modern era.

Bishop Girotti responded: "There are various areas in which today we can see sinful attitudes in relation to individual and social rights."

"Above all in the area of bioethics, in which we cannot fail to denounce certain violations of the fundamental rights of human nature, by way of experiments, genetic manipulation, the effects of which are difficult to prevent and control."

"Another area, a social issue, is the issue of drug use, which debilitates the psyche and darkens the intelligence, leaving many youth outside the ecclesial circuit."

The bishop also mentioned social inequality, "by which the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, feeding an unsustainable social injustice," and the "area of ecology."

Hope this helps,

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Karen —

You said:

  • On a different topic, is there a Catholic dress code?
  • Are women allowed to wear pants?

I'm assuming you are referring to a Mass attendance dress code. If you are referring to the dress code at a Catholic educational institute, the superior at that school should be able to address the issue for their educational institution.

To my knowledge, there is no Catholic dress code when attending Mass though modesty and arriving with a "clean" look, for both men and women, should prevail, most of the time. I say "most of the time" because there may be extenuating circumstances where this is impossible.
e.g. Celebrating Mass in time of war on the battle field.

This is what the Catechism tells us on this issue:

2521 [ ... ] Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.

2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.

2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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