The New Road to Hell

The Vatican reflects on its mortal sins for the modern age. Want salvation? Pick up your trash

Illustration Joe Ciardello for TIME

The Vatican reflects on its mortal sins for the modern age.

There was a certain bracing beauty about the original seven deadly sins--pride, gluttony, melancholy (which was dropped in the 17th century in favor of sloth), lust, greed, envy and anger--which among them could account for virtually all the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind. Anger gives rise to violence; gluttony to waste; pride to every manner of tragedy and hurt. They were judged sufficient for the past 15 centuries, ever since they were cataloged by Pope Gregory the Great, with an assist from Thomas Aquinas and Dante.

But not anymore. "We are losing the notion of sin," Pope Benedict XVI warns,...

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