It’s hard to know why they suddenly decided to do this now; the initial sins were defined back in the sixth century. Perhaps they were inspired by the software industry? The initial release of the Seven Deadly Sins – let’s call them SDS 1.0 for short – were already well accepted across their followers (customer base). The obvious thing to do in order to continue to engage the existing (and attract a new generation of followers) is to issue a product upgrade. Like the latest version of anti-virus, the all new SDS 2.0 is essential for protection against the fires of hell. Although it would have made more sense to have a series of releases – SDS 1.1, SDS 1.3 Gold, etc – in order to maximize the number of times an upgrade is required.
Of maybe it was Hollywood inspired? The fabulously successful movie Seven has been screaming out for a sequel. The obvious choice would be Eight, but that’s really just an incremental change, and besides, what do you choose as the eighth deadly sin? Clearly, this needed a collaboration from the Church so the plot was true to life. And after The Da Vinci Code, the movie industry really needed to improve their standing with religion again. Is it any wonder that “making a mockery of organized religion through cinema” didn’t make it on to the list? And so, we have Seven II: Fourteen, coming to your cinemas very soon. Or at the mathematicians prefer to call it, 7 x 2 = 14, with a planned release date of 07/02/2014. It doesn’t have the simple ring of 666, but at least it adds up.
These sins are actually quite a disappointment. The original ones, expressed so succintly with just a single word each, had a magical, timeless feel about them. You can really lie back and imagine a booming heavenly voice saying “We find you guilty of the mortal sin of avarice and sentence your soul to an enternity of damnation”, or at the very least, an equally booming-voiced Irish priest warning “let not gluttony drag you down in to the fires of hell” .
But the latest batch just don’t have the consise quality that sins need to really be welcomed and understood by the masses. “The excessive accumulation of wealth by a few” and “allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos”? How on earth are they going to write a hymn or a prayer and get awkward phrases like those to rhyme or scan? What were they thinking?
It must’ve been difficult process to pick what to include and what not to include in this latest batch. You have to wonder how many “minor” sins were left on the cutting room floor, never to be raised to the prominence (or notoriety) they deserve. With apologies to John West, this is best summed up as follows: It’s the sins that the Vatican rejects, that makes Catholicism the best.