The Church saying smoking is a sin?

The Church saying smoking is a sin?

The Washington Times prints a UPI story that says the Church is moving toward condemning smoking as a moral evil, but I’m not buying it. Here’s why.

They note, correctly, that the article appears in Civilta Cattolica, an Italian Jesuit journal that has its articles approved by “a top aide to Pope John Paul II” but doesn’t name the “aide”. That would be Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who is the number 2 official at the Vatican as Secretary of State, but only number 2 in governance, not in doctrinal matters. That would be Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Sodano’s approval of a moral message bears no more magisterial weight than any other bishop’s approval would and does not signal a change in the Church’s teaching on smoking.

If, on the other hand, the journal had published an article concerning the disposition of pervert priests or the Holy See’s relationship with Israel or something of that nature, that could be taken as significant. But not on matters dealt with by the Catechism.

  • I’ve read that Good Pope John smoked cigarettes and died of stomach cancer.I’ve also read that Padre Pio and his brother monks were fond of GI cigarettes during WWII. Seems we have a ribbon for every cancer except lung – where charity suffers from a smug “I told you so.” There are going to be a lot of angry social engineers in the ICU some day. Like the smoker or glutton, they’ll die, too. And like the smoker and glutton, they’ll be dead for a long time. On the other hand skipping a smoke is a good form of mortification and worth a try.

    Like all things in life, moderation is the key.

  • Was this article published in English?

    After that Sri Lanka/Israel thing the other day, I have little trust in any particular translator’s work. I need two or three in agreement.

  • Ooops.  All of Italy’s going to hell in a Pall Mall wrapper then.  Have you ever seen a room of Italians not smoke?  On the phone, in the street, while in the elevator, after meals, etc etc.  There is no such thing as a “non-smoking section” in Rome.  This has got to be bogus.

  • michigancatholic, it would be just like the Vatican to condemn smoking as a “moral evil” while refusing to discipline malfeasant bishops or dallying with Muslim dictators. Rome just *loves* to tell others what to do while refusing to apply those same sanctions to itself.

    It’s called “hypocracy”

  • Stories like this serve the long-standing media bias to present the Church as concerned with everything but the serious issues (sexual abuse, declining participation in the Catholic Church abortion/ contraception/ demographic collapse)  It’s another manifestation of the “blue vestments” issue.

  • Rather, Denny, if it’s true it isn’t slander.  But it can be true and simultaneously bias if it is reported all out of proportion to other issues or in a prejudiced (snide, leading) fashion.

    It looks like a throw-away piece to me.  Either it was a slow newsday or somebody (who knows who) is grousing about smoking at the Vatican.  That’s probably all there is to it.  But the press can’t tell—they’re tone deaf about all this.  =)