11 March 2008, 17:47
Listing sins is not characteristic of Orthodoxy - the Moscow Patriarchate
Moscow, March 11, Interfax – The Russian Church doubts the necessity to list sins and notes it’s not characteristic of Orthodox religious tradition.
“Orthodoxy has spiritual, theological and pastoral attitude to sin that doesn’t require any strict arrangement or regulation. Are the lists indeed necessary?” the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations secretary for inter-Christian affairs Fr. Igor Vyzhanov told Interfax-Religion on Tuesday.
Thus he reacted on the new Vatican’s list of “traditional” mortal sins updated with seven transgressions to keep hip with the epoch of globalization: genetic modification, carrying out experiments on humans, polluting the environment, causing social injustice, causing poverty, becoming obscenely wealthy and taking drugs.
Fr. Igor noted that “Western Christianity is more inclined to classify even spiritual things, to file and arrange everything.”
“Eastern Christianity isn’t used to rigorous system of spiritual notions. No doubt, Orthodox religious practice names and finds proper place for each sin, but is usually relates to a concrete human soul with its various shades and transitions, it’s hardly possible to list it,” the interviewee of the agency said.
However, he further said, it didn’t mean Orthodoxy was indifferent to political and social realities, “nothing’s near so.” “As for social and political problems, we should keep in mind that concrete people who make a their moral choice constitute society and state,” the priest said.
Any sin is “neither social nor political notion, it’s a spiritual event, when a person contradicts God’s will breaking His commandments,” Fr. Igor concluded.