Environment, Bioethics Under Vatican's Scrutiny

Church updates Catholic morality for modern, globalized life
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2008 3:30 PM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI gives his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, March 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Catholics must guard against "new sins" such as polluting the environment and using genetic modification, the Vatican says. Their church has updated the concept of sin for the contemporary world, paying special attention to the expanding and morally murky world of bioethics, a top official from the Apostolic Penitentiary, which deals with transgressions of conscience, tells Reuters.

“We absolutely must denounce some violations of the fundamental rights of human nature through experiments and genetic manipulation whose outcome is difficult to predict and control," the official said in an interview with the official Vatican newspaper. Pope Benedict XVI has overseen a “greening” of the Vatican, and has appealed in recent months for the curbing of climate change.