Vatican study shows how sexes differ on the seven deadly sins

A VATICAN cleric has outlined how the sexes struggle differently with the seven deadly sins.

… The [Vatican] report is based on a **study of confessions carried out by Father Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar. The Pope’s personal theologian backs up the report in the Vatican newspaper.

“Men and women sin in different ways,” Monsignor Wojciech Giertych, theologian to the papal household, writes in L’Osservatore Romano [Vatican semi-official newspaper]. “When you look at vices from the point of view of the difficulties they create, you find that men experiment in a different way from women.”**

Monsignor Giertych says the most trying sin for men is lust, followed by gluttony, sloth (laziness), anger, pride, envy and greed. For women, the most dangerous are pride, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, greed and sloth.

The report was released amid Vatican concern over the declining rate of confessions …

Doesn’t this violate the spirit of the seal of the confessional? I don’t know if I were a Cathoic female, then I might not want my confessions to reflect negatively on the “fairer sex” and if I were a Catholic male, ditto for the male sex.

Apparently both men and women don’t have much problems with greed. I think men should be proud that they are so much humbler than women :wink:

The quoted article is not from a recognized Catholic Source (see two can play the non-official news source here). In fact the majority of your article is from a Buddhist Female ?nun?.

I believe that this kind of discourse on SIN is a good thing at this time of the Liturgical Year. It provides us CATHOLICS with an idea of where we as a fail.

As long as there are no names and the information is general there is no violation of the of the seal of confession.

Not sure what you’re trying to “play”. The rule is

Always provide a link to a publically available news source.

I won’t claim this is a well-written article, but being from the Advertiser/Sunday News of Adelaide, it certainly meets the requirement.

IIRC, it is owned by the Rupert Murdoch media empire, at least the website is so I assume the print paper is as well. Rupert Murdoch’s media empire of course includes Fox News.

And a similar article from the BBC

It seems substantially the same report on all points except no mention of the Buddhist nun. A little more info is in this report from The Times:

And it’s been reported by ABC News as well

CNS (which is Catholic) also has reported it, but neglected to mention the Vatican study of confessional data. CNS may just be basing their report off other reports and they may be confusing two things: the author of the article in the Vatican newspaper, who is the papal theologian, lending support to the Vatican study of confessional data by another priest. He lends support with his own experiences in the confessional but the Vatican study by the other priest who is famous for computerized studies of Aquinas, apparently is an actual survey of some rigor. Maybe he surveyed different priests or something.

The most comprehensive report is in The Times.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure where the archives of the daily edition of the Vatican newspaper can be found online. I assume this is from the daily, not weekly edition.

I think you are right. I was checking around and only the weekly edition is available from L’Osservatore Romano in English from the Vatican Website and you have to pay for the subscription. You would have to pay more for a back order, but you can request archives.

You can check it out at:

I was checking my old emails from the Vatican Information Service and Zenit and didn’t find anything, but I will check again. If I come up with anything, I will post it.


I’ve come up empty. I can only find his address on Natural and Moral Law that was done between February 12 -14 on Zenit . It does not contain the details of the study that is being discussed in this thread. Sorry. I tried.:slight_smile:


The seal of confessional prevents the penitent from being identified, but it isn’t a copyright, in the sense that the priest would be bound not to make any use or any public use of the knowledge, as long as the penitent is not identified.

But the priest is also instructed to not make any use of the knowledge in a way that would “displease” the penitent. If I were a Catholic female, it might displease me that my confessions have been used in a way that reflects negatively on women and ditto if I were a Catholic male. Many might not care, but if some do, then that would seem to violate the spirit of the seal. IIRC, the Holy Office said the priest shouldn’t do what I mentioned in the first sentence and I don’t see any indication that that judgment has been revised. In moral theology works, they say a priest who reveals sins of his congregation or small local community without identifying anyone, is among other things, doing a proportionate harm to the reputation of each member of the congregation and that that is unjust. I don’t see why the same wouldn’t hold also of a more global community of women versus men. Pretend that this were not a revelation about sex, but about different countries or different ethnicities (discerned by language or in face to face by appearance). That would seem to violate the spirit of the seal. Maybe national or ethnic pride is more prevalent than sexual pride. Some consider some abnormal sexual orientations to be a third sex; if the revelations were about a “third sex”, they may also not appreciate it.

The order of the list is very interesting to me. For men, I’m surprised that both gluttony and sloth precede anger; I would have assumed anger right after lust. (So much for my viewpoint. :wink: )

For women, I would have assumed envy and pride reversing positions in that list.

Generalized public statements about confessions (from confessors) don’t particularly bother me. It would bother me if a priest referenced a particular example of a confession at the parish in which he was preaching, in case that penitent were in the congregation at the time and feel humiliation. (Obviously, unless that were me, I would not know that, but I’m speaking hypothetically.) I would think that such a statement in the possible presence of the penitent could be breaking the spirit of the Seal, which includes the priest not acknowledging the previous confession, in the inclusive or exclusive presence of the penitent, outside of the confessional.

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