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Editing the Ten Commandments

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 25, 2003

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If there's anything the French people love more than their food, it's their language. So it's amusing to see the continuing campaign by leading French culinary authorities to drop "gluttony" from the list of the seven deadly sins.

Maybe it's just a publicity stunt. The people circulating a petition to the Pope, asking him to authorize gluttony, and mostly chefs and restaurant owners. Still...

Doesn't anybody in France have a sufficient grasp on the Catholic faith to be able to take these folks aside, and gently tell them that they're making fools of themselves?

There are really only 2 ways to interpret this petition drive:

  1. Maybe the organizers think that this list of deadly sins is a completely arbitrary invention, dreamed up by the Vatican. They don't realize that the Pope can't change the list, any more than he can change the multiplication tables. Their argument isn't with the Pope; it's with the Author of the Ten Commandments.
  2. Or maybe the think that the sin of gluttony should be rendered in French as gloutonnerie rather than gourmandaise. That sounds OK to me. But are you going to tell me that the French want a Pole to help them with their language?

I say take it up with the Académie Française. Over a small plate of Coquilles Saint-Jacques à la julienne de truffes. With a glass of ...

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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