The National Catholic Review

This week, L’Osservatore Romano highlighted a study, just in time for Lent, on the sinful tendencies of the sexes.  The report, according to the BBC, was based on a study of confessions carried out by Roberto Busa, S.J., a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar.  The Pope’s personal theologian agreed.  "Men and women sin in different ways," said Msgr Wojciech Giertych in L’Osservatore.  Giertych listed lust as the most common sin for men; for women, pride.  So the study shows men and women sin differently.

Or do they?  Not so fast, I say.  Here’s my take, with Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition.  Wait for the joke at the end!

James Martin, SJ

Comments

Anonymous | 2/23/2009 - 9:59am
It is not the results I find troubling, but the analysis itself - or rather - that such an analysis was done. People stay away from the Sacrament enough without the knowledge that someone may even informally tabulate their sins.
Anonymous | 2/24/2009 - 4:04pm
I have misgivings similar to those of Mr. Binder (the first comment-poster). I first heard about the study when I heard Fr. Martin's interview on NPR last Saturday morning. I kept waiting for Mr. Simon to ask Fr. Martin about the subject of the seal of Confession. I certainly wondered how the study's author, and others involved, compiled the information. More crucially, I was curious to know if any information released with the study indicated whether those who were involved had grappled with the possibly negative pastoral implications among Catholics and the puzzlement, or worse, among others regarding the appearance, at least, of playing fast and loose with the seal of Confession. Regarding Fr. Martin's joke about Confession, I started re-telling it that same day and have gleefully continued doing so! C. Wood, Portland, OR