What Are the Seven Deadly Sins and Where Did the Seven Deadly Sins Come From?

The seven deadly sins, or cardinal sins, according to the Roman Catholic faith, are the sins that are most serious and can result in the death of one’s soul:

  1. pride
  2. lust
  3. gluttony
  4. anger
  5. envy
  6. sloth
  7. covetousness

In their original form, as put forth by Avagrius of Pontus, an early Greek theologian, there were eight deadly sins.

In order of increasing sinfulness, they were gluttony, lust, avarice, sadness, anger, acedia (apathy), vainglory, and pride.

Along came Pope Gregory the Great, who gave us the Gregorian calendar and Gregorian chants.

In the sixth century, he decided vain, glory and pride were the same and combined them; added envy and reversed the sins’ order of severity.

Later, the Church decided sadness couldn’t be labeled a sin and replaced it with a new deadly sin, sloth.

After ordering and reordering the deadly sins over time, the Church finally decided that sin couldn’t be measured and eliminated degree of sinfulness completely.

Today the seven deadly sins remain numbered for tradition and identification only.

On the flip side, there are acts of moral distinction that sometimes offer a way of behavior to counter the seven deadly sins.

The seven virtues are faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, prudence, and temperance.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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