Vatican Expert Says Men and Women Sin in Different Ways

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

The personal theologian to Pope Benedict XVI says there is is no “sexual equality” when it comes to sin. Men tend toward sins of lust and gluttony while women struggle with anger and pride.

“Men and women sin in different ways,” wrote Monsignor Wojciech Giertych in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican 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’s comments are based on an analysis of confessional data carried out by Roberto Busa, 96, the Jesuit priest celebrated for his computerised study of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas.

The survey found that pride ranks fifth for men, who are likely to have indulged in so much lust and gluttony that they are too slothful to feel angry, proud, envious or avaricious, the Monsignor wrote. 

Women are not averse to lust, but are primarily occupied with pride, envy and anger. Sloth does not set in until after gluttony and avarice.

Monsignor Giertych said the survey confirmed his own observations. “Diverse cultural contexts generate diverse habits – but human nature remains the same.”

These and all other human weaknesses can “purify faith,” he said, provided they are “admitted and offered up to God.”

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