THE CATECHISM OF ST. PIUS X

The Vices and Other Very Grievous Sins

1 Q: What is a vice?

A: A vice is an evil disposition of the mind to shirk good and do evil, arising from the frequent repetition of evil acts.

2 Q: What difference is there between a sin and a vice?

A: Between sin and vice there is this difference that sin is a passing act, whereas vice is a bad habit, contracted by continually falling into some sin.

3 Q: Which are the vices called capital?

A: The vices called capital are seven: Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy and Sloth.

4 Q: How are the capital vices conquered?

A: The capital vices are conquered by the exercise of the opposite virtues: Thus Pride is conquered by humility; Covetousness by liberality; Lust by chastity; Anger by patience; Gluttony by abstinence; Envy by brotherly love; Sloth by diligence and fervor in the service of God.

5 Q: Why are these vices called capital?

A: They are called capital because they are the head and fount of many other vices and sins.

6 Q: How many are the sins against the Holy Ghost?

A: The sins against the Holy Ghost are six: (1) Despairing of being saved; (2) Presuming on being saved without merit; (3) Opposing the known truth; (4) Envying another's graces; (5) Obstinately remaining in sin; (6) Final impenitence.

7 Q: Why are these sins specially said to be against the Holy Ghost?

A: These sins are specially said to be against the Holy Ghost, because they are committed through pure malice, which is contrary to goodness, the special attribute of the Holy Ghost.

8 Q: Which are the sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance?

A: The sins that are said to cry to God for vengeance are these four: (1) Willful murder; (2) The sin of sodomy; (3) Oppression of the poor; (4) Defrauding laborers of their wages.

9 Q: Why are these sins said to cry to God for vengeance?

A: These sins are said to cry to God for vengeance because the Holy Ghost says so, and because their iniquity is so great and so manifest that it provokes God to punish them with the severest chastisements.