So what are those sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance anyway?

So what are those sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance anyway? August 19, 2016

These, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1867):

The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”:

1. The blood of Abel (Gen 4:10)

And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!

2. The sin of the Sodomites (Gen. 18.20; 19:13)

Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin!

For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.

3. The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt (Ex. 3.7-10)

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

4. The cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan (Ex. 20:20-22)

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”  Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

5. Injustice to the wage earner (Deut 24:14-15; Jas 5:4)

You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether other Israelites or aliens who reside in your land in one of your towns.  You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt.

Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.


There you go.  The fabled Sins that Cry Out to Heaven for Vengeance.  I mention this because I notice the rather free application of the phrase to those who we disagree with, especially on such topics as economic policy and political affiliation.  Not that there isn’t room to discuss these things.  But note, you are not guilty of a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance because you believe in this or that economic policy or principle, if your goal is to reduce poverty and help those in need and provide just wages for the worker.  And if you feel the urge to buttress your argument by assuming that those who disagree do so because their highfalutin policies are only a facade meant to cover up their real desire to throw grannies off of cliffs and starve babies, then you might be the one who is guilty of another old standard in the sin department.

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