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Posted on Thu 12 July 2018

In response to the Telegraph Article “Self-pride is no longer a mortal sin”

Sir, 

Julie Birchall tells us that pride is no longer a mortal sin (Self-pride is no longer a mortal sin, 11 July. I am not sure from where she has received this information but for the Church, pride remains the first of the ‘deadly sins’ because it leads to others.

One of the difficulties is that in English ‘pride’ can mean a range of feelings which, in other languages can be denoted by a number of different words.It is thus quite proper for us to have self-confidence and a measure of self- regard and to be pleased at praise for our achievements. This can be true for both individuals and for nations. Destructive pride, however, called hubris in the Bible, is a defiance of God and of the created order. It is a denial of our finitude and fallenness, which can affect even our most altruistic actions, and it is arrogance which leads to using others merely as a means of satisfying our own, individual or collective, appetites.

Such pride remains a mortal sin because it leads to a false estimate of ourselves and of others, leading to injustice and disruption in society.

Yours faithfully,

+Michael Nazir-Ali