(Photo left: the deadly sin of anger. Post-picture, this child threw a desktop out a fourth story window.)
New York, NY: In an unexpected move, local Catholic leaders are blaming the new facebook redesign to an increase in pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth.
"I knew we had a problem Tuesday at lunchtime," said an employee of the diocesan pastoral center, who preferred to remain anonymous. "People were grumpy, squinty-eyed, out of sorts. There was a lot of buzz about Google + not being so evil after all. And then a colleague announced he was going into the desert for while to pray. I don't know; I just connected the dots."
The Vicar General, Fr. Michael Smith, was more direct in his criticism within this Sunday's homily (posted on facebook). "What we have here is the failure of facebook to read the signs of the times," he said. "Facebook should have known that creating an algorithm based set of super statuses and a sidebar that runs like a stock ticker tape on crack was going to cause anger, no, more than anger: WRATH. Didn't we all snap at our friends and family at the dinner table Tuesday night? I know to drown my frustrations, I ate a whole French Silk Pie: GLUTTONY at its most primal. Facebook, my fallen friend, you're playing with hellfire and bringing down the house."
Other priests in the diocese have underlined that facebook users, in the end, are responsible for their own sins. But one retired priest, who wished not to be named, was clearly incensed by the changes and their roots in the fallen nature of humanity. "Sloth! --facebook is thy name. Greed! --Mark Zuckerberg is thy model. Pride! --that nameless 20 year old kid on RedBull who created the hyperkinetic new interface is thy definition. Envy! --behold what facebook wrecked on us after a little dust-kicking by brand new shiny Google +. Lust! --....um. Well, I'm a 86 year old priest; I don't do that. But facebook has a toehold there somehow, I just know it."
Lines at local Saturday afternoon church confessionals were marked to be longer than usual.
Parishioners seem resigned to the injustice of a free social media service changing its layout and rules. "I'm just going to have to cultivate large-heartedness and patience, dang it," grumbled a parishioner after Fr. Smith's Saturday night mass. "I mean, what the heck else am I going to do? Go to Plurk? Pick up a phone?"
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