I have a question for the forum. When is gambling a sin? I know that many churches support gambling, with bingo and at my chapel raffles. But is gambling a sin? My father, who grew up before Vatican II told me that the priests used to tell him that gambling is a sin, but today many churches, including many traditional churches promote gambling.
No offense meant to your father, Matto, but since I grew up during same era (b. 1945), the only explanation I can come up with for his getting the wrong end of this particular stick is that he didn't notice that the priests who gave him that line were aliens from the planet Mongo in clever disguise.
Not only did I frequently hear denials of the in se
sinfulness of gambling from the pulpit
, but the Ursuline nuns who taught me in grammar school made the very same point time and again—precisely to resist the assumption by me and their other charges that the narrowminded Protestant morality of the community at large, which mistakenly characterized the abuse
of drinking and gambling and similar pastimes as proof of their innate immorality, ought to be taken as correct.
While it is undoubtedly true that Americanism was rife among the hierarchy in the thirties, forties, and fifties—something that made the USA fertile soil for the Vatican II mind-set when it came on the scene—it is also true that in practical terms, the moral and doctrinal catechesis that most Catholics received at the parish and parochial school level was extremely sound, not least in its profound reasonableness. In one of its central aspects, that catechesis understood—and taught us youngsters to understand—that essentially every human inclination and interest and impulse found in this terrestrial plane was subject to exaggeration and abuse and corruption. The fault was in us, however, not in the Creation which Our Good Lord had placed us in.