21 August 2020


Last night, I killed a clothes-moth. With my own hand, a lethal weapon.

In view of PF's teaching about Biodiversity in Laudato si, is this now a confessible offence? Mortal or venial?


Oliver Nicholson said...

Mortal for the clothes moth !

Tom said...

I suppose you could appeal to the 'gospel' of C. Darwin (still very popular in liberal circles) and claim survival of the fittest. Personally with most insects I usually make some effort to move them on to the great outdoors. If that fails, or I am too lazy, then I dispatch them to oblivion as swiftly as I can. I think the biodiversity thing only applies if you aim to wipe out the entire species. That said it seems that those who are concerned with biodiversity seem never to include the many parasitical species especially those attached to human beings. There are very many of those. I recommend Carl Zimmer's "Parasite Rex" if you would like a few sleepless nights.

Joshua said...

Since both you and the moth were and still are teeming with countless myriads of commensal bacteria and viruses, all heartily eating and being eaten, reproducing and being reproduced, the reduction in the number of living organisms was exceedingly temporary and of no importance. De minimis non curat lex.

william arthurs said...

Just a comment for the sacristans reading this. A lot of people don't realise that it isn't wool per se that clothes moths eat, it's any fabric (including synthetics) containing spots of oiliness or greasiness. They originally evolved to eat deceased birds' feathers, which is why, in an urban setting, you will find a lot of them at pigeons' graveyards ---- the places behind parapets of tall buildings where pigeons go to die.

I once killed a clothes moth with my bare hand... on the altar while I was serving at BCP Holy Communion. The trick of course is to make it look as though it is all part of the ceremonial. By exercising dominion rather than stewardship over the moth, however, I suspect I was not in line with modern-day "creation theology".