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The Uzommiri study centre has organized a doctrine class to educate students on the seventh commandment: sins that are commited against it and virtues to be gained. The class was taught by the honourable Fr Basil.

The seventh commandment is one that emphasizes respect for the other person’s goods. This commandment forbids taking or keeping someone else’s belongings unjustly or treating someone unjustly with respect to their goods. Stealing means taking something against the reasonable will of the owner. Therefore, if one takes something that belongs to someone else with permission, or in an emergency then one has not sinned.

There are many sins against the seventh commandment.

The very obvious ones are theft, robbery, and fraud. They differ from themselves in the way they are carried out. Theft happens in a hidden manner, robbery is by force, while fraud is with deceit.

Other sins against this commandment include: corruption, which is very rampant in our country; work poorly done; cheating in exams; impersonation; tax evasion; forgery of checks and invoices; rent seeking; failure to pay a just salary; hoarding goods and services; and dishonouring contracts.

Another sin against the seventh commandment is excessive waste of food, drink or any other material good. According to Pope Francis, wasting food is stealing from the poor.

The acts of Ponzi Schemes were also elaborated on. The priest reminded us that the right to profit from any business is tied to how much value we add. Since ponzi schemes add no real value to any business, ponzi schemes are tricks. It is therefore a sin to engage in ponzi schemes.

The priest added a note on gambling/betting. He said that according to the Church, gambling/betting is not sinful in itself but is addictive. Gambling addiction leads to waste which is a sin against the seventh commandment.

The gravity of sin against the seventh commandment is dependent on the nature of what is stolen and who it was stolen from.

Also, there is a necessity to restore what has been taken unjustly from someone. It, however, is not always possible to do so. In such, one should pray for the person stolen from. When it is possible to restore, one should do so without any obligation to reveal.

In obeying the seventh commandment, one is exercising is several virtues. One of the virtues is Justice which entails giving to everyone their fair due. Another one is Solidarity. The others are Self Control and Temperance.