As youngsters we were all taught as part of our catechism the fours sins crying out to heaven for vengeance. We rarely hear about them these days. I quote below from the Douay Catechism of 1649. But, you may think that 1649 is a long time ago and we've moved on since then. But wait, see article 1867 of The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994). Yes, they are still there!
From the Douay Catholic Catechism of 1649
CHAPTER XX - The sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance
Q. 925. HOW many such sins are there?
Q. 926. What is the first of them?
A. Wilful murder, which is a voluntary and unjust taking away another’s life.
Q. 927. How show you the depravity of this sin?
A. Out of Gen. iv. 10. Where it is said to Cain “What hast thou done? the voice of the blood of thy brother crieth to me from the earth: now, therefore shalt thou be cursed upon the earth.” And Matt. xxvi 52, “All that take the sword, shall perish with the sword.”
Q. 928. What is the second?
A. The sin of Sodom, or carnal sin against nature, which is a voluntary shedding of the seed of nature, out of the due use of marriage, or lust with a different sex.
Q. 929. What is the scripture proof of this?
A. Out of Gen. xix. 13. where we read of the Sodomites, and their sin. “We will destroy this place because the cry of them hath increased before our Lord, who hath sent us to destroy them,” (and they were burnt with fire from heaven.)
Q. 930. What is the third?
A. Oppressing of the poor, which is a cruel, tyrannical, and unjust dealing with inferiors.
Q. 931. What other proof have you of that?
A. Out of Exod. xxii. 21. “Ye shall not hurt the widow and the fatherless: If you do hurt them, they will cry unto me, and I will hear them cry, and my fury shall take indignation, and I will strike thee with the sword.” And out of Isa. x. 1, 2. “Wo to them that make unjust laws, that they might oppress the poor in judgment, and do violence to the cause of the humble of my people.”
Q. 932. What is the fourth?
A. To defraud working men of their wages, which is to lessen, or detain it from them.
Q. 933. What proof have you of it?
A. Out of Eccl. xxxiv. 37. “He that sheddeth blood and he that defraudeth the hired man, are brethren,” and out of James v. 4. “Behold the hire of the workmen that have reaped your fields, which is defrauded by you, crieth, and their cry hath entered into the ears of the Lord God of Sabbath.”
1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.
The following discussion is adapted from the blog by Taylor Marshall
What would the report card of the United Kingdom look like? It looks like we are failing four out four. And it's not that we are simply committing these sins, we are approving of these sins and mandating these sins.
The UK is a large exporter of abortion to the world, not to mention the crimes in this regard within our own borders. That innocent bloodshed if there ever were.
The sin of Sodom includes not only sodomy, but also contraception in the "voluntary shedding of the seed of nature."
The third is the oppressing of the poor, orphan, and widow, and the fourth is defrauding laborers. The UK has its own poverty problem. The inflation of currency defrauds labourers - especially the retired who depend on lifesavings which are gradually devalued. And we could also speak of the exportation of jobs oversees and the slave labour arrangements in China that make our Walmart purchases all the cheaper.
Only one of these four sins is required to call to Heaven for "vengeance." Yet we have all four crying against us in the Heavenly court.