- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2003

PARIS (Agence France-Presse) A group of French chefs, writers and media stars will petition Pope John Paul II this month to remove gluttony from the list of the seven deadly sins, Le Journal du Dimanche paper reported yesterday.
The plea will be presented by the daughter of the French master baker Lionel Poilane, who campaigned vigorously for the rehabilitation of gluttony in French "la gourmandise" before his death in a helicopter crash last year.
Members of the Association for the Gourmand Issue admit the question is essentially linguistic.
While "gourmandise" once meant eating to excess, earning it a listing in the French version of the Roman Catholic Church's seven sins, today its associations are more of conviviality and good living.
Another word, "gloutonnerie," translates gluttony more accurately.
"Lionel was right. It is not so much la gourmandise as la gloutonnerie that should be considered a sin," said world-renowned restaurateur Paul Bocuse.
The association also counts among its members chef Alain Ducasse, writers Laure Adler and Jean-Francois Revel, yachtsman Oliver de Kersauson and a member of the prestigious Academie Francaise, Helene Carrere d'Encausse.
"La gloutonnerie has no social or convivial side to it whereas la gourmandise is all about pleasure and sharing," said the association's president, Catherine Soulier.
The seven deadly or capital sins were first formulated by Pope Gregory I at the end of the sixth century. They are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth.
In an interview with Le Monde newspaper in 2001, Mr. Poilane said he hoped to go to the Vatican himself at the head of a delegation of renowned chefs and food producers to ask for the sin to be re-classified.
"When somone says to me 'Thou shalt not kill,' I can understand it perfectly. But the gourmand does no harm to anyone. He is a pacifist he is certainly not a sinner," Mr. Poilane said.

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