According to Eduardo Porter, author of the Times piece, the theme in this is a movement away from individualistic sorts of sins of the kind that might typify an agrarian society to more, shall we say, "corporate" sins of the sort that are often claimed to afflict the society of the 21st century. Now, the famous list of mortal sins (pride, envy, lust, etc.) could easily be cashed out in such a way that so-called "corporate" sins fall under their various rubrics (indeed, that sort of categorization is the very stuff of medieval moral theorizing), but I got the distinct impression that there was more to this movement than mere taxonomy:
Norms encoded hundreds of years ago to guide human behavior in a small-scale agrarian society could not account for a globalized postindustrial information economy. Polluting the environment, drug trafficking, performing genetic manipulations or causing social inequities, new sinful behaviors mentioned by Msgr. Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Vatican Penitentiary, are arguably more relevant to many contemporary Catholics than contraception.Ah, yes, of course, contraception. What a surprise to find that the sin of contraception is so very old fashioned as to be no longer relevant to modern Catholics. I don't suppose the prevalence of, say, lust, in contemporary culture could have anything to do with the contemporary Catholic (and, well, let's face it, everyone else's, too) attitude towards the teaching on contraception. It also comes as no surprise that the "new" mortal sins amount to a typical listing of leftist Shibboleths (which is not to deny that some of them probably really are sins, at least when engaged in by individuals).
The rest of Porter's analysis is, on the one hand, certainly correct (religions are like "clubs" in which membership is defined by adherence to certain "rules" of membership; the Vatican is particularly strict in its definition and interpretation of the "rules", etc.) but, on the other hand, hopelessly banal. To be informed that "it could be tricky to update sins in a way that could de-emphasize individual trespasses and shift the focus to social crimes bearing a collective guilt" adds nothing to what everybody already knows and, if anything, is an understatement. Some might go so far as to say that it is literally impossible to shift the focus away from the individual when it comes to determining the nature of sin.