Catechism of the Catholic Church

502 Part Three 2066 The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become tradi­ tional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. The Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities. 2067 The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor. As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets... so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other. 27 2068 The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten Commandments are obligatory for Christians and that the justified man is still bound to keep them; 28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: “The bish-ops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all menmay attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments.” 29 The unity of the Decalogue 2069 The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each “word” re­ fers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. The two tablets shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others. 30 One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. The Decalogue brings man’s religious and social life into unity. The Decalogue and the natural law 2070 The Ten Commandments belong to God’s revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the funda­ mental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law: 27 St. Augustine, Sermo 33, 2, 2: PL 38, 208. 28 Cf. DS 1569-1570. 29 LG 24. 30 Cf. Jas 2:10-11. 1853 1993 888 2534 1955