Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 513 are all who trust in them.” 42 God, however, is the “living God” 43 who gives life and intervenes in history. 2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and re­ veres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” 44 Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” 45 refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God. 46 2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man’s innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who “trans­ fers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God.” 47 Divination and magic 2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confi­ dently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvi­ dence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility. 2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely sup­ posed to “unveil” the future. 48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human be­ ings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. 2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others—even if this were for the sake 42 Ps 115:4-5, 8; cf. Isa 44:9-20; Jer 10:1-16; Dan 14:1-30; Bar 6; Wis 13:1-15:19. 43 Josh 3:10; Ps 42:3; etc. 44 Mt 6:24. 45 Cf. Rev 13-14. 46 Cf. Gal 5:20; Eph 5:5. 47 Origen, Contra Celsum 2, 40: PG 11, 861. 48 Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8. 398, 2534 2289 2473 305