Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 519 2145 The faithful should bear witness to the Lord’s name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear. 76 Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2146 The second commandment forbids the abuse of God’s name, i.e., every improper use of the names of God, Jesus Christ, but also of the Virgin Mary and all the saints. 2147 Promises made to others in God’s name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respect­ ed in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God’s name and in some way to make God out to be a liar. 77 2148 Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second command­ ment. It consists in uttering against God—inwardly or outwardly —words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. St. James condemns those “who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called.” 78 The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion. Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin. 79 2149 Oaths which misuse God’s name, though without the in­ tention of blasphemy, show lack of respect for the Lord. The sec­ ond commandment also forbids magical use of the divine name. [God’s] name is great when spoken with respect for the greatness of his majesty. God’s name is holy when said with veneration and fear of offending him. 80 76 Cf. Mt 10:32; 1 Tim 6:12. 77 Cf. 1 Jn 1:10. 78 Jas 2:7. 79 Cf. CIC, can. 1369. 80 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 2, 5, 19: PL 34, 1278. 2472 427 2101 1756