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Catechism of the Catholic Church

Irreligion

2118 God's first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

2119 Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act. 49 Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test." 50 The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power. 51

2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us. 52

2121 Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things. 53 To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!" 54 Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: "You received without pay, give without pay." 55 It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.

2122 The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty." 56 The competent authority determines these "offerings" in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church's ministers. "The laborer deserves his food." 57

Notes:

49 Cf. Lk 4:9.

50 Deut 6:16.

51 Cf. I Cor 10:9; Ex 17:2-7; Ps 95:9.

52 Cf. CIC, cann. 1367; 1376.

53 Cf. Acts 8:9-24.

54 Acts 8:20.

55 Mt 10:8; cf. already Isa 55:1.

56 CIC, can. 848.

57 Mt 10:10; cf. Lk 10:7; I Cor 9:5-18; I Tim 5:17-18.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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