Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

MOLECH

A pagan deity of certain Semitic peoples. Worship of Molech involved the sacrifice of a child by passing through a fire or a furnace, a custom reminiscent of the stories concerning Abraham and Isaac and Jephthah and his daughter. This savage ritual was forbidden by Hebrew law (Leviticus 18:21), which specified stoning to death as an appropriate punishment. The notorious King Manasseh was responsible for introducing Molech worship in the seventh century B.C., using his own son as a sacrificial offering (II Kings 21:6). One of the reforms King Josiah made was the destruction of the furnace in the Valley of Ben-hinnom to end this dreadful practice (II Kings 23:10). Also spelled Moloch.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17