of restoring their health—are gravely contrary to the virtue of
religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when
accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they
have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is
often implies divination or magical
practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Re
course to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the in
vocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
God’s first commandment condemns the main sins of
irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.
consists in putting his goodness and al
mighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to in
duce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this
gesture, force God to act.
Jesus opposed Satan with the word of
God: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
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.
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.
is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual
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!”
Peter thus held to the words of Jesus:
“You received without pay, give without pay.”
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.
52 Cf. CIC, cann. 1367; 1376.
10:8; cf. already