Life in Christ
The faithful should bear witness to the Lord’s name by
confessing the faith without giving way to fear.
catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
79 Cf. CIC, can. 1369.
80 St. Augustine,
De serm. Dom. in monte
2, 5, 19: PL 34, 1278.