Catechism in Pictures, text & image-38

THE COMMANDMENTS. The Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill. 1. The Fifth Commandment forbids (1) homicide, (2) suicide, (3) bodily violence of every kind, (5) anger, (6) hatred, (6) quarreli…More

The Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill.

The Fifth Commandment forbids (1) homicide, (2) suicide, (3) bodily violence of every kind, (5) anger, (6) hatred, (6) quarreling, (8) revenge, (9) injurious language, (10) scandal, in which included bad example.

Homicide. Bodily violence.

Homicide is taking the life of another deliberately and without justification. Inflicting bodily hurt is the first step to homicide, and may under unfortunate circumstances even directly result in death.
3. If any one causes the death of another accidentally, he is not guilty, provided the act from which death resulted was not a rash act, such as firing off a gun in a certain direction without first assuring oneself that there were no people in the way.
4. There is justification only (1) in the case of a combatant in time of war; (2) when carrying out the death penalty; and (3) when acting in self-defence or in defence of another unjustly attacked. It is lawful for the protection of one's own life, limbs, chastity or valuable property to repel violence with violence even to the point of killing the assailant, provided the limits of a blameless defence are not exceeded.
5. It is a great sin even to desire the death of another or rejoice at it from motives of hatred or self interest.


Suicide is never justifiable, for our life belongs to God, Who alone may dispose of it as He pleases.
7. The man who attempts his own life runs the risk of being eternally damned, as the chances are against his surviving long enough to have an opportunity for due repentance.
8. The suicide's sin is so grave that they cannot receive a Christian burial unless it is certain that he was of unsound mind at the time he attempted his own death.


It is wrong to wish for one's own death, except as a desire to be with God in heaven or to be for ever beyond the reach of sin.
10. In duelling one or both adversaries may be killed and thus go to hell without any chance of repentance. Seconds are just as guilty as the principals.

Anger, hatred, quarrelling and injurious language.

These four sins are intimately connected one with another. « A passionate man provoketh quarrels. » (Prov. XV, 18.) And again: « Hatred stirreth up strife. (Prov. X, 12.)
12. To hate one's neighbour is not to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, Who said that His disciples would be known by the love they bear one another: « You have heard it that it hath been said: « An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth! But I say to you not to resist evil, but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other. And if a man will contend with thee in judgment and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two. »
« Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away. You have heard that it was said: « Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thy enemy. » But I say to you: « Love your enemies; do good to them that hate you and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you; that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, Who maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even the publicans do this? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? Do not also the heathens this? » « Be you therefore perfect, as also Your Heavenly Father is perfect. » (Matt. V, 38-48.)

13. We are not allowed to revenge ourselves on those who have offended us. St Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans (XII,19), recalls the words of Deuteronomy (XXXII, 35): « Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, saith the Lord. »

Explanation of the Plate.

In the large picture we see Cain, who has just killed his brother, Abel. As he preparing for flight, God confronts him, reproaches him for his terrible crime, and curses him and drives him out of His presence. (Gen. IV.)
15. At the bottom on the left we see Achitophel, who has hanged himself after having by his evil counsel driven Absalom into usurping the throne of David his father. (II Kings XVII, 23.)
16. The other small picture shows two men who have begun to fight a duel. A devout Christian rushes in between them, stopping the fight with one hand and with the other pointing to the cross behind them.


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