The Fifth Commandment
Thou Shalt Not Kill
Editor's Note: This series is an effort to return to basics since too often we all make the holy Faith complicated, whereas in reality the truths and traditions of the Catholic Faith are quite simple. God doesn't complicate things, man does. Realizing the fact that, for many generations indoctrinated by conciliar ambiguities, it all seems so confusing, we are introducing this series which is an adaptation of an earlier series titled "Appreciating the Precious Gift of the Faith" in utilizing a combination of the excellent compendium of the late Bishop Morrow's pre-Vatican II Manual of Religion My Catholic Faith and Dom Prosper Gueranger's incomparable The Liturgical Year as well as the out-of-print masterpieces The Catholic Church Alone The One True Church(1902) and the Cabinet of Catholic Information (1903). Through prayer and discussions, we've decided to employ this revised series to simplify the tenets of the Faith for those who continue to wallow in what they think is the 'Catholic Church' out of obedience to a man and his hierarchy who long ago betrayed Christ and His flocks. This then, is an affirmation of the basic truths the Spotless Bride of Christ has always taught and cannot change or evolve as "living documents" for truth is truth. As we say every day in the Act of Faith, "We believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived." If you have been deceived, and the vast majority have been, then realize what you've been indoctrinated with over the past 50 years cannot be from God but from His adversary. Our advice: flee the conciliar confines as well as other man-made religions which do not teach these truths without compromise. Seek out a traditional chapel nearest to you. There is a list of churches you can absolutely trust at Traditional Latin Masses
The very first murder on earth was committed by Cain when he slew Abel, both sons of Adam and Eve as noted in Genesis 4: 8-9, "And Cain said to Abel his brother: Let us go forth abroad. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and slew him. And the Lord said to Cain: Where is thy brother Abel? And he answered: I know not. Am I my brother's keeper?" Murderers do not act as brothers of the murdered.
By the fifth commandment we are commanded to take proper care of our own spiritual and bodily well being and that of our neighbor. Sins against this commandment are many, including murder and suicide, and also anger, hatred revenge, drunkenness, and bad example. We may almost say that all injury to body and soul is a violation of this commandment. "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are…enmities, contentions…anger, quarrels…murders, drunkenness, carousings, and such-like. And concerning these I warn you, as I have warned you, that they who do such things will not attain the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5: 19-21).
Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, combined with a desire to inflict punishment on the offender. It is contrary to the spirit of Christ, Who is meek and humble of heart. We must take care not to hurt or wound another's feelings. If we fall into the misfortune of doing so, we must apologize or make amends in some other way, "Do not let the sun go down upon your anger" (Ephesians 4: 26).
Anger often arises from pride or envy. Those who think much of themselves get angry at every supposed slight or injury. They should remember Christian charity, and fear these words: "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment" (St. Matthew 5:22). "But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath. For the wrath of man does not work the justice of God" (St. James 1:19-20).
From anger Hatred is fostered for it is a kind of habitual anger, a strong dislike of or ill-will towards anyone. When a person hates someone, he sees no good in the one hated; he would like to see evil rain down on the one hated; he rejoices in all misfortune of the one hated. Hatred is a sin because it violates God's commandment: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
If we hate certain qualities of a person, but have no antagonism towards the person himself, our feeling is not necessarily sinful. It is not hatred to detest the evil qualities of others; we must hate the sin, but not the sinner. We must be careful, however, not to commit rash judgment, regarding qualities, as we cannot know all circumstances; let us have charity towards all.
Anger also fuels the sin of revenge which is the desire to inflict immoderate or unjust punishment on someone who has injured us, from a motive of anger. When serious, revenge is vengeance, a sin against charity and justice, most sinful and unchristian. However much we are injured, we have no right to take the law into our hands. Saint Paul said, "Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath, for it is written: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord" (Romans 12:19). "He that shall seek to revenge himself shall find vengeance from the Lord" (Eccliastes 28:1).
Both ecclesiastical and secular laws dictate that murder is the voluntary and unjust killing of a human being. Murder is a great sin. A murderer violates the rights of God over human life, and, besides taking a life, robs his victim of the opportunity to gain merits for Heaven, and prepare himself for death. God created man, and has supreme dominion over life. "You know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (1 John 3:15).
The direct intention to kill an innocent person is always forbidden, as against this commandment, whether it be by public or private authority. And the human body may not be mutilated unless that were the only way to preserve the health or save a life. Also, since violation of the body is forbidden except to save life or health, anyone performing sterilization commits grave sin.
Some would propagate the idea of euthanasia, or "mercy killing", such as the late fated Dr. Kervorkian, but it is a direct and deliberate killing of those in great pain, of the defective, moronic, or otherwise incapacitated. Such "mercy killers" are murderers, who usurp the rights of God over life. They take away the graces one would receive from suffering in this life both in reparation for their own sins and to shorten their time in Purgatory. If those accepting euthanasia go through with it, they can consider such suicide which will be covered later. At best, if they even give into the idea and don't go through with it they have still sinned unless they resented or refused the thought for we cannot be responsible for thoughts if we do not give into them.
A mother bearing a child should be very careful to protect and preserve the life of her child. As the soul is created at the very moment of conception, anything willfully done which results in the death of even an unborn child is murder. Not even to save the mother's life may an unborn child be killed by direct abortion. If the death of the child results secondarily, in an attempt to save the mother's life, and after all precautions have been taken to safeguard the child, this is indirect abortion, and is permitted, for grave cause, but never deliberately.
As we all know, in the United States one pregnancy out of three ends in abortion and since 1973 this has been allowed shamelessly by the hideous Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which cries out to vengeance to God for since that time a minimum of 50 million have died, that's 4000 abortions a day, and that's a conservative estimate. Consider that well over 50 million souls have been denied the very gift of life that God deigned. Add to this the countless abortificients so readily available today and shamelessly, blatantly blared on commercials and in ads and we can very well estimate the number in the billions. The more man clamors for freedom and "free love" the more he has shackled himself to satan. We are using the biblical sense of "man" to include human kind, i.e. man and woman for creation of a life can only be effected by a man's cooperation with a woman. To put it bluntly, without the semen there can be no fertilized egg.
The bottom line is that man has usurped God and for this he will have to account for his every action. Anyone who enables this murder, is an accomplice to murder - whether by practicing, promoting, condoning, ignoring this grave sin or voting for an issue or candidate that will ennoble them to further the culture of death platform is also an accomplice and will also have to answer to God for their actions that fly in the face of God's Laws and the teachings of His Holy Catholic Church. That is why whenever voting for a candidate, one must place this issue paramount on whether the candidate is entirely pro-life. Often times their record will verify this. It is not those who talk the talk that we must vote for, but those who walk the walk. It is a grave scandal that so many Catholics have voted over the years for abominable Democrats who blatantly promote abortion under the guise of it is a woman's choice what she does with her body. Wrong! It is God's choice alone and once he has blessed a mother-to-be with fertilization, that child is no longer her body but part of her and if she in any way gives in to dispatching of the child in her womb, she is not only killing another - her own flesh and blood no less, but killing her chances of salvation for abortion is a grave, grave mortal sin.
Murder refers to humans, not animals
It is lawful to kill animals for food, because God has given them for the use of man. The fifth commandment forbids the killing only of human beings. God Himself commanded the killing of animals for sacrifice, after having given this commandment. In all things prudence is required for it is our duty to care for animals, refrain from tormenting them, and from killing any useful animal without reasons; but we must not lavish on them exaggerated affection, as if they were idols, such as Brahma bulls by the pagan Hindus or the white buffalo by native Americans or anything PETA promotes since they are as wacky as they come with just last week having filed a lawsuit against SeaWorld on behalf of whales. Yes, whales are now plaintiffs in a court of law. Insanity indeed.
When killing is justified
It is lawful to take another's life in the following cases. In self-defense, or the defense of another unjustly attacked. An innocent victim may kill only under the strict provisions that he or she is protecting themself from death or criminal assault. One may defend life or property against enemies, going so far as to kill. One however, may not do more than what is needed for defense; if wounding an assailant is sufficient, it would be wrong to kill him. Also one is not justified to kill in order to protect property of trifling value, such as setting a trap to kill a chicken thief or someone stealing food. That would be murder.
In executing criminals condemned by legitimate authority. Society must protect itself from crime, and may, through constituted authority, order a sentence of death. Though capital punishment is also an unfortunate situation and, in the best-case scenario would best be eliminated in all governments. However, to protect the innocent, capital punishment serves as a deterrent to prevent the guilty from murdering the innocent. The Church has always made this exception, most recently by Pope Pius XII. The false popes of Vatican II have railed against capital punishment and they are wrong for that has never been the Church's stance. It is important to note that private persons, mobs and vigilantes have no right to put anyone to death. Lynching is murder.
In a just war. A nation has the right to exist and protect itself. It is lawful for it to repel by force those seeking to destroy it, and thus to defend its rights in a grave matter. Nations may also assist other nations unjustly attacked, or whose rights are encroached upon. World Wars I and II are excellent examples of this in America's role in aiding England and France as part of the Ally alliance against Germany. War, however, is an evil, which must not be embarked upon except as a last resort. The most recent wars in Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Libya and now Uganda leave a lot of doubt as to whether the United States should be involved. Sadly, most of the time since World War II it has been political and highly questionable, prompting differences even within the Traditional community.
Despair is one of the great sins against the Holy Ghost and this is illustrated all too well in the Apostle Judas Iscariot, the poster child for despair. After betraying Our Lord, Judas fell into despair. "Then Judas, who betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priest, and the elders, saying: "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood'. But they said 'What is that to us? See to it thyself.' And he flung the pieces of silver into the temple, and withdrew, and went away and hanged himself with a halter" (St. Matthew 27: 3-5). If Judas had repented, instead of despairing, and had asked pardon, Our Lord would have forgiven him, as He forgave the good thief.
We have the obligation to preserve our health and life. Man has no right to encroach upon God's dominion over life; man created no human being, and he may not kill any human being, not even his own self. Our body is not our own; it belongs to God. We are bound to take care of it, and to do with it not what we wish, but what God wills. God created our body as an abode for our immortal soul.
As mentioned above, this is also an excellent argument against abortion and today when we hear the refrain that a woman has a right to do what she wants with her body, we cringe not only for the sake of the unborn babies, but the souls of those who condone this barbaric act that cries to Heaven for vengeance. Pro-aborts are wrong on every level for it is not her body, but God's Who lends it to her and only He can give or take a life. For a woman, for society, to think that she can kill the living organism in her womb directly violates the fifth commandment and is punishable by eternal damnation.
Suicide is the deliberate taking of one's own life. Suicide is a great sin; it is self-murder. The Church denies Christian burial to those who knowingly take their own life. By this the Church does not mean that those souls are surely condemned to hell. Their judgment is in the hands of God. The Church merely wishes to show public condemnation of such sins. One who commits suicide sins against God, Who is the exclusive arbiter of life or death; he sins against himself, by plunging his soul mercilessly into hell; and he sins against his family, whom he leaves to bear his shame and perhaps to live in want for lack of his support.
Suicide is the result of lack of religion. Experience teaches that as religion weakens in a land, the number of suicides increase. Suicide is usually committed by one who has gotten into trouble or committed some great sin, lost his fortune, or cannot bear some disappointment. If we get into trouble we should have patience and trust in God.
Suicide is the sin of those in despair who do not believe or hope in God's mercy and ability to carry them through all adversities. Suicide is a sin of Judas. The suicide no longer holds that God forgives anything and everything when a sinner repents. He no longer holds that God is infinitely merciful and infinitely powerful, that He can draw good out of the most horrible evils.
If one committed great sins, the remedy is not to commit suicide, but to repent. The thing to do is not to hang or shoot or poison oneself, but to cling to God in sincere sorrow. Even if one has to suffer contempt and disgrace in this life for his sins, he will only be preparing his soul for Heaven. But if he commits suicide, he will only be preparing it for the torments of hell.
A duel is a combat carried out by agreement between two persons, fought with deadly weapons, usually before witnesses called seconds. Dueling is nothing else but suicide and murder combined. A Catholic is bound to refuse to fight a duel. Christian burial is denied to those who are killed in a duel. The duelist is guilty of a double murder; he intends to kill his antagonist, and he risks his own life. The Church excommunicates those who challenge or accept a challenge to a duel, the seconds, and all who sanction a duel by their presence.
This also holds for gang fighting and "chicken" car chases or racing when one puts their life in danger. The same holds true for daredevil stunts and dangerous antics such as skydiving or bungee jumping without proper instruction and strict safety precautions. Teens and young adults are more prone to these stunts because they have more of a sense of "invincibility" and often, only age and the wisdom of their faith can mellow their thinking.
Very often the condition of the body affects that of the soul. If the body is unhealthy, the soul suffers. There is a wise Roman proverb: "A healthy mind in a healthy body." However, we are not obliged to employ unusual means involving great expense, or extraordinary suffering. We must exercise prudence in preserving our health and that of those under our care. Prudence would imply cleanliness, temperance, regularity, industry, and the use of remedies during sickness.
Driving a car at excessive speed, crossing the tracks when a train is approaching, playing with loaded firearms, jumping into or out of a car when it is in motion, any kind of action that would endanger one's life are imprudent actions, taking risks for insufficient reason.
There can also be what is called a slow method of suicide and that is by slowly killing the body. We have the obligation to do nothing which tends to injure or destroy health or life. It injures health to indulge to excess in eating or drinking too much, or dancing until all hours when temptations are more apt to lure us into sin, and vanity in dress that can cause envy or even worse, or surfing the net where pornography is so rampant. The same goes with film and video games where killing becomes glorified and lucid graphics are so plentiful and inviting to young minds who cannot understand virtual reality can quickly become reality with the damage to the mind and soul.
Fashions and lifestyles can be a form of danger as well. Some women and girls are gravely responsible for not eating proper food out of a desire to keep thin and thus be more pleasing in the eyes of others, to the injury of their health. Some men and boys form the vice of drunkenness, taking so much of intoxicants as to lose their reason. Drugs can also play a deadly part in one's life for few realize the lasting consequences to the body and mind, not to mention the soul.
Drunkenness is a sin because it injures the health, and often leads to other sins. "Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in debauchery and wantonness, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and as for the flesh, take no thought for its lusts" (Romans 13:13). By drunkenness one deliberately benumbs without just cause his reason, a precious gift from God to man. Saint Paul said: "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are…enmities…drunkenness, carousings, and suchlike. And concerning these I warn you, as I have warned you, that they who do such things will not attain the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21).
When committed publicly, drunkenness occasions bad example and scandal, and has often promoted fights and even murder. By habitual drinking, a person not only injures his health, but neglects the support of his family, and not unlikely also fails in his obligations to the State and to God.
Drunkenness is a form of slow suicide; drunkards do not live long. If a man would reason the matter out, he would never submit to the vice of drunkenness, which lowers him in the sight of God and of his fellow men.
It is not wrong, but highly meritorious, to endanger our health and life in order to gain everlasting life, or to rescue our fellow men from physical or spiritual death. Christ Himself knowingly gave His life to save souls. Martyrs, priests and missionaries, doctors and nurses who expose their lives, merit an eternal reward. Those who lose their lives rescuing others deserve renown. "And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (St. Matthew 10:28). "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake, will find it" (St. Matthew 10:39).
Scandal is another means of murder, especially for the soul. The Hollywood-Media collective will have much to answer for regarding how they portray murder and other sins by glorifying them or making them acceptable. They have caused great scandal and, the saddest part is that, for the most part, the general public have become numb to the shock and scandal thanks to the ammorality and immorality of our times thanks to the age of technology. Think how many children have been tainted and scandalized, how many have changed the course of their lives by following false idols because they're 'cool' in their eyes.
Christ said, concerning scandalizing children: "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals! For it must needs be that scandals come, but woe to the man through whom scandal does come!" (St. Matthew 18: 6-7).
Bad example is doing wrong in the presence of others. Bad example is the principal occasion of scandal, which is occasioning the sin of another by any word or deed having at least the appearance of evil. If any help or encouragement is given in any way to cause another to do wrong, scandal is committed or given. Bad example and scandal are sins against the soul included in the Fifth Commandment. They injure our neighbor's soul, and so are worse evils than injuring his body. They do the devil's work and draw souls into hell. If by deliberate scandal and bad example we cause another to commit a grave sin, we are worse than murderers. One who hurts or destroys the spiritual life of his neighbor commits the sin of murder. St. Augustine said, "If thou persuade thy neighbor to sin, thou are his murderer."
Our Lord condemned scandal in no uncertain terms saying: "Woe to the man through whom scandal does come! And if thy hand or thy foot is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee! It is better for thee to enter life maimed or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire" (St. Matthew 18: 7-8).
Grievous indeed must scandal be, to make our gentle Lord use such strong words of condemnation. "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all scandals and those who work iniquity, and cast them into the furnace of fire" (St. Matthew 13: 41-42).
Some ways of giving bad example or scandal are: by indecent talk, by selling or circulating bad books or pictures, by singing improper songs, by dressing immodestly, by appearing in public life in a state of drunkenness, by profanity and cursing, by doing servile work publicly on Sunday, by behaving indecorously in church, by ridiculing religion and priests, by writing against religion, by publicly violating one of the commandments of God or the Church, etc.
We should be very careful in our actions, however innocent, so that they may not be the cause of scandal to others. "And if thy eye is an occasion of sin to thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee! It is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into the hell of fire" (St. Matthew 18:9).
By committing scandalous acts a person influences others to do the same. This is specially true of children, who easily imitate their parents and elders. He who gives scandal is like a man who digs a pit into which others fall, break their necks. Parents who excessively quarrel in the presence of their children, however great the provocation, set them a bad example, and commit scandal. Public officials who break the law by gambling, corruption or immorality give scandal. Older brothers who go to forbidden shows and other places such as the internet, or take their younger brothers or others with them are guilty of scandal. Older sisters who are excessively vain in their makeup and dress give bad example to their younger sisters.
We should avoid giving scandal as far as possible. We even ought to abstain from good actions of counsel if they may give scandal. For example, if one is dispensed from abstinence on account of bad health, he should refrain from eating meat before others who might be fasting, in order to prevent their being scandalized. Otherwise, he should explain why he eats the meats. The aged Eleazar preferred to die rather than give the mere appearance that he was eating swine's flesh, which was forbidden by the Law. He feared to scandalize young persons, who might think he had gone over to the ranks of the heathen (cf. 2 Machabees 6: 24).
If we have been the occasion of scandal or bad example, we are bound to repair the mischief done. A public scandal must be repaired in a public manner. Even then we usually cannot begin to repair the greater part of the evil we have caused. We must try our best to save those we have scandalized from the effects of our example. We must perform the contrary virtue, incite them by good example, and pray for them. We ought to be more careful about giving scandal, because of the difficulty, nay, almost the impossibility, of repairing the effects of scandal.
That brings us in conclusion to the final greatest scandal: Vatican II and the Great Apostasy. Since so few realize the counterfeit church of conciliarism with its chief poobahs Angelo Roncalli, Giovanni Montini, Karol Wojtyla and Josef Ratzinger promoting a pagan masonic protestant service in lieu of the Inmemorial Apostolic Mass of All Ages causes grave scandal in and of itself. The sex scandals caused by conciliar presbyters and pretend bishops is only evidence that the Sanctifier has indeed withdrawn His protection for God can never bless something that is not His and the conciliar church is definitely not of God or for Him. It is the bad tree Jesus refers to in St. Matthew 7: 15-20 which is destined for the eternal fire and those who refuse to repent are not only committing suicide to their souls, but will be held accountable for the souls they scandalized and prevented from receiving the graces of the true sacraments. "Woe unto them" saith the Lord.
Catholicism Made Simple