The Catholic Ten Commandments are a summary of “the conditions of a life freed from the slavery of sin” (Catechism, 2057). They must be understood in relation to the “law of love”: Love of God and love of neighbor summarize all of Catholic morality. The law of love is also the first principle & source of the moral law. It contains “all the law and the prophets” (Mt 22:40).
The Ten Commandments and Catholicism have been bound together since the time of Christ. In fact, Jesus refers to the Ten Commandments and assures their validity in his dialog with the rich young man in Matthew’s Gospel (Mt 19:16-21)
Matthew 19:16-21New International Version (NIV)
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
10 Commandments of the Catholic Faith
- I am the Lord, your God; you shall not have strange gods before me.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against another.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods