II Respect for the dignity of persons
II Respect for the dignity of persons
Author: Catechism of the Catholic Church | Source: Part Three: Life in Christ
II Respect for the dignity of persons
Scandal is the attitude or behavior that induces another to do evil. He who scandals becomes tempting of his neighbor.
By: Catechism of the Catholic Church | Source: Part Three: Life in Christ
The respect of the soul of the neighbor: the scandal
2284 Scandal is the attitude or behavior that induces another to do evil. Who scandals, becomes tempting of his neighbor. Infringing on virtue and law; can cause his brother spiritual death. The scandal constitutes a serious foul, if by action or omission, deliberately draws another to a serious foul.
2285 The scandal takes on a particular gravity according to the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who suffer it. Inspired our Lord this curse: 'The one who scandalizes one of these little ones who believe in me, he better be hanged to the neck of those millstones that move the asses and plunge him deep into the sea' (Mt 18 6 CF 1 Co 8, 10-13). The scandal is serious when it is caused by those who, by nature or by function, are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus, indeed, reproaches the scribes and Pharisees: he compares them to wolves disguised as lambs (cf Mt 7, 15).
2286 The scandal can be provoked by law or by institutions, by fashion or by opinion. Thus they make guilty of scandal who institute laws or social structures that lead to the degradation of the customs and the corruption of the religious life, or to 'social conditions that, voluntarily or involuntarily, make arduous and practically impossible a Christian conduct according to the commandments' (Pius XII, speech 1 June 1941). The same is to be said of employers who impose procedures that incite fraud, of educators who 'exasperate' their students (cf Ef 6, 4; Col 3, 21), or those who, manipulating public opinion, divert it from moral values.
2287 Who uses the powers he has in conditions that drag to do evil is guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that has directly or indirectly favored. 'It is impossible that scandals do not come, but woe to the one for whom they come! ' (Lc 17, 1).
Respect for health
2288 Life and physical health are precious goods entrusted by God. We must take care of them rationally taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
The care of citizens' health requires the help of the society to achieve the conditions of existence that allow them to grow and to reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.
2289 Morality demands respect for physical life, but it does not make it an absolute value. It opposes a neopagan conception that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything to it, to idolize physical perfection and sporting success. Such a conception, by the selection that operates between the strong and the weak, can lead to the perversion of human relations.
2290 The virtue of temperance leads to avoiding all kinds of excesses, the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, and medicines. Those in a state of drunkenness, or by an immoderate hobby of speed, endanger the safety of others and their own on the roads, in the sea or the air, are seriously guilty.
2291 Drug use inflicts very serious harm to health and human life. Out of the cases where it is resorted to by strictly therapeutic prescriptions, it is a serious foul. Clandestine production and drug trafficking are scandalous practices; they constitute direct cooperation, because they incite them, to practices badly contrary to the moral law.
Respect for the person and scientific research
2292 Scientific, medical or psychological experiments in human beings or groups can contribute to the healing of the sick and the progress of public health.
2293 Both basic scientific research and applied research constitute a meaningful expression of man's dominance over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when they are put to the service of man and promote their integral development for the benefit of all; however, they alone cannot indicate the meaning of existence and human progress. Science and technology are ordained to the man who has given them origin and growth; they have therefore in the person and their moral values the sense of their purpose and the consciousness of their limits.
2294 It is illusory to claim the moral neutrality of scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, the orientation criteria cannot be deduced either from the simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness that can result from it for some with the detriment of others, and, even less, from the dominant ideologies. Science and technology require by their intrinsic significance the unconditional respect of the fundamental criteria of morality; they must be in the service of the human person, of their inalienable rights, of their true and integral good, according to the plan and the will of God.
2295 Human research or experimentation cannot legitimize acts which in themselves are contrary to the dignity of persons and moral law. The eventual consent of the subjects does not justify such acts. Human experimentation is not morally legitimate if it takes disproportionate or avoidable risks to life or the physical or psychic integrity of the subject. The experimentation in human beings is not according to the dignity of the person if, in addition, it is done without the conscious consent of the subject or of those who are entitled to it.
2296 Organ transplantation is not morally acceptable if the donor or its representatives have not given their conscious consent. Organ transplantation is in accordance with the moral law and can be meritorious if the dangers and physical or psychic risks involved in the donor are provided to the good sought by the recipient. It is morally inadmissible to provoke directly for the human being either the mutilation which leaves him invalid or his death, even if it is to retard the death of other people.
Respect for body integrity
2297 Kidnapping and taking hostages make terror reign and, through the threat, they exert intolerable pressures on the victims. They're morally illegitimate. Terrorism, which threatens, wounds and kills without discrimination, is gravely contrary to justice and charity. Torture, which uses physical or moral violence, to start confessions, to punish the culprits, to intimidate those who oppose, to satisfy hatred, is contrary to the respect of the person and human dignity. Except for cases of medical prescriptions of a strictly therapeutic order, the amputations, mutilations or directly voluntary sterilization of innocent persons are contrary to the moral law (cf DS 3722).
2298 In the past, it was ordinarily resorted to cruel practices by legitimate authorities to uphold law and order, often without protest by Church pastors, who even adopted, in their courts, the prescriptions of Roman law on torture. Together with these unfortunate facts, the Church has always taught the duty of clemency and mercy; it forbade the clergy to shed blood. In recent times it has become clear that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices lead to the worst degradations. It is necessary to strive for its abolition and to pray for the victims and their executioners.
Respect for the dead
2299 The dying are to be given all the necessary attention to helping them to live their last moments in dignity and peace. They must be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who will take care that the sick receive in time the sacraments they prepare for the encounter with the living God.
2300 The bodies of the deceased must be treated with respect and charity in the faith and hope of the resurrection. Burying the dead is a work of physical mercy (cf Tb 1, 16-18), which honors the children of God, temples of the Holy Spirit.
2301 The autopsy of the corpses is morally admissible when there are reasons for legal order or scientific research. The gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious. The Church allows the incineration when the faith in the resurrection of the body is not questioned (cf CIC can. 1176, 3).