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Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

United States Province

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Excerpts from Faithful Citizenship

October 18th, 2010

Faithful Citizenship: Excerpts on the Sanctity of Life

“Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Direct attacks on innocent persons are never morally acceptable, at any stage or in any condition. [D]irect threats to the sanctity of human life include euthanasia, human cloning, and the destruction of human embryos for research.”

“Catholic teaching about the dignity of life calls us to oppose torture,7 unjust war, and the use of the death penalty; to prevent genocide and attacks against noncombatants; to oppose racism; and to overcome poverty and suffering. Nations are called to protect the right to life by seeking effective ways to combat evil and terror without resorting to armed conflicts except as a last resort, always seeking first to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We revere the lives of children in the womb, the lives of persons dying in war and from starvation, and indeed the lives of all human beings as children of God.”

“Human dignity is respected and the common good is fostered only if human rights are protected and basic responsibilities are met. Every human being has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible, and a right to access to those things required for human decency—food and shelter, education and employment, health care and housing, freedom of religion and family life.”

And finally, the sanctity of life extends to the creation from which we take our sustenance. “We have a moral obligation to protect the planet on which we live—to respect God’s creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for human beings, especially children at their most vulnerable stages of development.”

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