Catechism of the Catholic Church
Part Three: Life in Christ
Section Two: The Ten Commandments
Chapter Two: You Shall Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another even as I have loved you."
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments,
Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is
one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with
all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The
second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no
other commandment greater than these."
The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has
fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You
shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other
commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor
as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the
fulfilling of the law."
Article 4: The Fourth Commandment
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
He was obedient to them.
The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of God."
The Apostle teaches: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is
right. 'Honor your father and mother,' (This is The First Commandment with
a promise.) 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on
2197 The Fourth Commandment opens the second table of the Decalogue. It
shows us the order of charity. God has willed that, after him, we should
honor our parents to whom we owe life and who have handed on to us the
knowledge of God. We are obliged to honor and respect all those whom God,
for our good, has vested with his Authority.
2198 This commandment is expressed in positive terms of duties to be
fulfilled. It introduces the subsequent commandments which are concerned
with particular respect for life, marriage, earthly goods, and speech. It
constitutes one of the foundations of The Social Doctrine of the Church.
2199 The Fourth Commandment is addressed expressly to children in their
relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the
most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members
of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward
elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to
teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to
their country, and to those who administer or govern it.
This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents,
instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who
exercise Authority over others or over a community of persons.
2200 Observing The Fourth Commandment brings its reward: "Honor your
father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the
LORD your God gives you." Respecting this commandment provides, along
with spiritual fruits, temporal fruits of peace and prosperity.
Conversely, failure to observe it brings great harm to communities and to
I. The Family in God's Plan
The nature of the family
2201 The conjugal community is established upon the consent of the
spouses. Marriage and the family are ordered to the good of the spouses
and to the procreation and education of children. The love of the spouses
and the begetting of children create among members of the same family
personal relationships and primordial responsibilities.
2202 A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children,
form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public
Authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be
considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of
family relationship are to be evaluated.
2203 In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and
endowed it with its fundamental constitution. Its members are persons
equal in dignity. For The Common Good of its members and of society, the
family necessarily has manifold responsibilities, rights, and duties.
The Christian family
2204 "The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and
realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should
be called a domestic church." It is a community of faith, hope, and
charity; it assumes Singular importance in the Church, as is evident in
the New Testament.
2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of
the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the
procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of
creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ.
Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity.
The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.
2206 The relationships within the family bring an affinity of feelings,
affections and interests, ariSing above all from the members' respect for
one another. The family is a privileged community called to achieve a
"sharing of thought and common deliberation by the spouses as well as
their eager cooperation as parents in the children's upbringing."
II. The Family and Society
2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural
society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love
and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of
relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom,
security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in
which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and
make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in
2208 The family should live in such a way that its members learn to care
and take responsibility for the young, the old, the sick, the handicapped,
and the poor. There are many families who are at times incapable of
providing this help. It devolves then on other persons, other families,
and, in a subsidiary way, society to provide for their needs: "Religion
that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit
orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from
2209 The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social
measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other
social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the
institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger
communities should take care not to usurp the family's prerogatives or
interfere in its life.
2210 The importance of the family for the life and well-being of
society entails a particular responsibility for society to support and
strengthen marriage and the family. Civil Authority should consider it a
grave duty "to acknowledge the true nature of marriage and the family, to
protect and foster them, to safeguard public morality, and promote
2211 The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it,
and to ensure especially:
- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in
keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution
of the family;
- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's
children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and
houSing, and the right to emigrate;
- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care,
assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to
dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have
representation before civil Authority.
2212 The Fourth Commandment illuminates other relationships in society. In
our brothers and sisters we see the children of our parents; in our
couSins, the descendants of our ancestors; in our fellow citizens, the
children of our country; in the baptized, the children of our mother the
Church; in every human person, a son or daughter of the One who wants to
be called "our Father." In this way our relationships with our neighbors
are recognized as personal in character. The neighbor is not a "unit" in
the human collective; he is "someone" who by his known origins deserves
particular attention and respect.
2213 Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not
limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring
contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those
who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with
the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.
III. The Duties of Family Members
The duties of children
2214 The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood; this is
the foundation of the honor owed to parents. The respect of children,
whether minors or adults, for their father and mother is nourished by
the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It is required by
2215 Respect for parents (filial piety) derives from gratitude toward
those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought
their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom,
and Grace. "With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the
birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were
born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?"
2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. "My son, keep
your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.... When
you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you;
and when you awake, they will talk with you." "A wise son hears his
father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke."
2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should
obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or
that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this
pleases the Lord." Children should also obey the reasonable directions
of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But
if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to
obey a particular order, he must not do so.
As they grow up, children should continue to respect their parents. They
should anticipate their wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept
their just admonitions. Obedience toward parents ceases with the
emancipation of the children; not so respect, which is always owed to
them. This respect has its roots in the fear of God, one of the gifts of
the Holy Spirit.
2218 The Fourth Commandment reminds grown children of their
responsibilities toward their parents. As much as they can, they must give
them material and moral support in old age and in times of illness,
loneliness, or distress. Jesus recalls this duty of gratitude.
For the Lord honored the father above the children, and he confirmed the
right of the mother over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for
Sins, and whoever glorifies his mother is like one who lays up treasure.
Whoever honors his father will be gladdened by his own children, and when
he prays he will be heard. Whoever glorifies his father will have long
life, and whoever obeys the Lord will refresh his mother.
O son, help your father in his old age, and do not grieve him as long as
he lives; even if he is lacking in understanding, show forbearance; in all
your strength do not despise him.... Whoever forsakes his father is like a
blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is cursed by the Lord.
2219 Filial respect promotes harmony in all of family life; it also
concerns relationships between brothers and sisters. Respect toward
parents fills the home with light and warmth. "Grandchildren are the crown
of the aged." "With all humility and meekness, with patience,
[support] one another in charity."
2220 For Christians a special gratitude is due to those from whom they
have received the gift of faith, The Grace of Baptism, and life in the
Church. These may include parents, grandparents, other members of the
family, pastors, catechists, and other teachers or friends. "I am reminded
of your Sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you."
The duties of parents
2221 The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the
procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and
their spiritual formation. "The role of parents in education is of such
importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate
substitute." The right and the duty of parents to educate their
children are primordial and inalienable.
2222 Parents must regard their children as children of God and respect
them as human persons. Showing themselves obedient to the will of the
Father in heaven, they educate their children to fulfill God's law.
2223 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their
children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a
home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and diSinterested
service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the
virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment,
and self-mastery - the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should
teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual
dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave
responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to
acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better
able to guide and correct them:
He who loves his son will not spare the rod.... He who disciplines his son
will profit by him.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the
discipline and instruction of the Lord.
2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into
solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to
avoid the compromiSing and degrading influences which threaten human
2225 Through the Grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the
responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children. Parents
should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the
faith of which they are the "first heralds" for their children. They
should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the
Church. A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that
are a genuine preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it
throughout one's life.
2226 Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's
earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another
to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the
Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms
of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their
children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God.
The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical
life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of
children and parents.
2227 Children in turn contribute to the growth in holiness of their
parents. Each and everyone should be generous and tireless in
forgiving one another for offenses, quarrels, injustices, and neglect.
Mutual affection suggests this. The charity of Christ demands it.
2228 Parents' respect and affection are expressed by the care and
attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing
for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same
respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of
their reason and freedom.
2229 As those first responsible for the education of their children,
parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to
their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible
parents have the duty of chooSing schools that will best help them in
their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of
guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions
for its exercise.
2230 When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose
their profession and state of life. They should assume their new
responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents,
willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be
careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a
profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not
prevent them - quite the contrary from giving their children judicious
advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.
2231 Some forgo marriage in order to care for their parents or brothers
and sisters, to give themselves more completely to a profession, or to
serve other honorable ends. They can contribute greatly to the good of the
IV. The Family and the Kingdom
2232 Family ties are important but not absolute. Just as the child grows
to maturity and human and spiritual autonomy, so his unique vocation which
comes from God asserts itself more clearly and forcefully. Parents should
respect this call and encourage their children to follow it. They must be
convinced that the first vocation of the Christian is to follow Jesus: "He
who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who
loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
2233 Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitation to belong
to God's family, to live in conformity with His way of life: "For whoever
does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and
Parents should welcome and respect with joy and thanksgiving the Lord's
call to one of their children to follow him in virginity for the sake of
the Kingdom in the consecrated life or in priestly ministry.
V. The Authorities in Civil Society
2234 God's fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our
good have received Authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties
of those who exercise Authority as well as those who benefit from it.
Duties of civil authorities
2235 Those who exercise Authority should do so as a service. "Whoever
would be great among you must be your servant." The exercise of
Authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its
reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish
what is contrary to the dignity of persons and The Natural Law.
2236 The exercise of Authority is meant to give outward expression to a
just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom
and responsibility by all. Those in Authority should practice distributive
justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with
a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations
and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal
interest against that of the community.
2237 Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights
of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the
rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.
The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted
according to the requirements of The Common Good. They cannot be suspended
by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons.
Political rights are meant to be exercised for The Common Good of the
nation and the human community.
The duties of citizens
2238 Those subject to Authority should regard those in Authority as
representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts: "Be
subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution.... Live as free
men, yet without uSing your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as
servants of God." Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at
times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful
to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.
2239 It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil
authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice,
solidarity, and freedom. The love and service of one's country follow from
the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to
legitimate authorities and service of The Common Good require citizens to
fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.
2240 Submission to Authority and co-responsibility for The Common Good
make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote,
and to defend one's country:
Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to
whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor
[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They
participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as
foreigners.... They obey the established laws and their way of life
surpasses the laws.... So noble is the position to which God has assigned
them that they are not allowed to desert it.
The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all
who exercise Authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life,
godly and respectful in every way."
2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able,
to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of
livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public
authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that
places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.
Political authorities, for the sake of The Common Good for which they are
responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to
various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants'
duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect
with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that
receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
2242 The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of
civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral
order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the
Gospel. RefuSing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are
contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its Justification in the
distinction between serving God and serving the political community.
"Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the
things that are God's." "We must obey God rather than men":
When citizens are under the oppression of a public Authority which
oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do
what is objectively demanded of them by The Common Good; but it is
legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow
citizens against the abuse of this Authority within the limits of the
natural law and the Law of the Gospel.
2243 Armed resistance to oppression by political Authority is not
legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is
certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all
other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not
provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5)
it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.
The political community and the Church
2244 Every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision of
man and his destiny, from which it derives the point of reference for its
judgment, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct. Most societies
have formed their institutions in the recognition of a certain preeminence
of man over things. Only the divinely revealed religion has clearly
recognized man's origin and destiny in God, the Creator and Redeemer. The
Church invites political authorities to measure their judgments and
decisions against this inspired truth about God and man:
Societies not recognizing this vision or rejecting it in the name of their
independence from God are brought to seek their criteria and goal in
themselves or to borrow them from some ideology. Since they do not admit
that one can defend an objective criterion of good and evil, they arrogate
to themselves an explicit or implicit totalitarian power over man and his
destiny, as history shows.
2245 The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be
confused in any way with the political community. She is both the sign and
the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. "The
Church respects and encourages the political Freedom and Responsibility of
2246 It is a part of the Church's mission "to pass moral judgments even in
matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the
salvation of souls requires it. The means, the only means, she may use are
those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men
according to the diversity of times and circumstances."
2247 "Honor your father and your mother" (Deut 5:16; Mk 7:10).
2248 According to The Fourth Commandment, God has willed that, after him,
we should honor our parents and those whom he has vested with Authority
for our good.
2249 The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent
of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the
spouses, to the procreation and the education of children.
2250 "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and
Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal
and family life" (GS 47 # 1).
2251 Children owe their parents respect, gratitude, just obedience, and
assistance. Filial respect fosters harmony in all of family life.
2252 Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their
children in the faith, prayer, and all The Virtues. They have the duty to
provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their
2253 Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They
should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to
2254 Public Authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the
human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.
2255 It is the duty of citizens to work with civil Authority for building
up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.
2256 Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of
civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral
order. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
2257 Every society's judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his
destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies
easily become totalitarian.
Article 5: The Fifth Commandment
You shall not kill.
You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not kill:
and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment."
But I say to you that
every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the
creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship
with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from
its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for
himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."
I. Respect for Human Life
The witness of sacred history
2259 In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain, Scripture
reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, consequences of original
Sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his
fellow man. God declares the wickedness of this fratricide: "What have you
done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground.
And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to
receive your brother's blood from your hand."
2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of
God's gift of human life and man's murderous violence:
For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning.... Whoever sheds the
blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life. This
teaching remains necessary for all time.
2261 Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth
commandment: "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous." The
deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity
of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the
Creator. The law forbidding it is universally valid: it obliges each and
everyone, always and everywhere.
2262 In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord recalls the commandment, "You
shall not kill," and adds to it the proscription of anger, hatred, and
vengeance. Going further, Christ asks his disciples to turn the other
cheek, to love their enemies. He did not defend himself and told Peter
to leave his sword in its sheath.
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception
to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes
intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect:
the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor....
The one is intended, the other is not."
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.
Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to
life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is
forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be
unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be
lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of
moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, Since one is bound
to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving The Common Good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate Authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.
2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over The Common Good. Legitimate public Authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.
2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presuppoSing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
"If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public Authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of The Common Good and are more in conformity to The Dignity of the Human Person.
"Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.' 
2268 The Fifth Commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as
gravely Sinful. The murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in
murder commit a Sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.
Infanticide, fratricide, parricide, and the murder of a spouse are
especially grave crimes by reason of the natural bonds which they break.
Concern for eugenics or public health cannot justify any murder, even if
commanded by public Authority.
2269 The Fifth Commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of
indirectly bringing about a person's death. The Moral Law prohibits
expoSing someone to mortal danger without grave reason, as well as
refuSing assistance to a person in danger.
The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to
remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense. Those whose
usurious and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their
brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is
imputable to them.
Unintentional killing is not morally imputable. But one is not exonerated
from grave offense if, without proportionate reasons, he has acted in a
way that brings about someone's death, even without the intention to do
2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment
From the first moment of his existence, a human being must
be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the
inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of
every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as
an end or a means, is gravely contrary to The Moral Law:
You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of
safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of
conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime
against human life.
"A person who procures a completed abortion incurs
excommunication latae sententiae," "by the very commission of the
offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.
Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.
makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done
to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the
whole of society.
2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a
constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
"The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by
civil society and the political Authority.
These human rights depend
neither on Single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a
concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and
are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the
person took his origin.
Among such fundamental rights one should mention
in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity
from the moment of conception until death."
"The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the
protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is
denying the equality of all before the law.
When the state does not place
its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular
of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are
As a consequence of the respect and protection which must
be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law
must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of
the child's rights."
2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must
be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible,
like any other human being.
Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and
integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its
safe guarding or healing as an individual....
It is gravely opposed to the
moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an
abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the
equivalent of a death sentence."
2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo
which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve
disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the
improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."
"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as
disposable biological material."
"Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not
therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to
sex or other predetermined qualities.
Such manipulations are contrary to
the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and
identity" which are unique and unrepeatable.
2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect.
Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as
2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting
an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons.
It is morally
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in
order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the
dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his
The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does
not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be
forbidden and excluded.
2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous,
extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be
legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment.
Here one does
not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted.
The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able
or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose
reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick
person cannot be legitimately interrupted.
The use of painkillers to
alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening
their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is
not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as
Palliative care is a special form of diSinterested charity.
such it should be encouraged.
2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to
It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.
We are obliged to
accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of
We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to
It is not ours to dispose of.
2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to
preserve and perpetuate his life.
It is gravely contrary to the just love
It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks
the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to
which we continue to have obligations.
Suicide is contrary to love for the
2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example,
especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal.
Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to The Moral Law.
Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship,
suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one
2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have
taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the
opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have
taken their own lives.
II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons
Respect for the souls of others: scandal
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.
The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages
virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death.
Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately
led into a grave offense.
2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the Authority of
those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It
prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little
ones who believe in me to Sin, it would be better for him to have a great
millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the
sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are
obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and
Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or
Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social
structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of
religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not,
make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and
practically impossible." This is also true of buSiness leaders who
make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to
anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads
others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil
that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to Sin are
sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"
Respect for health
2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God.
We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of
others and The Common Good.
Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the
attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach
maturity: food and clothing, houSing, health care, basic education,
employment, and social assistance.
2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not
make it an absolute value.
It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to
promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to
idolize physical perfection and success at sports.
By its selective
preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the
perversion of human relationships.
2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess:
the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt
who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others'
safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.
2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.
Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.
Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous
practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, Since they
encourage people to practices gravely contrary to The Moral Law.
Respect for the person and scientific research
2292 Scientific, medical, or psychological experiments on human
individuals or groups can contribute to healing the sick and the
advancement of public health.
2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a
significant expression of man's dominion over creation. Science and
technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and
promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves
however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human
progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take
their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his
moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.
2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research
and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be
inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing
to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing
ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require
unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the
service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and
integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.
2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts
that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral
law. The subjects' potential consent does not justify such acts.
Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes
the subject's life or physical and psychological integrity to
disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does
not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the
informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.
2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with The Moral Law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks incurred by the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Donation of organs after death is a noble and Meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a manifestation of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or those who legitimately speak for him have not given their explicit consent.
It is furthermore morally inadmissible directly to bring about
the disabling mutilation or death of
a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.
Respect for bodily integrity
2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.
uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty,
frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the
person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly
therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations,
and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral
2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate
governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the
Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the
prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts
are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade
clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident 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 led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for
their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.
Respect for the dead
2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their
last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of
their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper
time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.
2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in
faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal
work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the
2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific
research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a
denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
III. Safeguarding Peace
2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill," our Lord
asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as
Anger is a desire for revenge. "To desire vengeance in order to do evil to
someone who should be punished is illicit," but it is praiseworthy to
impose restitution "to correct vices and maintain justice." If anger
reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a
neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal Sin. The Lord
says, "Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to
2303 Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a
Sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a
grave Sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. "But I say to you,
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be
sons of your Father who is in heaven."
2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not
merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance
of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without
safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect
for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of
fraternity. Peace is "the tranquillity of order." Peace is the work of
justice and the effect of charity.
2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the
messianic "Prince of Peace." By the blood of his Cross, "in his own
person he killed the hostility," he reconciled men with God and made
his Church the sacrament of the unity of the human race and of its union
with God. "He is our peace." He has declared: "Blessed are the
2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard
human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest,
bear witness to evangelical charity, provided they do so without harming
the rights and obligations of other men and societies. They bear
legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of
recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death.
2307 The Fifth Commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human
life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the
Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the
divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.
2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the
avoidance of war.
However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no
international Authority with the necessary competence and power,
governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all
peace efforts have failed."
2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force
require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it
subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same
- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of
nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be
impractical or ineffective;
- there must be serious prospects of success;
- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the
evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very
heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just
The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the
prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for The Common Good.
2310 Public authorities, in this case, have the right and duty to impose
on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense.
Those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces are
servants of the security and freedom of nations. If they carry out their
duty honorably, they truly contribute to The Common Good of the nation and
the maintenance of peace.
2311 Public authorities should make equitable provision for those who for
reasons of conscience refuse to bear arms; these are nonetheless obliged
to serve the human community in some other way.
2312 The Church and human reason both assert the permanent validity of the
moral law during armed conflict. "The mere fact that war has regrettably
broken out does not mean that everything becomes licit between the warring
2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected and
Actions deliberately contrary to the law of nations and to its universal
principles are crimes, as are the orders that command such actions. Blind
obedience does not suffice to excuse those who carry them out. Thus the
extermination of a people, nation, or ethnic minority must be condemned as
a mortal Sin. One is morally bound to resist orders that command genocide.
2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole
cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and
man, which Merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of
modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess
modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical
weapons - to commit such crimes.
2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way
of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most
effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence
gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure
peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them.
Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes
efforts to aid needy populations; it thwarts the development of
peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the
danger of escalation.
2316 The production and the sale of arms affect The Common Good of nations
and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the
right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or
collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence
and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical
2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust,
and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause
wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building
up peace and avoiding war:
Insofar as men are Sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so
continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish Sin by
coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these
words will be fulfilled: "they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
2318 "In [God's] hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of
all mankind" (Job 12:10).
2319 Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is
sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the
image and likeness of the living and holy God.
2320 The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to the dignity of the
person and the holiness of the Creator.
2321 The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an
unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. Legitimate defense is a grave
duty for whoever is responsible for the lives of others or the common
2322 From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct
abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a
"criminal" practice (GS 27 # 3), gravely contrary to The Moral Law. The
Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime
against human life.
2323 Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo
must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other
2324 Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives, is murder. It
is gravely contrary to The Dignity of the Human Person and to the respect
due to the living God, his Creator.
2325 Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and charity. It is
forbidden by The Fifth Commandment.
2326 Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately
leads others to Sin.
2327 Because of the evils and injustices that all war brings with it, we
must do everything reasonably possible to avoid it. The Church prays:
"From famine, pestilence, and war, O Lord, deliver us."
2328 The Church and human reason assert the permanent validity of the
moral law during armed conflicts. Practices deliberately contrary to the
law of nations and to its universal principles are crimes.
2329 "The arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race and
the harm it inflicts on the poor is more than can be endured" (GS 81 # 3).
2330 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God"
Article 6: The Sixth Commandment
You shall not commit adultery.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery."
say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already
committed adultery with her in his heart.
I. "Male and Female He Created Them . . ."
2331 "God is love and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving
communion. Creating the human race in his own image . . .. God inscribed
in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and
responsibility, of love and communion."
"God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created
them"; He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply";
"When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female
he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were
2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his
body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love
and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds
of communion with others.
2333 Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual
identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity
are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family
life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way
in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes
are lived out.
2334 "In creating men 'male and female,' God gives man and woman an equal
personal dignity." "Man is a person, man and woman equally so, Since
both were created in the image and likeness of the personal God."
2335 Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God,
with equal dignity though in a different way. The union of man and woman
in marriage is a way of imitating in the flesh the Creator's generosity
and fecundity: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and
cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." All human
generations proceed from this union.
2336 Jesus came to restore creation to the purity of its origins. In the
Sermon on the Mount, he interprets God's plan strictly: "You have heard
that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that
every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery
with her in his heart." What God has joined together, let not man put
The tradition of the Church has understood The Sixth Commandment as
encompasSing the whole of human sexuality.
II. The Vocation to Chastity
2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the
person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.
Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is
expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the
relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual
gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and
the integrality of the gift.
The integrity of the person
2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and
love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is
opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a
double life nor duplicity in speech.
2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a
training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs
his Passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and
becomes unhappy. "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of
conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from
within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external
constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to
the Passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely chooSing what is
good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the
means suited to this end."
2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist
temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge,
practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him,
obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and
fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered
together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into
2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance,
which seeks to permeate the Passions and appetites of the senses with
2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it
acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of
life. The effort required can be more intense in certain periods,
such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and
2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by
imperfection and too often by Sin. "Man . . . day by day builds himself up
through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes
moral good by stages of growth."
2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a
cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal
betterment and the improvement of society." Chastity presupposes
respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive
information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual
dimensions of human life.
2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a Grace, a
fruit of spiritual effort. The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water
of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.
The integrality of the gift of self
2346 Charity is the form of all The Virtues. Under its influence, chastity
appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to
the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness
to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.
2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple
how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who
has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine
estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether
it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship
represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.
The various forms of chastity
2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has "put on
Christ," the model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called
to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At
the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective
life in chastity.
2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to
their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which
enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a
remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral
law, whether they are married or Single." Married people are called
to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:
There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of
spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do
not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others.... This is what
makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.
2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in
continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual
respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one
another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of
affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in
Offenses against chastity
2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual
pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself,
isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the
genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium
of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense
of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that
masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action." "The
deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of
marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure
is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the
moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human
procreation in the context of true love is achieved."
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and
to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective
immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other
psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral
2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried
woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human
sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the
generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when
there is corruption of the young.
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from
the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to
third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the
conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave
injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public),
Since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for
others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy
world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the
production and distribution of pornographic materials.
2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in
it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who
pays Sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his
Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy
Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women,
but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the
added Sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely Sinful to engage in
prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by
destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.
2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another
person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the
respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person
has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It
is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children
committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of
the children entrusted to them.
Chastity and homosexuality
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who
experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of
the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries
and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely
unexplained. BaSing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual
acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that
"homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to
The Natural Law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do
not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no
circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual
tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual
condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with
respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination
in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill
God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the
sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By The Virtues of
self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of
diSinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental Grace, they can and
should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
III. The Love of Husband and Wife
2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In
marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of
spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are
sanctified by the sacrament.
2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one
another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not
something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human
person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an
integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves
totally to one another until death."
Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, "Sister, get up, and let us pray
and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety." So she got up,
and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias
began by saying, "Blessed are you, O God of our fathers.... You made Adam,
and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of
them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the
man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.' I now am
taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with Sincerity.
Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together."
And they both said, "Amen, Amen." Then they went to sleep for the
2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the
spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance
of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the
spouses in joy and gratitude." Sexuality is a source of joy and
The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function,
spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit.
Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and
enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same
time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just
2363 The spouses' union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of
the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or
values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's
spiritual life and compromiSing the goods of marriage and the future of
The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold
obligation of fidelity and fecundity.
2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love
established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the
conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent."
Both give themselves definitively and totally to one another. They are no
longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely
contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique
and indissoluble. "What therefore God has joined together, let not
man put asunder."
2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one's given word. God is
faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into
Christ's fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear
witness to this mystery before the world.
St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their
wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my
life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is
to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being
separated in the life reserved for us.... I place your love above all
things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a
different mind than you.
The fecundity of marriage
2366 Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally
tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something
added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very
heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment. So the Church,
which "is on the side of life" teaches that "each and every marriage
act must remain open 'per se' to the transmission of life." "This particular
doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on
the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own
initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the
procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage
2367 Called to give life, spouses share in the creative power and
fatherhood of God. "Married couples should regard it as their proper
mission to transmit human life and to educate their children; they should
realize that they are thereby cooperating with the love of God the Creator
and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters. They will fulfill this duty
with a sense of human and Christian responsibility."
2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of
procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not
motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity
appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their
behavior to the objective criteria of morality:
When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible
transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on
Sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be
determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the
person and his acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual
self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is
possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with
Sincerity of heart.
2369 "By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the
procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true
mutual love and its orientation toward man's exalted vocation to
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based
on self- observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity
with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the
bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the
education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which,
whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or
in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an
end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving
of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively
contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the
other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but
also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is
called upon to give itself in personal totality.... The difference, both
anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the
rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two
irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.
2371 "Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it
are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation
and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal
2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens' well-being. In this
capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of
the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful
information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The
state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the
primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their
children. It is not authorized to intervene in this area with means contrary to The Moral Law.
The gift of a child
2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church's traditional practice see in large
families a sign of God's blesSing and the parents' generosity.
2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. "What will
you give me," asks Abraham of God, "for I continue childless?" And
Rachel cries to her husband Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall
2375 Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on
condition that it is placed "at the service of the human person, of his
inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design
and will of God."
2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the
intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum,
surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous
artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child's right to
be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by
marriage. They betray the spouses' "right to become a father and a mother
only through each other."
2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial
insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain
morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative
act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by
which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that "entrusts
the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and
biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin
and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in
itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents
and children." "Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its
proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act,
that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses' union .... Only
respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect
for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity
with the dignity of the person."
2378 A child is not something owed to one, but is a gift. The "supreme
gift of marriage" is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece
of property, an idea to which an alleged "right to a child" would lead. In
this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right "to be the
fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents," and "the
right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception."
2379 The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil.
Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate
medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord's Cross, the
source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their
generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services
IV. Offenses Against the Dignity of Marriage
2380 Adultery refers to marital infidelity. When two partners, of whom at
least one is married to another party, have sexual relations - even
transient ones - they commit adultery. Christ condemns even adultery of
mere desire. The Sixth Commandment and the New Testament forbid
adultery absolutely. The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery;
they see it as an image of the Sin of idolatry.
2381 Adultery is an injustice. He who commits adultery fails in his
commitment. He does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage
bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse, and undermines the
institution of marriage by breaking the contract on which it is based. He
compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who
need their parents' stable union.
2382 The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who
willed that marriage be indissoluble. He abrogates the accommodations
that had slipped into The Old Law.
Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be
dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."
2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can be
legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.
If civil divorce remains the only possible way of ensuring certain legal
rights, the care of the children, or the protection of inheritance, it can
be tolerated and does not constitute a moral offense.
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against The Natural Law. It claims to
break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with
each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation,
of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even
if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the
remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an
adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who
lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband
2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the
family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted
spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and
often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes
it truly a plague on society.
2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a
divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened
The Moral Law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has
Sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is
unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a
canonically valid marriage.
Other Offenses Against the Dignity of Marriage
2387 The predicament of a man who, desiring to convert to the Gospel, is
obliged to repudiate one or more wives with whom he has shared years of
conjugal life, is understandable. However polygamy is not in accord with
The Moral Law." [Conjugal] communion is radically contradicted by
polygamy; this, in fact, directly negates the plan of God which was
revealed from the beginning, because it is contrary to the equal personal
dignity of men and women who in matrimony give themselves with a love that
is total and therefore unique and exclusive." The Christian who has
previously lived in polygamy has a grave duty in justice to honor the
obligations contracted in regard to his former wives and his children.
2388 Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws
within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul
stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that
there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's
wife.... In the name of the Lord Jesus ... you are to deliver this man to
Satan for the destruction of the flesh...." Incest corrupts family
relationships and marks a regression toward animality.
2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on
children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded
by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the
young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of
responsibility for their upbringing.
2390 In a so-called free union, a man and a woman refuse to give juridical
and public form to a liaison involving sexual intimacy.
The expression "free union" is fallacious: what can "union" mean when the
partners make no commitment to one another, each exhibiting a lack of
trust in the other, in himself, or in the future?
The expression covers a number of different situations: concubinage,
rejection of marriage as such, or inability to make long-term
commitments. All these situations offend against the dignity of
marriage; they destroy the very idea of the family; they weaken the sense
of fidelity. They are contrary to The Moral Law. The sexual act must take
place exclusively within marriage. Outside of marriage it always
constitutes a grave Sin and excludes one from sacramental communion.
2391 Some today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an
intention of getting married later. However firm the purpose of those who
engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the fact is that such
liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual Sincerity and fidelity in a
relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect
it from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally
legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and
woman has been established. Human love does not tolerate "trial
marriages." It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one
2392 "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being"
2393 By creating the human being man and woman, God gives personal dignity
equally to the one and the other. Each of them, man and woman, should
acknowledge and accept his sexual identity.
2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to
lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life.
2395 Chastity means the integration of sexuality within the person. It
includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery.
2396 Among the Sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation,
fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.
2397 The covenant which spouses have freely entered into entails faithful
love. It imposes on them the obligation to keep their marriage
2398 Fecundity is a good, a gift and an end of marriage. By giving life,
spouses participate in God's fatherhood.
2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible
fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the
spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for
example, direct sterilization or contraception).
2400 Adultery, divorce, polygamy, and free union are grave offenses
against the dignity of marriage.
Article 7: The Seventh Commandment
You shall not steal.
2401 The Seventh Commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods
of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods.
It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the
fruits of men's labor. For the sake of The Common Good, it requires
respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right
to private property. Christian life strives to order this world's goods to
God and to fraternal charity.
I. The Universal Destination and the Private Ownership of Goods
2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the
common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor,
and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the
whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the
security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence.
The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom
and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic
needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural
solidarity to develop between men.
2403 The right to private property, acquired by work or received from
others by inheritance or gift, does not do away with the original gift of
the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods
remains primordial, even if the promotion of The Common Good requires
respect for the right to private property and its exercise.
2404 "In his use of things man should regard the external goods he
legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others
also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself."
The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence,
with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to
others, first of all his family.
2405 Goods of production - material or immaterial - such as land,
factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ
them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods
for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the
better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.
2406 Political Authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate
exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of The Common Good.
II. Respect for Persons and their Goods
2407 In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice
of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world's
goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbor's
rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in
accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the
Lord, who "though he was rich, yet for your sake . . . became poor so that
by his poverty, you might become rich."
Respect for the goods of others
2408 The Seventh Commandment forbids theft, that is, usurping another's
property against the reasonable will of the owner. There is no theft if
consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the
universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent
necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs
(food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one's disposal and use the
property of others.
2409 Even if it does not contradict the provisions of civil law, any form
of unjustly taking and keeping the property of others is against the
seventh commandment: thus, deliberate retention of goods lent or of
objects lost; buSiness fraud; paying unjust wages; forcing up prices by
taking advantage of the ignorance or hardship of another.
The following are also morally illicit: speculation in which one contrives
to manipulate the price of goods artificially in order to gain an
advantage to the detriment of others; corruption in which one influences
the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law;
appropriation and use for private purposes of The Common Goods of an
enterprise; work poorly done; tax evasion; forgery of checks and invoices;
excessive expenses and waste. Willfully damaging private or public
property is contrary to The Moral Law and requires reparation.
2410 Promises must be kept and contracts strictly observed to the extent
that the commitments made in them are morally just. A significant part of
economic and social life depends on the honoring of contracts between
physical or moral persons - commercial contracts of purchase or sale,
rental or labor contracts. All contracts must be agreed to and executed in
2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates
exchanges between persons in accordance with a strict respect for their
rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding
property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely
contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is
One distinguishes commutative justice from legal justice which concerns
what the citizen owes in fairness to the community, and from distributive
justice which regulates what the community owes its citizens in proportion
to their contributions and needs.
2412 In virtue of commutative justice, reparation for injustice committed
requires the restitution of stolen goods to their owner:
Jesus blesses Zacchaeus for his pledge: "If I have defrauded anyone of
anything, I restore it fourfold." Those who, directly or indirectly,
have taken possession of the goods of another, are obliged to make
restitution of them, or to return the equivalent in kind or in money, if
the goods have disappeared, as well as the profit or advantages their
owner would have legitimately obtained from them. Likewise, all who in
some manner have taken part in a theft or who have knowingly benefited
from it - for example, those who ordered it, assisted in it, or received
the stolen goods - are obliged to make restitution in proportion to their
responsibility and to their share of what was stolen.
2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves
contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive
someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others.
The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and
cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is
so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it
2414 The Seventh Commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any
reason - selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian - lead to the
enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged
like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a Sin
against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them
by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit. St. Paul
directed a Christian master to treat his Christian slave "no longer as a
slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, . . . both in the flesh
and in the Lord."
Respect for the integrity of creation
2415 The Seventh Commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of
creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature
destined for The Common Good of past, present, and future humanity.
Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot
be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over
inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute;
it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor,
including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the
integrity of creation.
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential
care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus
men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints
like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.
2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in
his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and
clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure.
Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice, if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die
needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as
a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one
should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.
III. The Social Doctrine of the Church
2419 "Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws
of social living." The Church receives from the Gospel the full
revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of
proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ,
to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches
him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.
2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters,
"when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls
requires it." In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from
that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal
aspects of The Common Good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good,
our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to
earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.
2421 The Social Doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century
when the Gospel encountered modern industrial society with its new
structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of
society, the state and Authority, and its new forms of labor and
ownership. The development of the doctrine of the Church on economic and
social matters attests the permanent value of the Church's teaching at the
same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living
2422 The Church's social teaching comprises a body of doctrine, which is
articulated as the Church interprets events in the course of history, with
the assistance of the Holy Spirit, in the light of the whole of what has
been revealed by Jesus Christ. This teaching can be more easily
accepted by men of good will, the more the faithful let themselves be
guided by it.
2423 The Church's social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it
provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action:
Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by
economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his
2424 A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of
economic activity is morally unacceptable. The disordered desire for money
cannot but produce perverse effects. It is one of the causes of the many
conflicts which disturb the social order.
A system that "subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of groups
to the collective organization of production" is contrary to human
dignity. Every practice that reduces persons to nothing more than a
means of profit enslaves man, leads to idolizing money, and contributes to
the spread of atheism. "You cannot serve God and mammon."
2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies
associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has
likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism
and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human
labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts
the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the
marketplace fails Social Justice, for "there are many human needs which
cannot be satisfied by the market." Reasonable regulation of the
marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of
values and a view to The Common Good, is to be commended.
IV. Economic Activity and Social Justice
2426 The development of Economic Activity and growth in production are
meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant
solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is
ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of
the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its
own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral
order, in keeping with Social Justice so as to correspond to God's plan
2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God
and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both
with and for one another. Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not
work, let him not eat." Work honors the Creator's gifts and the
talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the
hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and
the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with
the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple
of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to
accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of
animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.
2428 In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential
inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man
himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for
Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his
life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.
2429 Everyone has the right of economic initiative; everyone should make
legitimate use of his talents to contribute to the abundance that will
benefit all and to harvest the just fruits of his labor. He should seek to
observe regulations issued by legitimate Authority for the sake of the
2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed to
one another. This explains why the conflicts that characterize it
arise. Efforts should be made to reduce these conflicts by
negotiation that respects the rights and duties of each social partner:
those responsible for buSiness enterprises, representatives of wage-
earners (for example, trade unions), and public authorities when
2431 The responsibility of the state. "Economic activity, especially the
activity of a market economy, cannot be conducted in an institutional,
juridical, or political vacuum. On the contrary, it presupposes sure
guarantees of individual freedom and private property, as well as a stable
currency and efficient public services. Hence the principal task of the
state is to guarantee this security, so that those who work and produce
can enjoy the fruits of their labors and thus feel encouraged to work
efficiently and honestly.... Another task of the state is that of
overseeing and directing the exercise of human rights in the economic
sector. However, primary responsibility in this area belongs not to the
state but to individuals and to the various groups and associations which
make up society."
2432 Those responsible for buSiness enterprises are responsible to society
for the economic and ecological effects of their operations. They
have an obligation to consider the good of persons and not only the
increase of profits. Profits are necessary, however. They make possible
the investments that ensure the future of a buSiness and they guarantee
2433 Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without
unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and
immigrants. For its part society should, according to circumstances,
help citizens find work and employment.
2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it
can be a grave injustice. In determining fair pay both the needs and
the contributions of each person must be taken into account. "Remuneration
for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified
livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural
and spiritual level, taking
into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the
buSiness, and The Common Good." Agreement between the parties is not
sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.
2435 Recourse to a strike is morally legitimate when it cannot be avoided,
or at least when it is necessary to obtain a proportionate benefit. It
becomes morally unacceptable when accompanied by violence, or when
objectives are included that are not directly linked to working conditions
or are contrary to The Common Good.
Unemployment almost always wounds its victim's dignity and threatens the
equilibrium of his life. Besides the harm done to him personally, it
entails many risks for his family.
V. Justice and Solidarity Among Nations
2437 On the international level, inequality of resources and economic
capability is such that it creates a real "gap" between nations. On
the one side there are those nations possesSing and developing the means
of growth and, on the other, those accumulating debts.
2438 Various causes of a religious, political, economic, and financial
nature today give "the social question a worldwide dimension." There
must be solidarity among nations which are already politically
interdependent. It is even more essential when it is a question of
dismantling the "perverse mechanisms" that impede the development of the
less advanced countries. In place of abusive if not usurious
financial systems, iniquitous commercial relations among nations, and the
arms race, there must be substituted a common effort to mobilize resources
toward objectives of moral, cultural, and economic development,
"redefining the priorities and hierarchies of values."
2439 Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility toward those which are
unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves or have been
prevented from doing so by tragic historical events. It is a duty in
solidarity and charity; it is also an obligation in justice if the
prosperity of the rich nations has come from resources that have not been
paid for fairly.
2440 Direct aid is an appropriate response to immediate, extraordinary
needs caused by natural catastrophes, epidemics, and the like. But it does
not suffice to repair the grave damage resulting from destitution or to
provide a lasting solution to a country's needs. It is also necessary to
reform international economic and financial institutions so that they will
better promote equitable relationships with less advanced countries.
The efforts of poor countries working for growth and liberation must be
supported. This doctrine must be applied especially in the area of
agricultural labor. Peasants, especially in the Third World, form the
overwhelming majority of the poor.
2441 An increased sense of God and increased self-awareness are
fundamental to any full development of human society. This development
multiplies material goods and puts them at the service of the person and
his freedom. It reduces dire poverty and economic exploitation. It makes
for growth in respect for cultural identities and openness to the
2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly
in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is
part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative
with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete
forms. It should always have The Common Good in view and be in conformity
with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the
role of the laity "to animate temporal realities with Christian
commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace
VI. Love for the Poor
2443 God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those
who turn away from them: "Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him
who would borrow from you"; "you received without pay, give without
pay." It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ
will recognize his chosen ones. When "the poor have the good news
preached to them," it is the sign of Christ's presence.
2444 "The Church's Love for the Poor . . . is a part of her constant
tradition." This love is inspired by the Gospel of The Beatitudes, of the
poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the Poor
is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to "be able to
give to those in need." It extends not only to material poverty but
also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.
2445 Love for the Poor is incompatible with immoderate love of riches or
their selfish use:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon
you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold
and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and
will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last
days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you
kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached
the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and
in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have
condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.
2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor
to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The
goods we possess are not ours, but theirs." "The demands of justice
must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is
not to be offered as a gift of charity":
When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs,
not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of
2447 The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid
of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing,
adviSing, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are
forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy
consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless,
clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the
dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief
witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleaSing to
He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has
food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are
within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or
sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them,
"Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed
for the body, what does it profit?
2448 "In its various forms - material deprivation, unjust oppression,
physical and psychological illness and death - human misery is the obvious
sign of the inherited condition of frailty and need for salvation in which
man finds himself as a consequence of original Sin. This misery elicited
the compassion of Christ the Savior, who willingly took it upon himself
and identified himself with the least of his brethren. Hence, those who
are oppressed by poverty are the object of a preferential love on the part
of the Church which, Since her origin and in spite of the failings of many
of her members, has not ceased to work for their relief, defense, and
liberation through numerous works of charity which remain indispensable
always and everywhere."
2449 Beginning with the Old Testament, all kinds of juridical measures
(the jubilee year of forgiveness of debts, prohibition of loans at
interest and the keeping of collateral, the obligation to tithe, the daily
payment of the day-laborer, the right to glean vines and fields) answer
the exhortation of Deuteronomy: "For the poor will never cease out of the
land; therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your
brother, to the needy and to the poor in the land.'" Jesus makes
these words his own: "The poor you always have with you, but you do not
always have me." In so doing he does not soften the vehemence of
former oracles against "buying the poor for silver and the needy for a
pair of sandals . . .," but invites us to recognize his own presence in
the poor who are his brethren:
When her mother reproached her for caring for the poor and the sick at
home, St. Rose of Lima said to her: "When we serve the poor and the sick,
we serve Jesus. We must not fail to help our neighbors, because in them we
2450 "You shall not steal" (Ex 20:15; Deut 5:19). "Neither thieves, nor
the greedy . . ., nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor
2451 The Seventh Commandment enjoins the practice of justice and charity
in the administration of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor.
2452 The goods of creation are destined for the entire human race. The
right to private property does not abolish the universal destination of
2453 The Seventh Commandment forbids theft. Theft is the usurpation of
another's goods against the reasonable will of the owner.
2454 Every manner of taking and uSing another's property unjustly is
contrary to The Seventh Commandment. The injustice committed requires
reparation. Commutative justice requires the restitution of stolen goods.
2455 The Moral Law forbids acts which, for commercial or totalitarian
purposes, lead to the enslavement of human beings, or to their being
bought, sold or exchanged like merchandise.
2456 The dominion granted by the Creator over the mineral, vegetable, and
animal resources of the universe cannot be separated from respect for
moral obligations, including those toward generations to come.
2457 Animals are entrusted to man's stewardship; he must show them
kindness. They may be used to serve the just satisfaction of man's needs.
2458 The Church makes a judgment about economic and social matters when
the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires *.
She is concerned with the temporal common good of men because they are
ordered to the sovereign Good, their ultimate end.
2459 Man is himself the author, center, and goal of all economic and
social life. The decisive point of the social question is that goods
created by God for everyone should in fact reach everyone in accordance
with justice and with the help of charity.
2460 The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and
beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of
creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.
2461 True development concerns the whole man. It is concerned with
increaSing each person's ability to respond to his vocation and hence to
God's call (cf. CA 29).
2462 Giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also
a work of justice pleaSing to God.
2463 How can we not recognize Lazarus, the hungry beggar in the parable
(cf. Lk 17:19-31), in the multitude of human beings without bread, a roof
or a place to stay? How can we fail to hear Jesus: "As you did it not to
one of the least of these, you did it not to me" (Mt 25:45)?
Article 8: The Eighth Commandment
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
It was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely, but shall
perform to the Lord what you have sworn."
2464 The Eighth Commandment forbids misrepresenting the truth in our
relations with others. This moral prescription flows from the vocation of
the holy people to bear witness to their God who is the truth and wills
the truth. Offenses against the truth express by word or deed a refusal to
commit oneself to moral uprightness: they are fundamental infidelities to
God and, in this sense, they undermine the foundations of the covenant.
I. Living in the Truth
2465 The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His
Word is truth. His Law is truth. His "faithfulness endures to all
generations." Since God is "true," the members of his people are
called to live in the truth.
2466 In Jesus Christ, the whole of God's truth has been made manifest.
"Full of Grace and truth," he came as the "light of the world," he is the
Truth. "Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." The
disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know "the truth [that]
will make you free" and that sanctifies. To follow Jesus is to live
in "the Spirit of truth," whom the Father sends in his name and who leads
"into all the truth." To his disciples Jesus teaches the
unconditional love of truth: "Let what you say be simply 'Yes or
2467 Man tends by nature toward the truth. He is obliged to honor and bear
witness to it: "It is in accordance with their dignity that all men,
because they are persons . . . are both impelled by their nature and
bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth.
They are also bound to adhere to the truth once they come to know it and
direct their whole lives in accordance with the demands of truth."
2468 Truth as uprightness in human action and speech is called
truthfulness, Sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue
which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and
in guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
2469 "Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual
confidence that they were being truthful to one another." The virtue
of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean
between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it
entails honesty and discretion. In justice, "as a matter of honor, one man
owes it to another to manifest the truth."
2470 The disciple of Christ consents to "live in the truth," that is, in
the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord's example, abiding in
his truth. "If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in
darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth."
II. To Bear Witness to the Truth
2471 Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he "has come into the world, to
bear witness to the truth." The Christian is not to "be ashamed then
of testifying to our Lord." In situations that require witness to the
faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the
example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep "a clear conscience
toward God and toward men."
2472 The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels
them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow
from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds.
Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it
All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their
word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which
they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by
whom they were strengthened at Confirmation.
2473 Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it
means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ
who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to
the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through
an act of fortitude. "Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom
it will be given me to reach God."
2474 The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who
persevered to the end in witnesSing to their faith. These are the acts of
the Martyrs. They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood:
Neither the pleasures of the world nor the kingdoms of this age will be of
any use to me. It is better for me to die [in order to unite myself] to
Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. I seek him who died
for us; I desire him who rose for us. My birth is approaching. . .
I bless you for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be
counted among your martyrs.... You have kept your promise, God of
faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise you,
I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal and heavenly High Priest,
Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him, who is with you and the Holy
Spirit, may glory be given to you, now and in the ages to come. Amen.
III. Offences Against Truth
2475 Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after the
likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." By "putting away
falsehood," they are to "put away all malice and all guile and inSincerity
and envy and all slander."
2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement
contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes
false witness. When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as
these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the
guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused. They gravely
compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word
likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient
foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's
faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation
of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret
insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable
interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot
do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter
understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does
not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to
a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.
2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one's
neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and
everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation
and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against The Virtues of
justice and charity.
2480 Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or
complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and
perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice
in another's vices or grave Sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor
friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial Sin when it
only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain
2481 Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is irony aimed
at disparaging someone by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his
2482 "A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of
deceiving." The Lord denounces lying as the work of the devil: "You
are of your father the devil, . . . there is no truth in him. When he
lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the
father of lies."
2483 Lying is the most direct offense against the truth. To lie is to
speak or act against the truth in order to lead into error someone who has
the right to know the truth. By injuring man's relation to truth and to
his neighbor, a lie offends against the fundamental relation of man and of
his word to the Lord.
2484 The gravity of a lie is measured against the nature of the truth it
deforms, the circumstances, the intentions of the one who lies, and the
harm suffered by its victims. If a lie in itself only constitutes a venial
Sin, it becomes mortal when it does grave injury to The Virtues of justice
2485 By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of
speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to
others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by
saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and
charity. The culpability is greater when the intention of deceiving
entails the risk of deadly consequences for those who are led astray.
2486 Since it violates the virtue of truthfulness, a lie does real
violence to another. It affects his ability to know, which is a condition
of every judgment and decision. It contains the seed of discord and all
consequent evils. Lying is destructive of society; it undermines trust
among men and tears apart the fabric of social relationships.
2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of
reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible
publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If
someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be
given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation
also concerns offenses against another's reputation. This reparation,
moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of
the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience.
IV. RESPECT FOR THE TRUTH
2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional.
Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love.
This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is
appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.
2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to
every request for information or communication. The good and safety of
others, respect for privacy, and The Common Good are sufficient reasons
for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a
discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict
discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not
have the right to know it.
2490 The secret of the sacrament of reconciliation is sacred, and cannot
be violated under any pretext. "The sacramental seal is inviolable;
therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent
by word or in any other manner or for any reason."
2491 Professional secrets - for example, those of political office
holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers - or confidential information
given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases
where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who
confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the
very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not
confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to
another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.
2492 Everyone should observe an appropriate reserve concerning persons'
private lives. Those in charge of communications should maintain a fair
balance between the requirements of The Common Good and respect for
individual rights. Interference by the media in the private lives of
persons engaged in political or public activity is to be condemned to the
extent that it infringes upon their privacy and freedom.
V. The Use of the Social Communications Media
2493 Within modern society the communications media play a major role in
information, cultural promotion, and formation. This role is increaSing,
as a result of technological progress, the extent and diversity of the
news transmitted, and the influence exercised on public opinion.
2494 The information provided by the media is at the service of the common
good. Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom,
justice, and solidarity:
The proper exercise of this right demands that the content of the
communication be true and - within the limits set by justice and charity -
complete. Further, it should be communicated honestly and properly. This
means that in the gathering and in the publication of news, The Moral Law
and the legitimate rights and dignity of man should be upheld.
2495 "It is necessary that all members of society meet the demands of
justice and charity in this domain. They should help, through the means of
social communication, in the formation and diffusion of sound public
opinion." Solidarity is a consequence of genuine and right
communication and the free circulation of ideas that further knowledge and
respect for others.
2496 The means of social communication (especially the mass media) can
give rise to a certain passivity among users, making them less than
vigilant consumers of what is said or shown. Users should practice
moderation and discipline in their approach to the mass media. They will
want to form enlightened and correct consciences the more easily to resist
2497 By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an
obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in
disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care,
the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning
individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.
2498 "Civil authorities have particular responsibilities in this field
because of The Common Good.... It is for the civil Authority ... to defend
and safeguard a true and just freedom of information." By
promulgating laws and overseeing their application, public authorities
should ensure that "public morality and social progress are not gravely
endangered" through misuse of the media. Civil authorities should
punish any violation of the rights of individuals to their reputation and
privacy. They should give timely and reliable reports concerning the
general good or respond to the well-founded concerns of the people.
Nothing can justify recourse to diSinformation for manipulating public
opinion through the media. Interventions by public Authority should avoid
injuring the freedom of individuals or groups.
2499 Moral judgment must condemn the plague of totalitarian states which
systematically falsify the truth, exercise political control of opinion
through the media, manipulate defendants and witnesses at public trials,
and imagine that they secure their tyranny by strangling and represSing
everything they consider "thought crimes."
VI. Truth, Beauty, and Sacred Art
2500 The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy
and moral beauty. Likewise, truth carries with it the joy and splendor of
spiritual beauty. Truth is beautiful in itself. Truth in words, the
rational expression of the knowledge of created and uncreated reality, is
necessary to man, who is endowed with intellect. But truth can also find
other complementary forms of human expression, above all when it is a
matter of evoking what is beyond words: the depths of the human heart, the
exaltations of the soul, the mystery of God. Even before revealing himself
to man in words of truth, God reveals himself to him through the universal
language of creation, the work of his Word, of his wisdom: the order and
harmony of the cosmos-which both the child and the scientist
discover-"from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a
corresponding perception of their Creator," "for the author of beauty
[Wisdom] is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the
glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her.
For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working
of God, and an image of his goodness. For [wisdom] is more beautiful
than the sun, and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with
the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night,
but against wisdom evil does not prevail. I became enamored of her
2501 Created "in the image of God," man also expresses the truth of
his relationship with God the Creator by the beauty of his artistic works.
Indeed, art is a distinctively human form of expression; beyond the search
for the necessities of life which is common to all living creatures, art
is a freely given superabundance of the human being's inner riches.
AriSing from talent given by the Creator and from man's own effort, art is
a form of practical wisdom, uniting knowledge and skill, to give form
to the truth of reality in a language accessible to sight or hearing. To
the extent that it is inspired by truth and love of beings, art bears a
certain likeness to God's activity in what he has created. Like any other
human activity, art is not an absolute end in itself, but is ordered to
and ennobled by the ultimate end of man.
2502 Sacred art is true and beautiful when its form corresponds to its
particular vocation: evoking and glorifying, in faith and adoration, the
transcendent mystery of God - the surpasSing invisible beauty of truth and
love visible in Christ, who "reflects the glory of God and bears the very
stamp of his nature," in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells
bodily." This spiritual beauty of God is reflected in the most holy
Virgin Mother of God, the angels, and saints. Genuine sacred art draws man
to adoration, to prayer, and to the love of God, Creator and Savior, the
Holy One and Sanctifier.
2503 For this reason bishops, personally or through delegates, should see
to the promotion of sacred art, old and new, in all its forms and, with
the same religious care, remove from the liturgy and from places of
worship everything which is not in conformity with the truth of faith and
the authentic beauty of sacred art.
2504 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Ex 20:16).
Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after the likeness of
God in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph 4:24).
2505 Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself
true in deeds and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity,
dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
2506 The Christian is not to "be ashamed of testifying to our Lord" (2 Tim
1:8) in deed and word. Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth
of the faith.
2507 Respect for the reputation and honor of persons forbids all
detraction and calumny in word or attitude.
2508 Lying consists in saying what is false with the intention of
deceiving the neighbor who has the right to the truth.
2509 An offense committed against the truth requires reparation.
2510 The golden rule helps one discern, in concrete situations, whether or
not it would be appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for
2511 "The sacramental seal is inviolable" (CIC, can. 983 # 1).
Professional secrets must be kept. Confidences prejudicial to another are
not to be divulged.
2512 Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, and
justice. One should practice moderation and discipline in the use of the
social communications media.
2513 The fine arts, but above all sacred art, "of their nature are
directed toward expresSing in some way the infinite beauty of God in works
made by human hands. Their dedication to the increase of God's praise and
of his glory is more complete, the more exclusively they are devoted to
turning men's minds devoutly toward God" (SC 122).
Article 9: The Ninth Commandment
You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your
neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his
ass, or anything that is your neighbor's.
Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery
with her in his heart.
2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence:
lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. In the
Catholic catechetical tradition, The Ninth Commandment forbids carnal
concupiscence; the tenth forbids coveting another's goods.
2515 Etymologically, "concupiscence" can refer to any intense form of
human desire. Christian theology has given it a particular meaning: the
movement of the sensitive appetite contrary to the operation of the human
reason. The apostle St. Paul identifies it with the rebellion of the
"flesh" against the "spirit." Concupiscence stems from the
disobedience of the first Sin. It unsettles man's moral faculties and,
without being in itself an offense, inclines man to commit Sins.
2516 Because man is a composite being, spirit and body, there already
exists a certain tension in him; a certain struggle of tendencies between
"spirit" and "flesh" develops. But in fact this struggle belongs to the
heritage of Sin. It is a consequence of Sin and at the same time a
confirmation of it. It is part of the daily experience of the spiritual
For the Apostle it is not a matter of despiSing and condemning the body
which with the spiritual soul constitutes man's nature and personal
subjectivity. Rather, he is concerned with the morally good or bad works,
or better, the permanent dispositions - virtues and vices - which are the
fruit of submission (in the first case) or of resistance (in the second
case) to the saving action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the Apostle
writes: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
I. Purification of the Heart
2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: "Out of the heart come
evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication...." The struggle
against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and practicing
Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who do
not know the evil that destroys man's life.
2518 The sixth beatitude proclaims, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God." "Pure in heart" refers to those who have attuned
their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in
three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of
truth and orthodoxy of faith. There is a connection between purity of
heart, of body, and of faith:
The faithful must believe the articles of the Creed "so that by believing
they may obey God, by obeying may live well, by living well may purify
their hearts, and with pure hearts may understand what they believe."
2519 The "pure in heart" are promised that they will see God face to face
and be like him. Purity of heart is the precondition of the vision of
God. Even now it enables us to see according to God, to accept others as
"neighbors"; it lets us perceive the human body - ours and our neighbor's
- as a temple of the Holy Spirit, a manifestation of divine beauty.
II. The Battle for Purity
2520 Baptism confers on its recipient the Grace of purification from all
Sins. But the baptized must continue to struggle against concupiscence of
the flesh and disordered desires. With God's Grace he will prevail
- by the virtue and gift of chastity, for chastity lets us love with
upright and undivided heart;
- by purity of intention which consists in seeking the true end of man:
with simplicity of vision, the baptized person seeks to find and to
fulfill God's will in everything;
- by purity of vision, external and internal; by discipline of feelings
and imagination; by refuSing all complicity in impure thoughts that
incline us to turn aside from the path of God's commandments: "Appearance
arouses yearning in fools";
- by prayer:
I thought that continence arose from one's own powers, which I did not
recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one
can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it
if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast
my cares on you.
2521 Purity requires modesty, an integral part of temperance. Modesty
protects the intimate center of the person. It means refuSing to unveil
what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity
it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward
them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity.
2522 Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages
patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the
conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to
one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one's choice of
clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of
unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet.
2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It
protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human
body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain
media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty
inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements
of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.
2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another.
Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual
dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of
being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means
awakening in them Respect for the Human Person.
2525 Christian purity requires a purification of the social climate. It
requires of the communications media that their presentations show concern
for respect and restraint. Purity of heart brings freedom from widespread
eroticism and avoids entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion.
2526 So called moral permissiveness rests on an erroneous conception of
human freedom; the necessary precondition for the development of true
freedom is to let oneself be educated in The Moral Law. Those in charge of
education can reasonably be expected to give young people instruction
respectful of the truth, the qualities of the heart, and the moral and
spiritual dignity of man.
2527 "The Good News of Christ continually renews the life and culture of
fallen man; it combats and removes the error and evil which flow from the
ever-present attraction of Sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the
morality of peoples. It takes the spiritual qualities and endowments of
every age and nation, and with supernatural riches it causes them to
blossom, as it were, from within; it fortifies, completes, and restores
them in Christ."
2528 "Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed
adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28).
2529 The Ninth Commandment warns against lust or carnal concupiscence.
2530 The struggle against carnal lust involves purifying the heart and
2531 Purity of heart will enable us to see God: it enables us even now to
see things according to God.
2532 Purification of the Heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity,
purity of intention and of vision.
2533 Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and
discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.
Article 10: The Tenth Commandment
You shall not covet ... anything that is your neighbor's....
You shall not
desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his
maidservant,, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
2534 The Tenth Commandment unfolds and completes the ninth, which is
concerned with concupiscence of the flesh. It forbids coveting the goods
of another, as the root of theft, robbery, and fraud, which the seventh
commandment forbids. "Lust of the eyes" leads to the violence and
injustice forbidden by The Fifth Commandment. Avarice, like
fornication, originates in the idolatry prohibited by the first three
prescriptions of the Law. The Tenth Commandment concerns the
intentions of the heart; with the ninth, it summarizes all the precepts of
I. The Disorder of Covetous Desires
2535 The sensitive appetite leads us to desire pleasant things we do not
have, e.g., the desire to eat when we are hungry or to warm ourselves when
we are cold. These desires are good in themselves; but often they exceed
the limits of reason and drive us to covet unjustly what is not ours and
belongs to another or is owed to him.
2536 The Tenth Commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly
goods without limit. It forbids avarice ariSing from a passion for riches
and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice
by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods:
When the Law says, "You shall not covet," these words mean that we should
banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for
another's goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written:
"He who loves money never has money enough."
2537 It is not a violation of this commandment to desire to obtain things
that belong to one's neighbor, provided this is done by just means.
Traditional catechesis realistically mentions "those who have a harder
struggle against their criminal desires" and so who "must be urged the
more to keep this commandment":
. . . merchants who desire scarcity and riSing prices, who cannot bear
not to be the only ones buying and selling so that they themselves can
sell more dearly and buy more cheaply; those who hope that their peers
will be impoverished, in order to realize a profit either by selling to
them or buying from them . . . physicians who wish disease to spread;
lawyers who are eager for many important cases and trials.
2538 The Tenth Commandment requires that envy be banished from the human
heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance,
he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he
treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great
number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his
lamb. Envy can lead to the worst crimes. "Through the devil's
envy death entered the world":
We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another.... If everyone
strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are
engaged in making Christ's Body a corpse.... We declare ourselves members
of one and the same organism, yet we devour one another like beasts.
2539 Envy is a capital Sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of
another's goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself,
even unjustly. When it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal Sin:
St. Augustine saw envy as "the diabolical Sin." "From envy are born
hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor,
and displeasure caused by his prosperity."
2540 Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity;
the baptized person should struggle against it by exerciSing good will.
Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to
live in humility:
Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brother's
progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant
could conquer envy by rejoicing in the Merits of others, God will be
II. The Desires of the Spirit
2541 The economy of law and Grace turns men's hearts away from avarice and
envy. It initiates them into desire for the Sovereign Good; it instructs
them in the desires of the Holy Spirit who satisfies man's heart.
The God of the promises always warned man against seduction by what from
the beginning has seemed "good for food . . . a delight to the eyes . . .
to be desired to make one wise."
2542 The Law entrusted to Israel never sufficed to justify those subject
to it; it even became the instrument of "lust." The gap between
wanting and doing points to the conflict between God's Law which is the
"law of my mind," and another law "making me captive to the law of Sin
which dwells in my members."
2543 "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law,
although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of
God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe." Henceforth,
Christ's faithful "have crucified the flesh with its Passions and
desires"; they are led by the Spirit and follow the desires of the
III. Poverty of Heart
2544 Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone,
and bids them "renounce all that [they have]" for his sake and that of the
Gospel. Shortly before his passion he gave them the example of the
poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to
live on. The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for
entrance into the Kingdom of heaven.
2545 All Christ's faithful are to "direct their affections rightly, lest
they be hindered in their pursuit of perfect charity by the use of worldly
things and by an adherence to riches which is contrary to the spirit of
2546 "Blessed are the poor in spirit." The Beatitudes reveal an order
of happiness and Grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the joy of
the poor, to whom the Kingdom already belongs:
The Word speaks of voluntary humility as "poverty in spirit"; the Apostle
gives an example of God's poverty when he says: "For your sakes he became
2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation
in the abundance of goods. "Let the proud seek and love earthly
kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of
heaven." Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees
us from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a preparation for the
blessedness of the poor. They shall see God.
IV. "I Want to See God"
2548 Desire for true happiness frees man from his immoderate attachment to
the goods of this world so that he can find his fulfillment in the vision
and beatitude of God. "The promise [of seeing God] surpasses all
beatitude.... In Scripture, to see is to possess.... Whoever sees God has
obtained all the goods of which he can conceive."
2549 It remains for the holy people to struggle, with Grace from on high,
to obtain the good things God promises. In order to possess and
contemplate God, Christ's faithful mortify their cravings and, with the
Grace of God, prevail over the seductions of pleasure and power.
2550 On this way of perfection, the Spirit and the Bride call whoever
hears them to perfect communion with God:
There will true glory be, where no one will be praised by mistake or
flattery; true honor will not be refused to the worthy, nor granted to the
unworthy; likewise, no one unworthy will pretend to be worthy, where only
those who are worthy will be admitted. There true peace will reign, where
no one will experience opposition either from self or others. God himself
will be virtue's reward; he gives virtue and has promised to give himself
as the best and greatest reward that could exist.... "I shall be their God
and they will be my people...." This is also the meaning of the Apostle's
words: "So that God may be all in all." God himself will be the goal of
our desires; we shall contemplate him without end, love him without
surfeit, praise him without weariness. This gift, this state, this act,
like eternal life itself, will assuredly be common to all.
2551 "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt 6:21).
2552 The Tenth Commandment forbids avarice ariSing from a passion for
riches and their attendant power.
2553 Envy is sadness at the sight of another's goods and the immoderate
desire to have them for oneself. It is a capital Sin.
2554 The baptized person combats envy through good-will, humility, and
abandonment to the providence of God.
2555 Christ's faithful "have crucified the flesh with its Passions and
desires" (Gal 5:24); they are led by the Spirit and follow his desires.
2556 Detachment from riches is necessary for entering the Kingdom of
heaven. "Blessed are the poor in spirit."
2557 "I Want to See God" expresses the true desire of man. Thirst for God
is quenched by the water of eternal life (cf. In 4:14).
Mk 12:29-31; cf. Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18; Mt 22:34-40; Lk 10:25-28.
Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16.
Eph 6:1-3; cf. Deut 5:16.
Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16.
FC 21; cf. LG 11.
Cf. Eph 5:21b: 4; Col 3:18-21; 1 Pet 3:1-7.
GS 52 # 1.
Cf. GS 47 # 1.
GS 52 # 2.
Cf. FC 46.
Cf. Eph 314.
Cf. Prov 1:8; Tob 4:3-4.
Cf. Ex 20:12.
Col 3:20; Cf. Eph 6:1.
Cf. Mk 7:10-12.
Sir 3:12-13, 16.
2 Tim 1:5.
Cf. FC 36.
CA 36 # 2.
LG 11 # 2.
Cf. LG 11.
Cf. GS 48 # 4.
Cf. Mt 18:21-22; Lk 17:4.
Cf. GE 6.
Mt 10:37; cf. 16:25.
Cf. CA 25.
Cf. Rom 13:1-2.
1 Pet 2:13, 16.
Ad Diognetum 5, 5 and 10; 6, 10: PG 2, 1173 and 1176.
1 Tim 2:2.
GS 74 # 5.
Cf. CA 45; 46.
GS 76 # 3.
GS 76 # 5.
Ex 20:13; Cf. Deut 5:17.
CDF, instruction, Donum vitae, intro. 5.
Cf. Gen 4:8-12.
Cf. Lev 17:14.
Cf. Mt 5:22-39; 5:44.
Cf. Mt 26:52.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 64, 7, corp. art.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 64, 7, corp. art.
Cf. Lk 23:40-43.
Cf. Gen 4:10.
Cf. GS 51 # 3.
Cf. Am 8:4-10.
Cf. CDF, Donum vitae I, 1.
Jer 1:5; cf. Job 10:8-12; Ps 22:10-11.
Didache 2, 2: SCh 248, 148; cf. Ep. Barnabae 19, 5: PG 2, 777; Ad
Diognetum 5, 6: PG 2, 1173; Tertullian, Apol. 9: PL 1, 319-320.
GS 51 # 3.
CIC, can. 1398.
CIC, can. 1314.
Cf. CIC, cann. 1323-1324.
CDF, Donum vitae III.
CDF, Donum vitae III.
CDF, Donum vitae I, 2.
CDF, Donum vitae I, 3.
CDF, Donum vitae I, 5.
CDF, Donum vitae I, 6.
Mt 18:6; Cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13.
Cf. Mt 7:15.
Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.
Cf. Eph 6:4; Col. 3:21.
Cf. DS 3722.
Cf. Tob 1:16-18.
Cf. CIC, can. 1176 # 3.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 158, 1 ad 3.
St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 19, 13, 1: PL 41, 640.
Cf. Isa 32:17; cf. GS 78 ## 1-2.
Eph 2:16 J.B.; cf. Col 1:20-22.
Cf. GS 78 # 5.
Cf. GS 81 # 4.
GS 79 # 4.
Cf. GS 79 # 5.
Cf. GS 79 # 3.
GS 79 # 4.
GS 80 #3.
Cf. Paul VI, PP 53.
GS 78 # 6; cf. Isa 2:4.
EX 20:14; Deut 5:18.
FC 22; Cf. GS 49 # 2.
Cf. Gen 4:1-2, 25-26; 5:1.
Cf. Mt 19:6.
Cf. Mt 5:37.
Cf. Sir 1:22.
St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 29, 40: PL 32, 796.
Cf. Titus 2:1-6.
GS 25 # 1.
Cf. Gal 5:22.
Cf. 1 Jn 3:3.
Cf. Jn 15:15.
CDF, Persona humana 11.
St. Ambrose, De viduis 4, 23: PL 16, 255A.
CDF, Persona humana 9.
CDF, Persona humana 9.
Cf. 1 Cor 6:15-20.
Cf. Gen 191-29; Rom 124-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10.
CDF, Persona humana 8.
GS 49 # 2.
Pius XII, Discourse, October 29,1951.
GS 48 # 1.
Cf. CIC, can. 1056.
Mk 109; cf. Mt 19:1-12; 1 Cor 7: 10-11.
St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Eph. 20, 8: PG 62, 146-147.
HV 12; cf. Pius XI, encyclical, Casti connubii.
Cf. Eph 3:14; Mt 23:9.
GS 50 # 2.
155 GS 51 # 3.
156 Cf. HV 12.
157 HV 16.
158 HV 14.
159 FC 32.
160 GS 51 # 4.
161 Cf. HV 23; PP 37.
162 Cf. GS 50 # 2.
163 Gen 15:2.
164 Gen 30:1.
165 CDF, Donum vitae intro., 2.
166 CDF, Donum vitae II, 1.
167 CDF, Donum vitae II, 5.
168 CDF, Donum vitae II, 4.
169 CDF, Donum vitae II, 8.
170 Cf. Mt 5:27-28.
171 Cf. Mt 5:32; 19:6; Mk 10:11; 1 Cor 6:9-10.
172 Cf. Hos 2:7; Jer 5:7; 13:27.
173 Cf. Mt 5:31-32; 19:3-9; Mk 10 9; Lk 16:18; 1 Cor 7:10-ll.
174 Cf. Mt 19:7-9.
175 CIC, can. 1141.
176 Cf. CIC, cann. 1151-1155.
177 St. Basil, Moralia 73, 1: PG 31, 849-852.
178 Cf. FC 84.
179 FC 19; cf. GS 47 # 2.
180 Cf. Lev 18:7-20.
181 1 Cor 5:1, 4-5.
182 Cf. FC 81.
183 CDF, Persona humana 7.
184 Cf. FC 80.
185 EX 20:15; Deut 5:19; Mt 19:18.
186 Cf. Gen 1:26-29.
187 GS 69 # 1.
188 Cf. GS 71 # 4; SRS 42; CA 40; 48.
189 2 Cor 8:9.
190 Cf. GS 69 # 1.
191 Cf. Deut 25:13-16; 24:14-15; Jas 5:4; Am 8:4-6.
192 Lk 19:8.
193 Philem 16.
194 Cf. Gen 128-31.
195 Cf. CA 37-38.
196 Cf. Mt 6:26; Dan 3:79-81.
197 Cf. Gen 2:19-20; 9:1-4.
198 GS 23 # 1.
199 GS 76 # 5.
200 Cf. CA 3.
201 Cf. SRS 1; 41.
202 Cf. CA 24.
203 Cf. GS 63 # 3; LE 7; 20; CA 35.
204 GS 65 # 2.
205 Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13.
206 Cf. CA 10; 13; 44.
207 CA 34.
208 Cf. GS 64.
209 Cf. Gen 1:28; GS 34; CA 31.
210 2 Thess 3:10; Cf. 1 Thess 4:11.
211 Cf. Gen 3:14-19.
212 Cf. LE 27.
213 Cf. LE 6.
214 Cf. CA 32; 34.
215 Cf. LE 11.
216 CA 48.
217 Cf. CA 37.
218 Cf. LE 19; 22-23.
219 Cf. CA 48.
220 Cf. Lev 19:13; Deut 24:14-15; Jas 5:4
221 GS 67 # 2.
222 Cf. LE 18.
223 Cf. SRS 14.
224 SRS 9.
225 Cf. SRS 17; 45.
226 CA 28; Cf. 35.
227 Cf. SRS 16.
228 Cf. CA 26.
229 Cf. SRS 32; CA 51.
230 SRS 47 # 6; cf. 42.
231 Mt 5:42; 10:8.
232 Cf. Mt 25:31-36.
233 Mt 11:5; cf. Lk 4:18.
234 CA 57; cf. Lk 6:20-22, Mt 8:20; Mk 12:41-44.
235 Eph 4:28.
236 Cf. CA 57.
237 Jas 5:1-6.
238 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Lazaro 2, 5: PG 48, 992.
239 AA 8 # 5.
240 St. Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis. 3, 21: PL 77, 87.
241 Cf. Isa 58:6-7; Heb 13:3.
242 Cf. Mt 25:31-46.
243 Cf. Tob 4:5-11; Sir 17:22; Mt 6:2-4.
244 Lk 3:11.
245 Lk 11:41.
246 Jas 2:15-16; cf. 1 Jn 3:17.
247 CDF, instruction, Libertatis conscientia, 68.
248 Deut 15:11.
249 Jn 12:8.
250 Am 8:6; cf. Mt 25:40.
251 P. Hansen, Vita mirabilis (Louvain, 1668).
252 EX 20:16; Cf. Deut 5:20.
253 Mt 5:33.
254 PS 119:90; Cf. Prov 8:7; 2 Sam 7:28; PS 119:142; Lk 1:50.
255 Rom 3:4; Cf. PS 119:30.
256 Jn 1:14; 8:12; Cf. 14:6.
257 Jn 12:46.
258 Jn 8:32; Cf. 17:17.
259 Jn 16:13.
260 Mt 5:37.
261 DH 2 # 2.
262 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 109, 3 ad 1.
263 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 109, 3, corp. art.
264 1 Jn 1:6.
265 Jn 18:37.
266 2 Tim 1:8.
267 Acts 24:16.
268 Cf. Mt 18:16.
269 AG 11.
270 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 4, 1 SCh 10, 110.
271 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 6, 1-2 SCh 10, 114.
272 Martyrium Polycarpi 14,2-3 PG 5,1040; SCh 10,228.
273 Eph 4:24.
274 Eph 4:25; 1 Pet 2:1.
275 Cf. Prov 19:9.
276 Cf. Prov 18:5.
277 Cf. CIC, can. 220.
278 Cf. Sir 21:28.
279 St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 22.
280 St. Augustine, De mendacio 4, 5: PL 40: 491.
281 Jn 8:44.
282 Cf. Sir 27:16; Prov 25:9-10.
283 CIC, Can. 983 # 1.
284 Cf. IM 11.
285 IM 5 # 2.
286 IM 8.
287 IM 12.
288 IM 12 # 2.
289 Wis 13:3, 5.
290 Wis 7:25-26.
291 Wis 7:29-30.
292 Wis 8:2.
293 Gen 1:26.
294 Cf. Wis 7:16-17
295 Cf. Pius XII, Musicae sacrae disciplina; Discourses of September 3 and
December 25, 1950.
296 Heb 1:3; Col 2:9.
297 Cf. SC 122-127.
298 Ex 20:17.
299 Mt 5:28.
300 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16.
301 Cf. Gal 5:16, 17, 24; Eph 2:3.
302 Cf. Gen 3:11; Council of Trent: DS 1515.
303 John Paul II, DeV 55; cf. Gal 5:25.
304 Mt 15:19.
305 Pastor Hermae, Mandate 2, 1: PG 2, 916.
306 Mt 5:8.
307 Cf. 1 Tim 4:3-9; 2 Tim 2:22.
308 Cf. 1 Thess 4:7; Col 3:5; Eph 4:19.
309 Cf. Titus 1:15; 1 Tim 1:3-4; 2 Tim 2:23-26.
310 St. Augustine, Defide et symbolo 10, 25: PL 40, 196.
311 Cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Jn 3:2.
312 Cf. Rom 12:2; Col 1:10.
313 Wis 15:5.
314 St. Augustine, Conf. 6, 11, 20: PL 32, 729-730.
315 GS 58 # 4.
316 EX 20:17; Deut 5:21.
317 Mt 6:21.
318 Cf. 1 Jn 2:16; Mic 2:2.
319 Cf. Wis 14:12.
320 Roman Catechism, III, 37; cf. Sir 5:8.
321 Roman Catechism, III, 37.
322 Cf. 2 Sam 12:14.
323 Cf. Gen 4:3-7; 1 Kings 21:1-29.
324 Wis 2:24.
325 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 2 Cor. 27, 3-4 PG 61, 588.
326 Cf. St. Augustine, De catechizandis rudibus 4, 8 PL 40, 315-316.
327 St. Gregory the Great Moralia in Job 31, 45: PL 76, 621.
328 St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Rom. 71, 5: PG 60, 448.
329 Gen 3:6.
330 Cf. Rom 7:7.
331 Rom 7:23; cf. 7:10.
332 Rom 3:21-22.
333 Gal 5:24; cf. Rom 8:14, 27.
334 Lk 14:33; cf. Mk 8:35.
335 Cf. Lk 21:4.
336 LG 42 # 3.
337 Mt 5:3.
338 Cf. Lk 6:20.
339 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 1: PG 44, 1200D; cf. 2 Cor
340 Lk 6:24.
341 St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232.
342 Cf. Mt 6:25-34.
343 St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 6: PG 44, 1265A.
344 Cf. Rev 22:17.
345 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 22, 30: PL 41, 801-802; cf. Lev 26:12; cf.