Catechism of the Catholic Church /
Part Three: Life In Christ
Section Two - The Ten Commandments
Chapter Two - You Shall Love Your Neighbor
Jesus said to his disciples: "Love one another even as I have loved
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."2
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."3
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.4
He was obedient to them.5
The Lord Jesus himself recalled the force of this "commandment of
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 the earth."'7
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
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."8
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 individuals.
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."9
It is a community of faith, hope, and charity; it assumes singular importance
in the Church, as is evident in the New Testament.10
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."11
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 society.
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 the
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 society13
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 domestic prosperity."14
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.15
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;16
this is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. the respect of children,
whether minors or adults, for their father and mother17
is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It
is required by God's commandment.18
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?"19
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."20
"A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not
listen to rebuke."21
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."22
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.23
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.24
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.25
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
"With all humility and meekness, with patience, [support] one another
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."28
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."29
The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial
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."31
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.32
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the
discipline and instruction of the Lord.33
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
A wholesome family life can foster interior dispositions that are a genuine
preparation for a living faith and remain a support for it throughout
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.35
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.36
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.37
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
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.38
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 human family.
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."39
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,
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."41
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.42
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:43
"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."44
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.46
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."47
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."48
"We must obey God rather than men":49
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.50
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.51
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 the citizen."52
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."53
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
2253 Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations.
They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian
is to follow Jesus.
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.
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not kill.54
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.55
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."56
I. Respect for Human Life
The witness of sacred history
2259 In the account of Abel's murder by his brother Cain,57
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."58
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 image.59
The Old Testament always considered blood a sacred sign of life.60
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."61
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,"62
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
He did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.64
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."65
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.66
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.67
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.'[John Paul II, Evangelium vitae
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.68
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
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
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
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.71
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born
I consecrated you.72
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately
wrought in the depths of the earth.73
2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of
every procured abortion.
This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
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 themselves.
Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception:
abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.75
2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime
against human life.
"A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication
"by the very commission of the offense,"77
and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.78
The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.
Rather, she 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."79
"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 undermined....
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."80
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."81
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."82
"It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation
as disposable biological material."83
"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"84
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 unacceptable.
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 Creator.
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
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 inevitable
Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity.
As such it should be encouraged.
2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it
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 our souls.
We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.
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 of self.
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 living God.
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 committing
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."85
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 clothing.86
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
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."87
This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud,
teachers who provoke their children to anger,88
or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.
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!"89
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
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.
Torture which 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;91
it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.
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.92
III. Safeguarding Peace
2302 By recalling the commandment, "You shall not kill,"93
our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred
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."94
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
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."96
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."97
Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.98
2305 Earthly peace is the image and fruit of the peace of Christ, the
messianic "Prince of Peace."99
By the blood of his Cross, "in his own person he killed the hostility,"100
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."101
He has declared: "Blessed are the peacemakers."102
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.103
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.104
2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance
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
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 time:
- 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
- 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
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.107
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 parties."108
2313 Non-combatants, wounded soldiers, and prisoners must be respected
and treated humanely.
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."109
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;110
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."111
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
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 human being.
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" (⇒ Mt 5:9).
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not commit adultery.112
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.113
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."114
"God created man in his own image . . . male and female he created
He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply";116
"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
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."118
"Man is a person, man and woman equally so, since both were created
in the image and likeness of the personal God."119
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."120
All human generations proceed from this union.121
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."122
What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.123
The tradition of the Church has understood the sixth commandment as encompassing
the whole of human sexuality.
II. 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.124
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.125 "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."126
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 multiplicity."127
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.128 The effort required can be more
intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed
during childhood and adolescence.
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."129
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."130 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
2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace,
a fruit of spiritual effort.131 The Holy Spirit enables one whom
the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.132
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,133 who has given himself totally to
us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise
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,"134 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."135 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.136
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 chastity.
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."137 "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."138
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 culpability.
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.139 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,140 tradition has always declared that
"homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 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. This inclination, which is objectively disordered,
constitutes for most of them 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 their condition.
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
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."142
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 night.143
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."144
Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:
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 moderation.145
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."146
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
"What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."148
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.149
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"150
teaches that "each and every marriage act must remain open 'per se'
to the transmission of life."151
"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
"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."154
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.155
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
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.157
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 evil:158
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.159
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.161
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.162
2374 Couples who discover that they are sterile suffer greatly. "What
will you give me," asks Abraham of God, "for I continue childless?"163
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."165
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."166
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."167
"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."168
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."169
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 for others.
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
The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely.171
The prophets denounce the gravity of adultery; they see it as an image
of the sin of idolatry.172
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.173
He abrogates the accommodations that had slipped into the old Law.174
Between the baptized, "a ratified and consummated marriage cannot
be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death."175
2383 The separation of spouses while maintaining the marriage bond can
be legitimate in certain cases provided for by canon law.176
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.178
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."179
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.180
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...."181
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.182
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."183
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 another.184
2392 "Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human
being" (FC 11).
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 indissoluble.
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.
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not steal.185
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.186
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
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."187
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.188
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."189
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.190
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.191
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 good faith.
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 possible.
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."192
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."193
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.194
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
2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential
care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.196
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.197
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
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."198
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
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 and active.200
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.201
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 acts.202
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.203
A system that "subordinates the basic rights of individuals and of
groups to the collective organization of production" is contrary
to human dignity.204
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."205
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
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."207
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 for man.208
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.209
Hence work is a duty: "If any one will not work, let him not eat."210
Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It
can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work211
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.212
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 common good.214
2430 Economic life brings into play different interests, often opposed
to one another. This explains why the conflicts that characterize it arise.215
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 appropriate.
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."216
2432 Those responsible for business enterprises are responsible to society
for the economic and ecological effects of their operations.217
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
For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens
find work and employment.219
2434 A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold
it can be a grave injustice.220
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."221
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.
2436 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.222
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.223
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."224
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.225
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
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.227
The efforts of poor countries working for growth and liberation must be
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 transcendent.229
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 and justice."230
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
It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize
his chosen ones.232
When "the poor have the good news preached to them," it is the
sign of Christ's presence.233
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.234
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."235
It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of
cultural and religious poverty.236
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
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."238
"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":239
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.241
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.242
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 God:243
He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who
has food must do likewise.244
But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything
is clean for you.245
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?246
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."247
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.'"248
Jesus makes these words his own: "The poor you always have with you,
but you do not always have me."249
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:250
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 serve Jesus.251
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 6:10).
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
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" (⇒
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.252
It was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely, but
shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn."253
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
Since God is "true," the members of his people are called to
live in the truth.255
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.256
"Whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness."257
The disciple of Jesus continues in his word so as to know "the truth
[that] will make you free" and that sanctifies.258
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."259
To his disciples Jesus teaches the unconditional love of truth: "Let
what you say be simply 'Yes or No.'"260
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."261
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."262
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."263
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."264
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."265
The Christian is not to "be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord."266
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."267
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 known.268
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."270
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
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. . .271
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.272
III. Offenses Against Truth
2475 Christ's disciples have "put on the new man, created after
the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."273
By "putting away falsehood," they are to "put away all
malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander."274
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
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.276
They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial
2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every
attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.277
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;278
- 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 favorable
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.279
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
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 legitimate advantages.
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
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."281
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 and charity.
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.282
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."283
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
Society has a right to information based on truth, freedom, justice, and
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.285
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
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 unwholesome
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."287
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.288
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 created them."289
[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.290
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.291
I became enamored of her beauty.292
2501 Created "in the image of God,"293
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,294
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.295
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."296
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
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.297
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
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).
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.298
Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery
with her in his heart.299
2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence:
lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.300
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."301
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.302
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 battle:
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."303
I. Purification of the Heart
2517 The heart is the seat of moral personality: "Out of the heart
come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication...."304
The struggle against carnal covetousness entails purifying the heart and
Remain simple and innocent, and you will be like little children who
do not know the evil that destroys man's life.305
2518 The sixth beatitude proclaims, "Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God."306
"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;307
chastity or sexual rectitude;308
love of truth and orthodoxy of faith.309
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
2519 The "pure in heart" are promised that they will see God
face to face and be like him.311
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;312
- 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";313
- 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.314
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
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."315
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 practicing temperance.
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.
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 neighbor's.316
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.317
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.318
Avarice, like fornication, originates in the idolatry prohibited by the
first three prescriptions of the Law.319
The tenth commandment concerns the intentions of the heart; with the ninth,
it summarizes all the precepts of the Law.
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."320
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.321
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.322
Envy can lead to the worst crimes.323
"Through the devil's envy death entered the world":324
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.325
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
St. Augustine saw envy as "the diabolical sin."326
"From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the
misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity."327
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 praised.328
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."329
2542 The Law entrusted to Israel never sufficed to justify those subject
to it; it even became the instrument of "lust."330
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."331
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."332
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 Spirit.333
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.334
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.335
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 evangelical poverty."336
2546 "Blessed are the poor in spirit."337
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:338
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 poor."339
2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because they find their consolation
in the abundance of goods.340
"Let the proud seek and love earthly kingdoms, but blessed are the
poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven."341
Abandonment to the providence of the Father in heaven frees us from anxiety
Trust in God is a preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They shall
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."343
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
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
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
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).
⇒ Jn 13:34.
⇒ Mk 12:29-31; cf. ⇒ Lev 19:18; ⇒ Mt 22:34-40; ⇒
⇒ Rom 13:8-10.
⇒ Ex 20:12; ⇒ Deut 5:16.
⇒ Lk 2:51.
⇒ Mk 7:8-13.
⇒ Eph 6:1-3; cf. ⇒ Deut 5:16.
⇒ Ex 20:12; ⇒ Deut 5:16.
FC 21; cf. LG 11.
Cf. ⇒ Eph 5:21b: 4; ⇒ 1 Pet 3:1-7.
GS 52 # 1.
⇒ Jas 1:27.
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.
⇒ Sir 7:27-28.
⇒ Prov 6:20-22.
⇒ Prov 13:1.
⇒ Eph 6:1.
Cf. ⇒ Mk 7:10-12.
⇒ Sir 3:2-6.
⇒ Prov 17:6.
⇒ Eph 4:2.
⇒ 2 Tim 1:5.
Cf. FC 36.
CA 36 # 2.
⇒ Sir 30:1-2.
⇒ Eph 6:4.
LG 11 # 2.
Cf. LG 11.
Cf. GS 48 # 4.
Cf. ⇒ Lk 17:4.
Cf. GE 6.
⇒ Mt 10:37; cf. ⇒ 16:25.
⇒ Mt 12:49.
⇒ Mt 20:26.
Cf. CA 25.
Cf. ⇒ Rom 13:1-2.
⇒ 1 Pet 2:13, ⇒ 16.
⇒ Rom 13:7.
Ad Diognetum 5, 5 and 10; 6, 10: PG 2, 1173 and 1176.
1 Tim 2:2.
⇒ Mt 22:21.
⇒ Acts 5:29.
GS 74 # 5.
Cf. CA 45; 46.
GS 76 # 3.
GS 76 # 5.
⇒ Ex 20:13; Cf. ⇒ Deut 5:17.
⇒ Mt 5:21-22.
CDF, instruction, Donum vitae, intro. 5.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:8-12.
⇒ Gen 4:10-11.
⇒ Gen 9:5-6.
Cf. ⇒ Lev 17:14
⇒ Ex 23:7.
⇒ Mt 5:21.
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.
⇒ Job 10:8-12; ⇒ Ps 22:10-11.
⇒ Ps 139:15.
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.
⇒ 1 Cor 8:10-13.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 7:15.
Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941.
Cf. ⇒ Col. 3:21.
⇒ Lk 17:1.
Cf. DS 3722.
Cf. ⇒ Tob 1:16-18.
Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 1176 # 3.
⇒ Mt 5:21.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 158, 1 ad 3.
⇒ Mt 5:22.
⇒ Mt 5:44-45.
St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 19, 13, 1: PL 41, 640.
Cf. ⇒ Isa 32:17; cf. GS 78 ## 1-2.
⇒ Isa 9:5.
⇒ Col 1:20-22.
⇒ Eph 2:14.
⇒ Mt 5:9[ETML:C/].
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.
⇒ Mt 5:27-28.
⇒ Gen 1:27.
⇒ Gen 1:28.
⇒ Gen 5:1-2.
FC 22; Cf. GS 49 # 2.
⇒ Gen 2:24.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:1-2, ⇒ 25-26; ⇒ 5:1.
⇒ Mt 5:27-28.
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.
⇒ gal 3:27.
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.
⇒ Tob 8:4-9.
GS 49 # 2.
Pius XII, Discourse, October 29,1951.
GS 48 # 1.
Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 1056.
Mk 109; cf. ⇒ 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.
GS 51 # 3.
Cf. HV 12.
GS 51 # 4.
Cf. HV 23; PP 37.
Cf. GS 50 # 2.
⇒ Gen 15:2.
⇒ Gen 30:1.
CDF, Donum vitae intro., 2.
CDF, Donum vitae II, 1.
CDF, Donum vitae II, 5.
CDF, Donum vitae II, 4.
CDF, Donum vitae II, 8.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 5:27-28.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 5:32; ⇒ Mk 10:11; ⇒ 1 Cor 6:9-10.
Cf. ⇒ Jer 5:7; ⇒ 13:27.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 5:31-32; ⇒ Mk 10 9; ⇒ Lk 16:18; ⇒ 1 Cor
Cf. ⇒ Mt 19:7-9.
⇒ CIC, can. 1141.
Cf. ⇒ CIC, cann. 1151-1155.
St. Basil, Moralia 73, 1: PG 31, 849-852.
Cf. FC 84.
FC 19; cf. GS 47 # 2.
Cf. ⇒ Lev 18:7-20.
⇒ 1 Cor 5:1, ⇒ 4-5.
Cf. FC 81.
CDF, Persona humana 7.
Cf. FC 80.
⇒ EX 20:15; ⇒ Mt 19:18.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:26-29.
GS 69 # 1.
Cf. GS 71 # 4; SRS 42; CA 40; 48.
⇒ 2 Cor 8:9.
Cf. GS 69 # 1.
Cf. ⇒ Deut 25:13-16; ⇒ Jas 5:4; ⇒ Am 8:4-6.
⇒ Lk 19:8.
Cf. Gen 128-31.
Cf. CA 37-38.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 6:26; ⇒ Dan 3:79-81.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 2:19-20; ⇒ 9:1-4.
GS 23 # 1.
GS 76 # 5.
Cf. CA 3.
Cf. SRS 1; 41.
Cf. CA 24.
Cf. GS 63 # 3; LE 7; 20; CA 35.
GS 65 # 2.
⇒ Mt 6:24; ⇒ Lk 16:13.
Cf. CA 10; 13; 44.
Cf. GS 64.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 1:28; GS 34; CA 31.
⇒ 2 Thess 3:10; Cf. ⇒ 1 Thess 4:11.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:14-19.
Cf. LE 27.
Cf. LE 6.
Cf. CA 32; 34.
Cf. LE 11.
Cf. CA 37.
Cf. LE 19; 22-23.
Cf. CA 48.
Cf. ⇒ Lev 19:13; ⇒ Jas 5:4
GS 67 # 2.
Cf. LE 18.
Cf. SRS 14.
Cf. SRS 17; 45.
CA 28; Cf. 35.
Cf. SRS 16.
Cf. CA 26.
Cf. SRS 32; CA 51.
SRS 47 # 6; cf. 42.
⇒ Mt 5:42; ⇒ 10:8.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 25:31-36.
⇒ Lk 4:18.
CA 57; cf. ⇒ Mt 8:20; ⇒ Mk 12:41-44.
⇒ Eph 4:28.
Cf. CA 57.
⇒ Jas 5:1-6.
St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Lazaro 2, 5: PG 48, 992.
AA 8 # 5.
St. Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis. 3, 21: PL 77, 87.
Cf. ⇒ Isa 58:6-7; ⇒ Heb 13:3.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 25:31-46.
Cf. ⇒ Tob 4:5-11; ⇒ Mt 6:2-4.
⇒ Lk 3:11.
⇒ Lk 11:41.
⇒ Jas 2:15-16; cf. ⇒ 1 Jn 3:17.
CDF, instruction, Libertatis conscientia, 68.
⇒ Deut 15:11.
⇒ Jn 12:8.
Am 8:6; cf. ⇒ Mt 25:40.
P. Hansen, Vita mirabilis (Louvain, 1668).
⇒ EX 20:16; Cf. ⇒ Deut 5:20.
⇒ Mt 5:33.
⇒ PS 119:90; Cf. ⇒ 2 Sam 7:28; ⇒ PS 119:142; ⇒
⇒ Rom 3:4; Cf. ⇒ PS 119:30.
⇒ 8:12; Cf. ⇒ 14:6.
⇒ Jn 12:46.
⇒ Jn 8:32; Cf. ⇒ 17:17.
⇒ Jn 16:13.
⇒ Mt 5:37.
DH 2 # 2.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II 109, 3 ad 1.
St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 109, 3, corp. art.
⇒ 1 Jn 1:6.
⇒ Jn 18:37.
⇒ 2 Tim 1:8.
⇒ Acts 24:16.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 18:16.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 4, 1 SCh 10, 110.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 6, 1-2 SCh 10, 114.
Martyrium Polycarpi 14,2-3 PG 5,1040; SCh 10,228.
⇒ Eph 4:24.
⇒ 1 Pet 2:1.
Cf. ⇒ Prov 19:9.
Cf. ⇒ Prov 18:5.
Cf. ⇒ CIC, can. 220.
Cf. ⇒ Sir 21:28.
St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 22.
St. Augustine, De mendacio 4, 5: PL 40: 491.
⇒ Jn 8:44.
Cf. ⇒ Sir 27:16; ⇒ Prov 25:9-10.
⇒ CIC, Can. 983 # 1.
Cf. IM 11.
IM 5 # 2.
IM 12 # 2.
⇒ Wis 13:3, 5.
⇒ Wis 7:25-26.
⇒ Wis 7:29-30.
⇒ Wis 8:2.
⇒ Gen 1:26.
Cf. ⇒ Wis 7:16-17
Cf. Pius XII, Musicae sacrae disciplina; Discourses of September 3 and
December 25, 1950.
⇒ Col 2:9.
Cf. SC 122-127.
⇒ Ex 20:17.
⇒ Mt 5:28.
Cf. ⇒ 1 Jn 2:16.
Cf. ⇒ Gal 5:16, ⇒ 24; ⇒ Eph 2:3.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 3:11; Council of Trent: DS 1515.
John Paul II, DeV 55; cf. ⇒ Gal 5:25.
⇒ Mt 15:19.
Pastor Hermae, Mandate 2, 1: PG 2, 916.
⇒ Mt 5:8[ETML:C/].
Cf. ⇒ 1 Tim 4:3-9; ⇒ 2 Tim 2:22.
Cf. ⇒ 1 Thess 4:7; ⇒ Eph 4:19.
Cf. ⇒ Titus 1:15; ⇒ 2 Tim 2:23-26.
St. Augustine, Defide et symbolo 10, 25: PL 40, 196.
Cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 13:12; 1 ⇒ Jn 3:2[ETML:C/].
Cf. ⇒ Col 1:10.
⇒ Wis 15:5.
St. Augustine, Conf. 6, 11, 20: PL 32, 729-730.
GS 58 # 4.
⇒ EX 20:17; ⇒ Deut 5:21.
⇒ Mt 6:21.
Cf. 1 ⇒ Jn 2:16; ⇒ Mic 2:2.
Cf. ⇒ Wis 14:12.
Roman Catechism, III, 37; cf. ⇒ Sir 5:8.
Roman Catechism, III, 37.
Cf. ⇒ 2 Sam 12:14.
Cf. ⇒ Gen 4:3-7; ⇒ 1 Kings 21:1-29.
⇒ Wis 2:24.
St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 2 Cor. 27, 3-4 PG 61, 588.
Cf. St. Augustine, De catechizandis rudibus 4, 8 PL 40, 315-316.
St. Gregory the Great Moralia in Job 31, 45: PL 76, 621.
St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Rom. 71, 5: PG 60, 448.
⇒ Gen 3:6.
Cf. ⇒ Rom 7:7.
⇒ Rom 3:21-22.
⇒ Gal 5:24; cf. ⇒ Rom 8:14, 27.
⇒ Lk 14:33; cf. ⇒ Mk 8:35.
Cf. ⇒ Lk 21:4.
LG 42 # 3.
⇒ Mt 5:3[ETML:C/].
Cf. ⇒ Lk 6:20.
St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 1: PG 44, 1200D; cf. ⇒ 2
⇒ Lk 6:24.
St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. in monte 1, 1, 3: PL 34, 1232.
Cf. ⇒ Mt 6:25-34.
St. Gregory of Nyssa, De beatitudinibus 6: PG 44, 1265A.
Cf. ⇒ Rev 22:17.
St. Augustine, De civ. Dei, 22, 30: PL 41, 801-802; cf. ⇒ Lev 26:12;
cf. ⇒ 1 Cor 15:28.
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