Catholic Teachings on Life Issues

“…the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.”
(Evangelium Vitae no. 18, John Paul II)

“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 to its end; no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.” (Donum Vitae Intro 5, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith)

Post-abortion aftermath:
“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion…do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope…the Father of mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” (Evangelium Vitae no. 99, John Paul II)

“Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular, the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2344)

Capital Punishment:
“If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must 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.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2267)

“The Church…teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. Equally to be condemned…is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similiarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation – whether as an end or as a means.” (Humanae Vitae no. 11 and 14, Paul VI)

“Euthanasia must be called a false mercy, and indeed a disturbing ‘perversion’ of mercy. True ‘compassion’ leads to sharing another’s pain; it does not kill the person whse suffering we cannot bear.” (Evangelium Vitae no. 66, John Paul II)

Embryonic stem cell research and human cloning:
“No objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to science, to other human beings, or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living human embryos or fetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside of the mother”s body.” (Donum Vitae no. 4, CDF)

Infertility and In-vitro Fertilization (IVF):
“The suffering of spouses who cannot have children…is a suffering that everyone must understand and properly evaluate. On the part of the spouses, the desire for a child is natural: it expresses the vocation to fatherhood and motherhood inscribed in conjugal love. Nevertheless, marriage does not confer upon the spouses the right to have a child, but only the right to perform those natural acts which are per se ordered to procreation.” (Donum Vitae no. 8)

Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) by St. John Paul II

If you’ve ever wanted to deeply explore the Church’s teachings on the “incomparable worth of the human person”, look no further. Our beloved St. John Paul II’s life was profoundly effected by tragedy in his own family and in his homeland’s invasion by the Nazi regime. He refused to be silent in the face of great injustice and oppression – courageously offering hope and encouragement. It is a large document, so take your time and nourish your soul with these timeless heavenly insights.


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