in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Human Person and Human Rights

As per Chapter Three of the Compendium, The Human Person and Human Rights,
    “The Church sees in men and women, in every person, the living image of God
    “The whole of the Church's social doctrine …develops from the principle that affirms the inviolable dignity of the human person….

    “History attests that it is from the fabric of social relationships that there arise some of the best possibilities for ennobling the human person, but it is also there that lie in wait the most loathsome rejections of human dignity ….God places the human creature at the centre and summit of the created order....
    “Man and woman have the same dignity and are of equal value, not only because they are both, in their differences, created in the image of God, but even more profoundly because the dynamic of reciprocity that gives life to the 'we' in the human couple, is an image of God....

    “the human couple can participate in God's act of creation….The fifth commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill' (Ex 20:13; Deut 5:17), has validity because God alone is Lord of life and death....

    “man and woman find themselves also in the presence of all the other creatures. They can and are obliged to put them at their own service and to enjoy them, but their dominion over the world requires the exercise of responsibility, it is not a freedom of arbitrary and selfish exploitation....

    “This marvellous vision of man's creation by God is inseparable from the tragic appearance of original sin ....The consequences of sin, insofar as it is an act of separation from God, are alienation, that is, the separation of man not only
    • from God but also
    • from himself,
    • from other men and
    • from the world around him....
    “It is not...legitimate or acceptable to understand social sin in a way that…leads to a weakening or the virtual cancellation of the personal component by admitting only social guilt and responsibility. At the bottom of every situation of sin there is always the individual who sins….

    “Social sin is every sin committed against the justice due in relations between
    • individuals,…
    • the individual and the community, and…
    • the community and the individual.
    Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person…
    • the right to life, including that of life in the womb, and
    • every sin against the physical integrity of the individual;
    • every sin against the freedom of others, especially against the supreme freedom to believe in God and worship him; and
    • every sin against the dignity and honour of one's neighbour.
    Every sin against the common good and its demands…is also social sin....

    "The doctrine of original sin....encourages men and women not to remain in guilt and not to take guilt lightly, continuously seeking scapegoats in other people and justification in the environment, in heredity, in institutions, in structures and in relationships. This is a teaching that unmasks such deceptions. The doctrine of the universality of sin, however, must not be separated from the consciousness of the universality of salvation in Jesus Christ.....

    “According to the New Testament, all creation, together indeed with all humanity, awaits the Redeemer….
    “Man was created by God in unity of body and soul....the body, which has been promised the resurrection, will also share in glory....reason and free will are linked with all the bodily and sense faculties....following the wound of sin, man experiences the rebellion of his body and the perverse inclinations of his heart; he must always keep careful watch over these lest he become enslaved to them and become a victim of a purely earthly vision....Neither the spiritualism that despises the reality of the body nor the materialism that considers the spirit a mere manifestation of the material do justice to the complex nature, to the totality or to the unity of the human being....

    "The human person is…intelligent and conscious….However, it is not intellect, consciousness and freedom that define the person, rather it is the person who is the basis of the acts of intellect, consciousness and freedom....

    “A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person....

    "Man can turn to good only in freedom, which God has given to him as one of the highest signs of his image....But his freedom is not unlimited: it must halt before the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil', for it is called to accept the moral law given by God….

    “The truth concerning good and evil is recognized in a practical and concrete manner by the judgment of conscience, which leads to the acceptance of responsibility....The natural law expresses the dignity of the person and lays the foundations of the person's fundamental duties.... The natural law offers a foundation prepared by God for the revealed law and Grace, in full harmony with the work of the Spirit….

    "The Incarnation of the Son of God shows the equality of all people with regard to dignity ....this is the ultimate foundation of the radical equality and brotherhood among all people….

    “Woman is the complement of man, as man is the complement of woman: man and woman complete each other mutually, not only from a physical and psychological point of view, but also ontologically.... 'to this "unity of the two" God has entrusted not only the work of procreation and family life, but the creation of history itself' [John Paul II, Letter to Women, 8: AAS 87 (1995), 808.]'….

    “The ultimate source of human rights is not found in the mere will of human beings, in the reality of the State, in public powers, but in man himself and in God his Creator.... Pope John Paul II has drawn up a list…in the Encyclical Centesimus Annus:
    • 'the right to life…;
    • the right to live in a united family and in a moral environment conducive to the growth of the child's personality;
    • the right to develop one's intelligence and freedom in seeking and knowing the truth;
    • the right to share in the work which makes wise use of the earth's material resources, and to derive from that work the means to support oneself and one's dependents; and
    • the right freely to establish a family, to have and to rear children through the responsible exercise of one's sexuality [Note: This does NOT mean that there is a “right” to have a child; NO ONE (including husbands and wives) has a “right” to use illegitimate means to have children.]
    In a certain sense, the source and synthesis of these rights is religious freedom, understood as the right to live in the truth of one's faith and in conformity with one's transcendent dignity as a person….the right to life, from conception to its natural end…is the condition for the exercise of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia....

    "The solemn proclamation of human rights is contradicted by a painful reality of violations,
    • wars and violence of every kind…,
    • genocides and mass deportations,…
    • ever new forms of slavery such as

      trafficking in human beings,
      child soldiers, the exploitation of workers,
      illegal drug trafficking,

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