Genocide and Extreme Poverty: Quotes from the Social Teachings

The Human Person and the Common Good
The dignity of the human person is a transcendent value, always recognized as such by those who sincerely search for the truth. Indeed, the whole of human history should be interpreted in the light of this certainty. Every person, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn 1:26 28), is therefore radically oriented towards the Creator, and is constantly in relationship with those possessed of the same dignity. To promote the good of the individual is thus to serve the common good, which is that point where rights and duties converge and reinforce one another.
(John Paul II, World Day of Peace Message, 1999, n. 2)

Dignity of the Human Person
The dignity of the person is manifested in all its radiance when the person's origin and destiny are considered: created by God in his image and likeness as well as redeemed by the most precious blood of Christ, the person is called to be a `child in the Son' and a living temple of the Spirit, destined for eternal life of blessed communion with God. For this very reason every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the Creator of the individual.
(John Paul II, Christifideles Laici, n. 37)

Duty to our brothers and sisters
. . . it is proper that the duty of helping the poor and unfortunate should especially stir Catholics, since they are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. In this we have come to know the love of God, said John the Apostle, that He laid down His life for us, and we likewise ought to lay down our life for the brethren. He who has the goods of this world and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1Jn 3:16 17)
(John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, n. 159)

Respect for human dignity
According to biblical Revelation, God created the human being man and woman in his image and likeness. This bond between the human person and the Creator provides the basis of his or her dignity and fundamental inalienable rights, of which God is the guarantor. To these personal rights obviously correspond duties toward others. Neither the individual nor society, the State nor any human institution can reduce a person, or a group of persons, to the status of an object. (Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace, The Church and Racism, nn. 19 20)



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