477. What practices are contrary to respect for the bodily integrity of the human person?

They are: kidnapping and hostage taking, terrorism, torture, violence, and direct sterilization. Amputations and mutilations of a person are morally permissible only for strictly therapeutic medical reasons.


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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 law.90

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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.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What is the role of the law in the Old Testament, according to Galatians 3:10-14?

What is the significance of Aeneas’ healing and Dorcas’ resurrection in Acts 9:32-43?

What is the responsibility of Christian leaders according to James 3:1-12?

How was the defeat of the Maccabees at the Battle of Elasa described in 1 Maccabees 6:17-47?

The Quest for Divine Justice: Tobias’ Example Against Israel’s Oppressors

What can we learn about the desire to always be with a loved one from Songs 3:1-5 and 6:1-3?

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