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544

Part Three

A

rticle

5

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 in­

nocent human being.”

56

I.

R

espect

for

H

uman

L

ife

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, conse­

quences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man

has become the enemy of his fellowman. God declares the wicked­

ness 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

54

Ex

20:13; cf.

Deut

5:17.

55

Mt

5:21-22.

56 CDF, instruction,

Donum vitae,

intro. 5.

57 Cf.

Gen

4:8-12.

58

Gen

4:10-11.

59

Gen

9:5-6.

356

401