Respect for the dead
The dying should be given attention and care to help them
live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by
the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick
receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet
the living God.
The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and
charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead
is a corporal work of mercy;
it honors the children of God, who
are temples of the Holy Spirit.
Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific
research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not dem
onstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”
Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and
hatred as immoral.
is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order
to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is
praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain
If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or
seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a
mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother
shall be liable to judgment.”
is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor
is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor
is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm. “But I
say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.”
93 Cf. CIC, can. 1176 § 3.
95 St. Thomas Aquinas,
II-II, 158, 1 ad 3.