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Part Three

Respect for the dead

2299

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.

2300

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;

92

it honors the children of God, who

are temples of the Holy Spirit.

2301

Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific

research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be

meritorious.

The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not dem­

onstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.

93

III.

S

afeguarding

P

eace

Peace

2302

By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”

94

our

Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and

hatred as immoral.

Anger

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

justice.”

95

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.”

96

2303

Deliberate

hatred

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.”

97

92 Cf.

Tob

1:16-18.

93 Cf. CIC, can. 1176 § 3.

94

Mt

5:21.

95 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

II-II, 158, 1 ad 3.

96

Mt

5:22.

97

Mt

5:44-45.

1525

1681-1690

1765

2094

1933