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558

Part Three

lence itself will be vanquished and these words will be

fulfilled: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and

their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up

sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any

more.”

112

IN BRIEF

2318

“In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing and

the breath of all mankind” (

Job

12:10).

2319

Every human life, from the moment of conception

until death, is sacred because the human person has

been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness

of the living and holy God.

2320

The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to

the dignity of the person and the holiness of the

Creator.

2321

The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right

to render an unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm.

Legitimate defense is a grave duty for whoever is

responsible for the lives of others or the common

good.

2322

From its conception, the child has the right to life.

Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or

as a means, is a “criminal” practice (

GS

27 § 3), grave­

ly contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the

canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime

against human life.

2323

Because it should be treated as a person from concep­

tion, the embryo must be defended in its integrity,

cared for, and healed like every other human being.

2324

Intentional euthanasia, whatever its forms or motives,

is murder. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of the

human person and to the respect due to the living

God, his Creator.

2325

Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and

charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.

2326

Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission

it deliberately leads others to sin gravely.

112

GS

78 § 6; cf.

Isa

2:4.