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
“In [God’s] hand is the life of every living thing and
the breath of all mankind” (
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.
The murder of a human being is gravely contrary to
the dignity of the person and the holiness of the
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
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 (
27 § 3), grave
ly contrary to the moral law. The Church imposes the
canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime
against human life.
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.
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.
Suicide is seriously contrary to justice, hope, and
charity. It is forbidden by the fifth commandment.
Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission
it deliberately leads others to sin gravely.
78 § 6; cf.