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580

Part Three

2413

Games of chance

(card games, etc.) or

wagers

are not in themselves

contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive

someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others.

The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers

and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted

is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it

significant.

2414

The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that

for any reason—selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian

—lead to the

enslavement of human beings,

to their being bought, sold

and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal

dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their funda­

mental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value

or to a source of profit. St. Paul directed a Christian master to treat

his Christian slave “no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as

a beloved brother, . . . both in the flesh and in the Lord.”

194

Respect for the integrity of creation

2415

The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integ­

rity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by

nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future

humanity.

195

Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources

of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral impera­

tives. Man’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings

granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for

the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it

requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

196

2416

Animals

are God’s creatures. He surrounds them with his

providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give

him glory.

197

Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the

gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip

Neri treated animals.

194

Philem

16.

195 Cf.

Gen

1:28-31.

196 Cf.

CA

37-38.

197 Cf.

Mt

6:26;

Dan

3:79-81.

2297

226, 358

373

378

344