Life in Christ
God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whomhe
created in his own image.
Hence it is legitimate to use animals for
food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in
his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on
animals is amorallyacceptablepractice if it remainswithin reasonable
limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.
It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer
or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them
that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can
love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only
“Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding
of the laws of social living.”
The Church receives from the
Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills
her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man,
in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the commu
nion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace
in conformity with divine wisdom.
The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and
social matters, “when the fundamental rights of the person or the
salvation of souls requires it.”
In the moral order she bears a
mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is
concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because
they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She
strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and
in socio-economic relationships.
The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth
century when the Gospel encounteredmodern industrial society with its new
structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society,
the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. The devel
opment of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests
the permanent value of the Church’s teaching at the same time as it attests the
true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active.
23 § 1.
76 § 5.