Quick Lessons from the Catechism: ‘Respect for bodily integrity’

With the horrific news that we are reading on a daily basis about the 300 plus Nigerian girls kidnapped (#BringBackOurGirls) by a terror organization and the news coming out of Syria and other Middle Eastern countries about Christians being tortured and killed, although the liberal media won’t report on it, I found it necessary to focus on what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states on such matters.

The Catechism states…

CCC 2297: Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

CCC 2298: In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy [emphasis mine]. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

So now that we have an understanding of such matters, what can we do?

First and foremost, we need to pray for these young women that are forcibly being held against their free will. Second, we need to pray for all Christians in the Middle East that endure suffering on daily basis. Third, we must ask our governments to do more on both of these fronts, and yes, pray for those who bring torture and pain to their fellow human beings.

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