Pastor's Corner

2014 10-12 The Dignity of the Human Person

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The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. The bishops state that “…every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.” “Every threat to human dignity and life must necessarily be felt in the Church’s heart.”

Pope Francis has echoed these sentiments in his recent comments about the devaluing of the dignity of human life. As we know, violence is rampant in the Middle East, which is still a volatile region. One only has to watch the nightly news to see that there appears to be a callous disregard for the dignity of human life, especially in the Middle East. Many people, especially Christians, have been victims of planned acts of senseless violence. They have been victims of planned acts of terror. Due to these actions, many people have been killed, and many more have been wounded. There also appears to be a perversion of religion since certain acts of violence are carried out in the name of religion.

Recently Pope Francis has strongly condemned this violence. He said, “May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against the fundamental rights of every man and woman.” He further stated “this is especially the case in these times where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted and where religious differences are being distorted and exploited.” “No one must use the name of God to commit violence. To kill in the name of God is a great sacrilege.” He called on religious and civil leaders to denounce the “instrumentalization of religion to justify violence.” He also called upon Christians to pray for peace and to speak out on behalf of the fundamental dignity of the human person.

This fundamental dignity is reflected in the following prayer from Liturgical Public Press:

 Prayer and Dignity and Justice for All

A person’s dignity is deserved not because you, I or a court says so.
Dignity is a right we are born with, to be treated with the respect due to any child of God.
Justice is not only an absence of poverty, war, or hate,
but also an assurance that all people are treated with appropriate dignity.
Lord, when we act, may we act with the moral dignity that benefits your children.
May we accept your justice willingly when we fail.
And may we treat all people with the dignity and justice deserved by children of God. Amen.
As Catholics, we are challenged to respond to the plea of Our Holy Father and continue to pray for dignity and peace in our world, in our homes and in our hearts.
2014 08-24 Knights of Columbus
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