"New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless”." (Pope Francis, World Day of Peace Message, 1 January 2014, 1)
Human Dignity, rooted in a correct view of the human person, is the prime principle of the Catholic social doctrine. (See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three, Section One, starting at paragraph 1700)
"God has imprinted his own image and likeness on man (cf. Gen 1:26), conferring upon him an incomparable dignity, as the Encyclical frequently insists. In effect, beyond the rights which man acquires by his own work, there exist rights which do not correspond to any work he performs, but which flow from his essential dignity as a person." (CA, 11)
Human Dignity is an Unalienable Right
"No one can take away this human right," (CA, 9)
...not even the majority of a democratic political body, because this dignity does not arise from the state or the will of the governed.
This concept is the core of Catholic Social Teaching going back to its earliest articulation by Pope Leo XIII in 1891:
"No man may with impunity outrage that human dignity which God Himself treats with great reverence" (RN, 40)
It was reiterated by Pope Benedict XVI when he wrote:
“Fundamental rights are neither created by the lawmaker nor granted to the citizen. The value of human dignity…takes precedence over all political decision-making”. (Benedict XVI, Without Roots: Europe, Relativism, Christianity, Islam; Basic Books, 2006)
Read "A Deeper Examination of Human Dignity" HERE
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