In the months ahead this section will be devoted to excerpts from the Church's document on current issues regarding procreation, Dignitas Personae: On Certain Bioethical Questions (September 2008). With new research and procedures, it is most important to be informed and to know the moral dimensions. Here is part 3. The numbers below correspond to the numbers at the beginning of each section in the official document.
6. Respect for that dignity is owed to every human being because each one carries in an indelible way his own dignity and value. The origin of human life has its authentic context in marriage and in the family, where it is generated through an act which expresses the reciprocal love between a man and a woman. Procreation which is truly responsible vis-à-vis the child to be born "must be the fruit of marriage". ....... Marriage, present in all times and in all cultures, "is in reality something wisely and providently instituted by God the Creator with a view to carrying out his loving plan in human beings. Thus, husband and wife, through the reciprocal gift of themselves to the other – something which is proper and exclusive to them – bring about that communion of persons by which they perfect each other, so as to cooperate with God in the procreation and raising of new lives". .......
8. ..... man has unassailable value: he possesses an eternal vocation and is called to share in the trinitarian love of the living God.
This value belongs to all without distinction. By virtue of the simple fact of existing, every human being must be fully respected. The introduction of discrimination with regard to human dignity based on biological, psychological, or educational development, or based on health-related criteria, must be excluded. At every stage of his existence, man, created in the image and likeness of God, reflects "the face of his Only-begotten Son... This boundless and almost incomprehensible love of God for the human being reveals the degree to which the human person deserves to be loved in himself, independently of any other consideration – intelligence, beauty, health, youth, integrity, and so forth.
...continued next week.