Catechism of the Catholic Church

544 Part Three A rticle 5 THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT You shall not kill. 54 You have heard that it was said to the men of old, “You shall not kill: and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.” But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment. 55 2258 “ Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an in­ nocent human being.” 56 I. R espect for H uman L ife The witness of sacred history 2259 In the account of Abel’s murder by his brother Cain, 57 Scripture reveals the presence of anger and envy in man, conse­ quences of original sin, from the beginning of human history. Man has become the enemy of his fellowman. God declares the wicked­ ness of this fratricide: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” 58 2260 The covenant between God and mankind is interwoven with reminders of God’s gift of human life and man’s murderous violence: For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning. . . . Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. 59 54 Ex 20:13; cf. Deut 5:17. 55 Mt 5:21-22. 56 CDF, instruction, Donum vitae, intro. 5. 57 Cf. Gen 4:8-12. 58 Gen 4:10-11. 59 Gen 9:5-6. 356 401