Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 581 2417 God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whomhe created in his own image. 198 Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is amorallyacceptablepractice if it remainswithin reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives. 2418 It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons. III. T he S ocial D octrine of the C hurch 2419 “Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living.” 199 The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the commu­ nion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom. 2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, “when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it.” 200 In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships. 2421 The social doctrine of the Church developed in the nineteenth century when the Gospel encounteredmodern industrial society with its new structures for the production of consumer goods, its new concept of society, the state and authority, and its new forms of labor and ownership. The devel­ opment of the doctrine of the Church on economic and social matters attests the permanent value of the Church’s teaching at the same time as it attests the true meaning of her Tradition, always living and active. 201 198 Cf. Gen 2:19-20; 9:1-4. 199 GS 23 § 1. 200 GS 76 § 5. 201 Cf. CA 3. 2234 2446 1960 359 2032 2246