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390 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

1. We need to counter the relativism that imperils human life, by rec-

ognizing that human freedom needs to be consistent with God’s inten-

tions and the laws that govern moral life.

2. We must witness God’s providential presence to all creation and

particularly to each human being. “Where God is denied, and people

live as though he did not exist, or his commandments are not taken into

account, the dignity of the human person and the inviolability of human

life also end up being rejected or compromised” (Pope John Paul II,


Gospel of Life


Evangelium Vitae

; EV], no. 96).

3. We need to confront the weakening of conscience in modern soci-

ety. Too many people fail to distinguish between good and evil when

dealing with the value of human life. Moral confusion leads many to

support choices and policies that desecrate life. Choices that were once

considered criminal and immoral have become socially acceptable.

Many consciences that were once formed by the Ten Commandments,

Christ’s moral teachings, and the Holy Spirit’s grace-filled guidance are

now swayed by the moral confusion of the spirit of the times. We should

deal with the weakening of conscience by helping people to understand

the Church’s teaching on conscience as the capacity to make judgments

in agreement with God’s law, to protect human dignity and reject any-

thing that degrades it.



The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely

contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden

rule, and to the holiness of the Creator.

—CCC, no. 2261

God forbids murder. “The innocent and the just you shall not put to

death” (Ex 23:7). The intentional murder of any person is strictly forbid-

den by this commandment (cf. CCC, nos. 2268-2269). Such actions are

gravely sinful.