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400 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

both humane and in conformity to the moral teachings of Christ and the

Church. The personal presence, prayer, and love of relatives and friends,

supporting their loved one through the final stages of life’s journey,

are also essential parts of the process of Christian dying. The Church,

through her ministers, also accompanies the dying person through

the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick,


, and Prayers for

the Dying.


1. How can individuals and families promote respect for life and the

value of life in the world today?

2. How can Catholics promote peace and understanding in the face of

terrorism and violence in the world today?

3. What are root causes of the culture of death? How can we promote

the value of human life in all its stages in contrast to abortion, eutha-

nasia, and capital punishment?


• God’s creative action is present to every human life and is thus the

source of its sacred value. Each human life remains in a relationship

with God, who is the final goal of every man and woman. God alone

is the Lord of human life from its beginning to its end.

• “The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to

the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holi-

ness of the Creator” (CCC, no. 2261).

• “The prohibition of murder does not abrogate the right to render an

unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm” (CCC, no. 2321).

• Direct abortion is the intended destruction of an unborn child and

is an act gravely contrary to the moral law and the holiness of

the Creator.

• Euthanasia consists in putting to death the sick, the disabled, or

the dying. Regardless of the motives or means, it is never morally