08-19-2018 A Consistent Ethic of Life

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
August 19, 2018 - TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
“The case for a consistent ethic of life -- one which stands for the protection of the right to life and the promotion of the rights which enhance life from womb to tomb ... is both a complex and a demanding tradition.”

Cardinal Joseph Bernardin (d. 1996).
A CONSISTENT ETHIC OF LIFE
Do you live a consistent ethic of life?

CST teaches that all human life is sacred and has transcendent value and we are called, both individually and collectively, to be people who reverence, respect, pro-tect, and preserve the inherent dignity and sacredness of all human life "from the womb to the tomb.” As stated by St. John Paul II:
Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good. We need then to “show care” for all life and for the life of everyone. [Evangelium Vitae (“Gospel of Life”), no. 87]
We are called to challenge “whatever is opposed to life itself,” such as
any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible per-sons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. [Evangelium Vitae, no. 3, citing Gaudium et Spes, no. 27].
Consideration of these individual and societal issues that challenge us require a consistent application of moral or ethical principles that value the dignity and sacredness of all human life. In other words, by recognizing the dignity and sacredness of all human life one cannot oppose abortion while, at the same time, con-done, ignore, or be indifferent to capital punishment, euthanasia, or the other social injustices mentioned above. Otherwise, as the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin stated in speaking about the need to witness to a consistent ethic of life, "When human life is considered 'cheap' or easily expendable in one area, eventually nothing is held as sacred and all lives are in jeopardy."

Not all issues are qualitatively equal from an ethical perspective. As Cardinal Bernardin stated, “[E]ach of the life issues—while related to all the others—is distinct and calls for its own specific moral analysis.”
The important point is to recognize, protect, and preserve the fundamental, inherent dignity and sacredness of all human life when considering any of these social issues.
Reflect on Your Experience
What are you doing, or what can you do, to help to respect, protect and preserve the fundamental, inherent dignity and sacredness of human life with respect to any of the social injustices facing us today?  
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  

Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia

Videos
"What is Social Justice: The Consistent Ethic of Life"

"Life and Dignity of the Human Person"

"Embracing the Beauty and Dignity of All Life"

"Life Matters No Matter What"

"Sanctity of Human Life"

"The Seamless Garment"
Music
"We Fall Down"

"Forever Holy"

"Exalted Over All"
Other Resources
Evangelium Vitae ("The Gospel of Life") (St. John Paul II)

"A Consistent Ethic of Life: An American-Catholic Dialogue" (Cardinal Joseph Bernadin)

Cardinal Bernardin’s Consistent Ethic of Life – The Myth and the Reality

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Reflection
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