Judie Brown
New Vatican instruction on bioethics: 'Dignitas Personae'
By Judie Brown
December 15, 2008

American Life League is grateful to the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for today's release of its new document, Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121201.html While we are concerned that the document does not clarify the word "conception" immediately after the first time it is used, upon reading further, we do appreciate the fact that the Vatican has made it clear that "conception," as used in this document, refers to all human beings irrespective of the method of reproduction employed. The clarification is evident in the document's language, though not explicitly stated at the outset. For example, in Section 5, the document states,

    Indeed, the reality of the human being for the entire span of life, both before and after birth, does not allow us to posit either a change in nature or a gradation in moral value, since it possesses full anthropological and ethical status (emphasis added). The human embryo has, therefore, from the very beginning, the dignity proper to a person.

On the subject of embryo adoption, with reference to those thousands upon thousands of human embryonic children who are currently living in a frozen state, the Vatican has set forth an honest answer to this most tragic situation. In Section 19, the document states,

    All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved (emphasis added). Therefore John Paul II made an "appeal to the conscience of the world's scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of 'frozen' embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons."

While it is heartbreaking to realize the truth of this statement, it is also yet another reason why American Life League will work with diligence to assure personhood for these and all innocent human beings.

We would be remiss if we did not quote from the document yet again, to remind our fellow Americans that the entire practice of embryo reduction, based on "quality control" notions, is indeed a heinous crime and a violation of the rights due to each innocent embryonic child. In Section 21, the document states,

    From the ethical point of view, embryo reduction is an intentional selective abortion (emphasis added). It is in fact the deliberate and direct elimination of one or more innocent human beings in the initial phase of their existence and as such it always constitutes a grave moral disorder.

We are grateful as well that the Vatican has drawn attention to the "interceptive" and "contragestative" actions of many so-called contraceptive chemicals and devices, making it crystal clear that "the use of means of interception and contragestation fall within the sin of abortion and are gravely immoral" (emphasis added).

The document Dignitas Personae is a welcome statement that clarifies, in nearly all cases, the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the human person, his identity, his value and his integrity.

© Judie Brown


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)


Receive future articles by Judie Brown: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Utah Dems try to scare voters away from Trump and House hopeful Burgess Owens with imaginary threat of 'renewed nuclear testing'

Selwyn Duke
Is this the real reason they’ve been hidin’ Biden before the debate?

Cliff Kincaid
Save us from the perverts, liars, and globalists

Jerry Newcombe
The threat of court packing

Michael Bresciani
Will Americans risk their future on a failed ideology and a corrupt career politician?

Laurie Roth
Trump and conservatives will take back the White House, Senate, and House

Desmond McGrath
Liberty’s twilight

Larry Klayman
Regardless of election result, we must wage a 2nd revolution!

Victor Sharpe
Has a free press, basis of American democracy for 250 years, disappeared?

Tom DeWeese
After election day, are you prepared to fight for your home?

Judie Brown
Hope alive in 2020

Linda Goudsmit
Remembering Martha Mitchell

Cliff Kincaid
Are there enough Christians to save America?
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds



Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites