Monday, January 22, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 388.



YOUCAT Question n. 388 - How important is health?


(Youcat answer) Health is an important value, but not an absolute one. We should treat our God-given body gratefully and carefully, but not be obsessed with it.   

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2288) Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance. (CCC 2289) If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.       

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Appropriate care for the health of its citizens is one of the fundamental obligations of the State, which must create living conditions in which sufficient food, sanitary housing, and basic medical care are available to all.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2290) The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air. (CCC 2291) The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.    

(The next question is: Why is it a sin to take drugs?)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 387.



YOUCAT Question n. 387 - How should we treat our body?


(Youcat answer) The Fifth Commandment forbids also the use of violence against one’s own body. Jesus expressly demands that we accept and love ourselves: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39).

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 1003) United with Christ by Baptism, believers already truly participate in the heavenly life of the risen Christ, but this life remains "hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3; cf. Phil 3:20). The Father has already "raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus"(Eph 2:6). Nourished with his body in the Eucharist, we already belong to the Body of Christ. When we rise on the last day we “also appear with him in glory” (Col 3:4).  

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Self-destructive acts against one’s own body (body piercings, cutting and so on) are in most cases psychological reactions to experiences of abandonment and a lack of love; hence they call first and foremost for our sincere and loving response. Within the context of organ donation, it must be made clear, however, that there is no human right to destroy one’s own God-given body.   

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 1004) In expectation of that day, the believer's body and soul already participate in the dignity of belonging to Christ. This dignity entails the demand that he should treat with respect his own body, but also the body of every other person, especially the suffering: The body [is meant] for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? … You are not your own; … So glorify God in your body (Cor 6:13-15, 19-20).   

(The next question is: How important is health?)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 386 – Part II.



YOUCAT Question n. 386 – Part II. Why does the Fifth Commandment protect the physical and spiritual integrity of a human being as well?


(Youcat answer - repeated) The right to life and human dignity form a unity; they are inseparably connected to each other. It is possible to put a person to death spiritually also.    

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2286) Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible" (Pius XII, Discourse, June 1, 1941). This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger (Cf. Eph 6:4; Col 3:21), or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.  

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) The commandment “You shall not kill” (Ex 20:13) applies to both physical and spiritual integrity. Every seduction and incitement to evil, every use of force is a serious sin, especially when it occurs in a relationship of dependency. The sin is especially evil when the dependence of children on adults is involved. This means not only sexual abuse, but also spiritual seduction by parents, priests, teachers, or educators who lead their charges astray from values, and so on.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2287) Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!" (Lk 17:1).  (CCC 2326) Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin.       

(The next question is: How should we treat our body?)

Friday, January 19, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 386 – Part I.



YOUCAT Question n. 386 – Part I. Why does the Fifth Commandment protect the physical and spiritual integrity of a human being as well?


(Youcat answer) The right to life and human dignity form a unity; they are inseparably connected to each other. It is possible to put a person to death spiritually also.   

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2284) Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. (CCC 2326) Scandal is a grave offense when by deed or omission it deliberately leads others to sin.       

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) The commandment “You shall not kill” (Ex 20:13) applies to both physical and spiritual integrity. Every seduction and incitement to evil, every use of force is a serious sin, especially when it occurs in a relationship of dependency. The sin is especially evil when the dependence of children on adults is involved. This means not only sexual abuse, but also spiritual seduction by parents, priests, teachers, or educators who lead their charges astray from values, and so on.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2285) Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Mt 18:6; Cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13). Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing (Cf. Mt 7:15).      

(This question: Why does the Fifth Commandment protect the physical and spiritual integrity of a human being as well? is continued)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 385.



YOUCAT Question n. 385 - Can experiments be performed on living embryos and embryonic stem cells?


(Youcat answer) No. Embryos are human beings, because human life begins with the fusion of a sperm cell and an egg.  

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2275) "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing, the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival" (CDF, Donum vitae I, 3). It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material" (CDF, Donum vitae I, 5). "Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity" (CDF, Donum vitae I, 6) which are unique and unrepeatable.    

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Regarding embryos as biological material, “producing” them and then “using” their stem cells for purposes of research is absolutely immoral and falls under the commandment “You shall not kill”. Research on adult stem cells is a different matter, since they cannot develop into human beings. Medical interventions on an embryo are justifiable only if they are made with the intention of healing, if the life and unimpaired development of the child are assured, and if the risks involved are not disproportionately great.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2323) Because it should be treated as a person from conception, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed like every other human being.    

(The next question is: Why does the Fifth Commandment protect the physical and spiritual integrity of a human being as well?)