Vatican document brings clarity to ‘human dignity’ issues like abortion and surrogacy

The top doctrinal office for the Vatican has just released a new document on human dignity, addressing issues like abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia, and more.

The Dignitas Infinita, or Infinite Dignity, declaration was released Monday by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. It has been published after five years of research, and was signed and approved by Pope Francis. “In the ‘non-exhaustive’ list that is offered, abortion, euthanasia and surrogate motherhood are listed as violations of human dignity alongside war, poverty and human trafficking,” the declaration began. The document also addresses the Church’s stance on other issues, including gender theory and sex change.

Dignitas Infinita reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s position on inherent human dignity, with each person “created in the image and likeness of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ.” It further affirmed that this dignity is present in “an unborn child, an unconscious person, or an older person in distress,” and that this dignity is present regardless of one’s “living conditions or qualities.”

It additionally struck back at the idea that human dignity is only present in those who are capable of reasoning. “Thus, according to them, the unborn child would not have personal dignity, nor would the older person who is dependent upon others, nor would an individual with mental disabilities,” the Vatican press release said. “On the contrary, the Church insists that the dignity of every human person, precisely because it is intrinsic, remains in all circumstances.'”


The document called for all people to have their right to life protected, and slammed the cultural acceptance of abortion.

“The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behavior, and even in law itself is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception,” the document reads, adding:

[N]o word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.”

Unborn children are, thus, “the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays, efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.” It must, therefore, be stated with all force and clarity, even in our time, that “this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.

Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, ‘every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the Creator of the individual.’”


On surrogacy, the document echoes a speech given by Pope Francis earlier this year, in which he called the practice “deplorable,” and called for an international ban.

“[T]he child has the right to have a fully human (and not artificially induced) origin and to receive the gift of a life that manifests both the dignity of the giver and that of the receiver,” the document reads, adding, “Surrogacy also violates the dignity of the woman, whether she is coerced into it or chooses to subject herself to it freely. For, in this practice, the woman is detached from the child growing in her and becomes a mere means subservient to the arbitrary gain or desire of others. This contrasts in every way with the fundamental dignity of every human being and with each person’s right to be recognized always individually and never as an instrument for another.”

‘Assisted’ dying

Finally, the document issued harsh criticism against the swiftly-growing practice of assisted suicide and euthanasia. It hit back at the idea of “death with dignity,” pointing out that “suffering does not cause the sick to lose their dignity, which is intrinsically and inalienably their own,” and reaffirmed the importance of palliative care treatments.

“Remember that the right to care and treatment for all must always be prioritized so that the weakest, particularly the elderly and the sick, are never rejected,” the document reads. “Life is a right, not death, which must be welcomed, not administered. And this ethical principle concerns everyone, not just Christians or believers. As mentioned above, the dignity of each person, no matter how weak or burdened by suffering, implies the dignity of us all.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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