Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Catholic Thoughts on a Whole Body and Bodily Integrity


SECTION TWO, Paragraph 6. Man.


362 The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once
corporeal and spiritual.  The biblical account expresses this reality in
symbolic language when it affirms that "then the LORD God formed man of
dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living being. Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.

363 In Sacred Scripture the term "soul" often refers to human life or the entire human person.
But "soul" also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of
greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God's image:
"soul" signifies the spiritual principle  in man.

364 The human body shares in the dignity of "the image of God": it is a
human body precisely because it is animated by a spiritual soul, and it is
the whole human person that is intended to become, in the body of Christ,
a temple of the Spirit:

     Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity.  Through his
     very bodily condition he sums up in himself the elements of
     the material world.  Through him they are thus brought to
     their highest perfection and can raise their voice in praise
     freely given to the Creator.  For this reason man may not
     despise his bodily life.  Rather he is obliged to regard his body
     as good and to hold it in honor since God has created it and
     will raise it up on the last day.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Paulist Press
Mahwah, New Jersey
Copyright 1994

Imprimi Potest
+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church
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