The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith released an extensive document titled “Dignitas Infinita” on April 8.

Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, head of the Dicastery, emphasized that this declaration, which comes after five years of development, aims to reaffirm “the indispensable nature of the dignity of the human person in Christian anthropology.”

The document is a response to various modern challenges, from gender theory and surrogacy to euthanasia and the marginalization of individuals based on sexual orientation.

“Dignitas Infinita,” meaning ‘infinite dignity’ in Latin, draws on the teachings of Popes Francis, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, creating a comprehensive framework that addresses a wide array of violations against human dignity. “The Church’s Magisterium progressively developed an ever-greater understanding of the meaning of human dignity,” the document says.

One of the pivotal concerns highlighted in the document is the treatment of individuals undergoing gender transition. The document says “any sex-change intervention, as a rule, risks threatening the unique dignity the person has received from the moment of conception.”

The document discusses surrogacy and euthanasia, presenting them as significant ethical challenges. “The immensely worthy child becomes a mere object” in surrogacy, it criticizes, advocating for a universal ban on such practices. Meanwhile, it condemns euthanasia and assisted suicide, arguing these acts misuse “a mistaken understanding of human dignity to turn the concept of dignity against life itself.”

The document also addresses the marginalization and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation. It says that “in some places, not a few people are imprisoned, tortured, and even deprived of the good of life solely because of their sexual orientation.”

With “Dignitas Infinita,” the Vatican articulates its position on pressing contemporary issues, reinforcing the Church’s call for respect and protection of human dignity across all stages of life and societal challenges.

Photo credit: Feng Yu /
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