National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

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What does the Catechism say about health?

BY The Editors

July 17-30, 2011 Issue | Posted 7/8/11 at 2:37 PM

 

The Catechism addresses the topic “Respect for Health” in paragraphs 2288-2291:

“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 ...

“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 its 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.

“The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco or medicine. …

“The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.”


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