A Consistent Ethic of Life and Love

Overview


Catholic moral teaching encompasses Jesus’ law of love and a ‘consistent ethic of life.’ Natural Law, confirmed in our own experience, reveals that human life is precious. The Scriptures also point to the immeasurable value and sacredness of human life, created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28). A consistent ‘ethic’ of human life, therefore guides our responses to every issue where the value of human life and human beings is at stake. A consistent ethic of life applies to human beings, regardless of race, beliefs, nationality, age, ability or disability, protecting human life at all stages and promoting the circumstances needed to sustain human life, dignity and well being.

More Information

“This is what he taught them:
‘How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Happy the gentle, they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Happy those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right; they shall be satisfied.
Happy the merciful; they shall have mercy shown them.
Happy the pure i heart; they shall see God.
Happy the peacemakers; they shall be called children of God.
Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.”
(Matthew 5:2-12)

“Love one another as I have loved you ...” (John 15:12-14 )

The Law of the Gospel fulfils and surpasses the Old Law and brings it to perfection: its promises, through the Beatitudes of the Kingdom of heaven; its commandments, by reforming the heart, the root of human acts. (Catechism of the Catholic Church No 1984)

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, A Consistent Ethic of Life: An American – Catholic Dialogue, Gannon Lecture, Fordham University, December 6, 1983: Click to download pdf

‘TEN COMMANDMENTS’     Exodus 20:1-21         Deuteronomy 5:1-22

Catechism of the Catholic Church

(Paragraph numbers for the Catechism are shown - Click the Nos section to view)

Natural Law Nos 1954-1960

Moral Teaching in the Scriptures:
The Old Law   Nos 1961-1964 
The New Law or the Law of the Gospel  Nos 1965-1974 
IN BRIEF Nos 1975-1986  

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS  (Click here to view)
IN BRIEF  Nos 2075-2082  

 YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND  No 2083
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT – Worship and Serve God 
IN BRIEF  Nos 2133-2144
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT   (Click here to view)
IN BRIEF  Nos 2160-2167
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT  (Click here to view)
IN BRIEF  No 2189-2195 

YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF  No 2196
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT  (Click here to view)
IN BRIEF  Nos 2247-2257 
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT  No 2258
IN BRIEF  Nos 2318-2330 
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT  (Click here to view)
IN BRIEF  Nos 2392-4000 
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT 2401  IN BRIEF  Nos 2450-2463 
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT  No 2464 
IN BRIEF  Nos 2404-2413 
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT  Nos 2514-2516  
IN BRIEF  Nos 2528-2533
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT  No 2534 
IN BRIEF  Nos 2551-2557 



Items of Interest

Psalms and readings from the Liturgy of the Hours, and Mass readings.

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