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ethics


            The Church teaches that human beings are made in the image of God. As a result human beings are placed in a unique relationship from which ".we are called to praise God, love and care for one another, respect and protect the universe, and esteem and respect our own selves." (Current Religious Issues: 1995, p8) It is this last issue which is at the core of the concept of concupiscence in that, according to Catholic moral theology, it would be "a violation of their common humanity for human beings to use one another as things." (Current Religious Issues: 1995, p9) Therefore, according to Church teachings, practices such as prostitution and abortion are morally wrong in that they reduce human beings to mere objects. Contemporary societal values do not reflect Church teachings regarding the sacredness of the human body and, subsequently, many Catholics find it difficult to understand and accept the moral teachings of the Church.
             According to traditional sources of Church teaching such as Natural Moral Law, Old Testament Revelation, New Testament Revelation and Papal Encyclicals, human beings, although made in the image of God, are unique. (Finley & Pennock: 1979) In addition, in Genesis it is noted that "God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good," (Gen 1:31). The important implication which flows from this is that "the more a person acts according to the way he or she is made, the more he or she reflects the Creator." (Finley & Pennock: 1979, p 25) Human beings reflect the Creator when they use their abilities to reason, love and choose as God intended. Jesus is the perfect example of what it means to be fully human as God intended in that his whole life was based on the philosophy of "love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15:12) .
             It is in the human form of Jesus that humans see not only what God is like, but also what each person is called to become.


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