TOP POPES' QUOTES ABOUT HUMAN DIGNITY
1. Every Human Being Is A Person
“Any human society, if it is to be well-ordered and productive, must lay down as a foundation this principle, namely, that every human being is a person, that is, his/her nature is endowed with intelligence and free will. Indeed, precisely because s/he is a person, s/he has rights and obligations flowing directly and simultaneously from her/his very nature.”
Pope John 23rd, Pacem in Terris, 9
2. Prison Conditions Should Respect Human Dignity
"All Christians and men of good will are thus called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also in order to improve prison conditions, with respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom. And I link this to life imprisonment. A short time ago the life sentence was taken out of the Vatican’s Criminal Code. A life sentence is just a death penalty in disguise.”
Pope Francis, To the international association of penal law, 2014
3. Human Dignity Defenders Can Find Home In The Catholic Faith
“Those who are committed to defending human dignity can find in the Christian faith the deepest reasons for this commitment.”
Pope Francis, On care of our common home, 65
4. A Fair Wage Gurantees A Human Standard Of Living
"The amount a worker receives must be sufficient, in proportion to available funds, to allow him and his family a standard of living consistent with human dignity.”
Pope John 23rd, Pacem in Terris, 1963
5. Respecting Human Dignity Can Become A Spontaneous Choice
“Hence man's dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skillful action.”
Pope Paul 6th, Joy & Hope, 17
6. Traffickers Are Unhappy People Who Have Not Discovered Human Dignity
"I am thinking of those who live off human trafficking or slave labour; do you think these people who traffic persons, who exploit people through slave labour have love for God in their hearts? No, they haven’t fear of the Lord and they are not happy. They are not.”
Pope Francis, Audience, June 2014, 3
7. We offend the dignity of others only because we have sold our own dignity first
"I offend the human dignity of others only because I have sold my own first. In exchange for what? For power, fame, material goods.… All this – amazingly enough! – in exchange for my dignity as a son and a daughter of God, delivered at the cost of the blood of Christ on the Cross and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit who calls out within us: “Abbà!, Father!” (Gal 4:6). Human dignity is the same for all human beings: when I trample on the dignity of another, I am trampling on my own. It was for freedom that Christ has set us free!... The people of Brazil were teaching a good lesson in solidarity; certain of this, I hope that Christians and people of goodwill may commit themselves to working so that no man, woman, young person or child will ever again be a victim of human trafficking! This is the most effective foundation on which to re-establish human dignity and proclaim Christ’s Gospel in the countryside and in the cities, because Jesus desires to pour out an abundance of life everywhere.”
Pope Francis, Lenten brotherhood campaign in Brazil, 2014
8. Charity Is The Only Way To Pursue Development Goals
"Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanising value. Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth, which alone is the guarantee of freedom (cf. Jn8:32) and of the possibility of integral human development.
Pope Benedict, Charity in Truth, 9
9. Man Should Be At The Centre Of Economic Life
"In the economic and social realms… the dignity and complete vocation of the human person and the welfare of society as a whole are to be respected and promoted. For man is the source, the centre, and the purpose of all economic and social life.”
Pope Paul 6th, Joy & Hope, 63
10. Our Intimate Link With God Is The Reason For Our Human Dignity
"The root reason for human dignity lies in man's call to communion with God. From the very circumstance of his origin man is already invited to converse with God. For man would not exist were he not created by Gods love and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator. Still, many of our contemporaries have never recognised this intimate and vital link with God, or have explicitly rejected it."
Pope Paul 6th, Joy and hope, 19
11. Human Dignity Does Not Treat People As Instruments Of Gain
"Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator".
Pope Paul 6th, Joy and Hope, 27
12. Human Dignity At Work Implies Treating People As People Not Cogs In The Machinery
"Any firm which is concerned for the human dignity of its workers must also maintain a necessary and efficient unity of direction. But it must not treat those employees who spend their days in service with the firm as though they were mere cogs in the machinery, denying them any opportunity of expressing their wishes or bringing their experience to bear on the work in hand, and keeping them entirely passive in regard to decisions that regulate their activity.”
Pope John 23rd, Mother and Teacher, 1961
13. Human Dignity Implies That Disabled People Do Not Feel Cut From The Place Of Work
"Careful attention must be devoted to the physical and psychological working conditions of disabled people-as for all workers-to their just remuneration, to the possibility of their promotion, and to the elimination of various obstacles. Without hiding the fact that this is a complex and difficult task, it is to be hoped that a correct concept of labour in the subjective sense will produce a situation which will make it possible for disabled people to feel that they are not cut off from the working world or dependent upon society, but that they are full-scale subjects of work, useful, respected for their human dignity and called to contribute to the progress and welfare of their families and of the community according to their particular capacities."
Pope John Paul 2nd, On Human Work, 1981
14.There's Something Particularly Bad When It Comes To Trafficking Of The Young
Pope Francis has taken the Church’s advocacy and action to another level through his aggressive and incessant denunciation of this social cancer. He dedicated part of his address to the UN General Assembly to it. He wrote about it in his encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home and in his pastoral plan for the New Evangelisation entitled The Joy of the Gospel. He devoted the entirety of his 2015 Message for the World Day of Peace to the subject, making it a key priority of international diplomacy for the Holy See. He has spoken about it to newly accredited diplomats, to international religious leaders, to an alliance of international police chiefs and Church leaders, to social scientists and scholars, to mayors from across the globe, to judges and to various conferences throughout the world.
And he hasn’t merely been talking: He’s been taking action, catalyzing the Holy See’s hosting conferences, spearheading the 2014 Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery and willed the creation of the Santa Marta Group, named after his residence in the Vatican, which brings together Catholic leaders and international law enforcement officials to battle this scourge...
The trafficking of anyone, no matter what age, is a crime against humanity. But there is something particularly abominable about submitting children to these barbarities. As a Christian and a Catholic bishop, I cannot fail to recall how Jesus reserves his strongest condemnation for those who hurt children, saying that it would be better for such violators to have a millstone tied around their neck and thrown into the depth of the sea than to face God’s judgment for such deeds (Mt 18:6).
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, UN conference on Eliminating the Trafficking of Children and Youth, July 2016.