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Declaration “Dignitas Infinita – On Human Dignity”

On Monday, April 8, 2024, the long-awaited declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith titled “Dignitas Infinita – On Human Dignity” was published, after a five-year preparation.

This doctrinal document is dedicated to the theme of violated human dignity and commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The document was initially considered to be named “Beyond Every Circumstance” (‘Al di là di ogni circostanza’), to highlight the belief that every individual – whether from Italy or Ethiopia, Israel or Gaza, within borders or beyond, amidst conflict or peace – regardless of their cultural background or life situation, possesses the same vast and untouchable honor that cannot be undermined or lessened by any war, dominance, or law that goes against human rights, including those laws that criminalize homosexuality in some countries.  However, “Infinite Dignity” (“Dignitas Infinita”) was then the  chosen title to communicate more directly Christianity’s profound assertion that “God cherishes every individual…with boundless affection.

The document begins with a Presentation (which traces the stages of its composition) and an Introduction (which defines the concept of dignity in light of the pronouncements of the recent Popes, from Pope Paul VI to Pope Francis). It continues then with three central parts: A Growing Awareness of the Centrality of Human Dignity – 2. The Church Proclaims, Promotes, and Guarantees Human Dignity – 3. Dignity, the Foundation of Human Rights and Duties.

The Declaration then presents, in its fourth and last part, the list of “some grave violations of human dignity“. While not claiming to be exhaustive, this list draws attention to some violations of human dignity that are particularly relevant nowaday.

The first issue mentioned is Poverty, “one of the greatest injustices in the contemporary world” and then War, “another tragedy that denies human dignity“, and  always is a “defeat of humanity“. The Declaration also focuses on the “Travail of Migrants“, “Human Trafficking“, Sexual Sbuse, Violence Against Women, Abortion, Practice of surrogacy, Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, The Marginalization of People with Disabilities, Gender Theory, Sex Change and Digital Violence.



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