Bishops acknowledge release of Dignitas Infinita

By the ACBC, 9 April 2024
Image: Wylly Suhendra/Unsplash


Australian Catholic bishops have acknowledged the release in Rome of the document, Dignitas Infinita.

The document released by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith was five years in the making.

Prefect for the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, described the document as offering “some points for reflection that can help us maintain an awareness of human dignity amid the complex historical moment in which we are living”.

“This is so that we may not lose our way and open ourselves up to more wounds and profound sufferings amid the numerous concerns and anxieties of our time,” Cardinal Fernández says in the document’s introduction.

The document states that “every human person possesses an infinite dignity, inalienably grounded in his or her very being, which prevails in and beyond every circumstance, state, or situation the person may ever encounter”.

It talks of four types of dignity (ontological, moral, social and existential) the most important of which is ontological – that is the dignity which belongs to the person “simply because he or she exists and is willed, created, and loved by God … (it) is indelible and remains valid beyond any circumstances in which the person may find themselves”.

The document notes that “there is an ever-growing risk of reducing human dignity to the ability to determine one’s identity and future independently of others, without regard for one’s membership in the human community. In this flawed understanding of freedom, the mutual recognition of duties and rights that enable us to care for each other becomes impossible.”

It identifies 13 “grave violations” of human dignity: poverty; war; the mistreatment of migrants; human trafficking; sexual abuse; violence against women; abortion; surrogacy; euthanasia and assisted suicide; the marginalisation of people with disabilities; gender theory; sex change; and digital violence.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference commends Dignitas Infinita for study and reflection.

The full document can be found here.

With thanks to the ACBC.


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