Aparecida 104-105: The Good News of Human Dignity

“Good news” abounds in the next several sections of the Aparecida document. Remember to catch an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference if you want the whole piece.

Meanwhile, let’s look at a basic principle, human dignity, with bullet points added for emphasizing the list:



  • We bless God for the dignity of the human person, created in his image and likeness. He has created us free and made us subjects of rights and duties in the midst of creation.
  • We thank him for associating us with the advancement of the world, by giving us intelligence and the ability to love; for the dignity that we also receive and which we must as a task, protect, cultivate, and promote.
  • We bless Him for the gift of faith that enables us to live in covenant with Him until we share eternal life.
  • We bless him for making us his daughters and sons in Christ, for having redeemed us with the price of his blood and for the permanent relationship that he establishes with us, which is the source of our absolute, non-negotiable, and inviolable dignity. If sin has weakened the image of God in human beings and wounded their condition, the Good News, which is Christ, has redeemed and reestablished it in grace (cf. Rom 5: 12-21).

My takeaways:

  • We rightly recognize God’s hand in who we are. Gratitude for God’s gifts, and a response to God in some way for all that we are.
  • We acknowledge the human person is whole because we are able to multi-task. On that, we both think and feel. The emphasis of one over the other betrays our deepest nature as conscious beings.
  • Faith in God is itself a gift, not an act.
  • Our relationship with Christ is central to our human identity.

105. We praise God for the men and women of Latin America and the Caribbean who, impelled by their faith, have worked untiringly in defense of the human person, especially the poor and outcast. In their testimony, taken to the point of total commitment, the dignity of the human being shines forth.

The “defense of the human person” is an essential response to our Gospel call. What makes this different from participants in a human service organization? The “impelling” of faith–in other words, our core motivation as workers amongst the world’s people.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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