269. Let us keep in mind that “not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this”. [Evangelium Vitae 9] The firm rejection of the death penalty shows to what extent it is possible to recognize the inalienable dignity of every human being and to accept that he or she has a place in this universe. If I do not deny that dignity to the worst of criminals, I will not deny it to anyone. I will give everyone the possibility of sharing this planet with me, despite all our differences.
Human dignity is God-given. By honoring that dignity, we are safe from the slippery slope of disrespect for all sorts of people: those of other races, creeds, customs. It keeps open the opportunity for salvation. As long as a person remains alive, God looks upon them with hope and mercy.
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