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Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. (Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions—Reflections of the U.S. Catholic Bishops)

This is the bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching. Every person–regardless of race, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, employment or economic status, health, intelligence, achievement or any other differentiating characteristic–is worthy of respect. It is not what you do or what you have that gives you a claim on respect; it is simply being human that establishes your dignity. Given that dignity, the human person is, in the Catholic view, never a means, always an end. ~William J. Byron, S.J.