All persons possess intrinsic value simply from the mere fact that they exist as beings having a divine origin. All humans possess moral inviolability such that they ought never be exploited or treated simply as means to ulterior ends or goals. The dignity of human beings means that women and men have inalienable rights that must be respected and sustained. The test of every institution or policy is whether it enhances or threatens human life and human dignity.
In the Catholic tradition, faith is not just about a personal relationship with God. Faith makes demands on us and requires that we work to alleviate dehumanizing conditions of suffering. We have to think critically about our own complicity in structures of injustice. Catholic social teaching can give us some of the resources to better understand our obligations as Christians when we are challenged by the reality of the enormity of suffering in our world today.