The Catholic perspective promotes human dignity, the essential worth or dignity of the human person as made in the image and likeness of God. Each human being is unique and unrepeatable and loved and called by God. This means that every human being, in every circumstance, is good. This is not to say that they are morally good. Our moral goodness or moral badness is based on the moral decisions we make. Rather, to affirm the worth or dignity of the human person is to affirm that it is a good thing that he or she exists, that his or her existence is desired by God and that his or her existence is worthwhile. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2013). Catholic thinking about sexuality and relationships is based on this basic affirmation of the equal worth of all human beings.
The sanctity of life is one way of giving expression to this basic affirmation of the worth or dignity of all human beings. When the Catholic Church affirms the sanctity of life it affirms that it is good that a particular human being exists rather than the reverse. the existence of each human person is willed by God and human beings have no right to destroy that existence. To say that life is sacred is to say, no matter who you are, no matter what you have done, no matter what you will do, the simple fact that you exist as a specific human being is enough for you to be considered worthy of life, worthy of respect and worthy of those things that will help you to flourish rather than perish.
God has called us to flourish. God wants us to flourish. In a sense, flourishing is our human vocation. Human beings don't simply exist. Human beings can exist badly in circumstances that don't seem to be in tune with the idea that their existence is a good thing and that they are willed and loved by God. Such circumstances can lead to the death or perishing of human beings in both the literal and the figurative sense. Perishing in the figurative sense mean that spiritual life, mental well-being and physical health begin to wither and die. On the other hand human beings can exist well, living their lives in circumstances and ways through which they flourish. When we think about what it means to talk about human flourishing, we focus on the achievement of the fullness of our potential as human beings in all dimensions: physical, mental, spiritual and relational. The Catholic perspective promotes human flourishing in all its dimensions together with the making of moral choices in ways that contribute to, rather than threaten or undermine, this flourishing of the whole human person.
From a Catholic perspective human beings are free, meaning seeking and meaning making beings in relation to all that is. We are faced with a choice, then, about how we engage in those relationships in light of the kind of beings we want to be. What do we want our lives to mean? This meaning will be realized through the moral choices we make in and through our relationships with others, with the natural world, and with God. Whole-hearted living is possible. Human flourishing is possible. We cannot control everything. Working out the right thing to do in every situation can be tricky. But at its core of our moral decision-making is the question: What do you stand for? The Catholic perspective is one that stands for love, life and justice for all.