(Thomas G. Guarino. First Things).

Even the casual reader of Dignitas Infinita (DI), the recent declaration by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, will likely be impressed by the 116 footnotes that accompany the text. The large number of citations indicates the Vatican’s desire to buttress its teaching with insights from thinkers both within and without the Church. It is encouraging to see a catena of ancient and modern philosophers and theologians cited, including Cicero, Boethius, Aquinas, Levinas, Rosmini, Newman, and Maritain. The point, of course, is that human dignity has been defended by a vast array of profound thinkers. Another major source for DI: the Vatican II debates over religious liberty that produced Dignitatis Humanae. Although Vatican II documents are only cited a few times in the declaration, I believe they had a deeper influence on this document than is visible on the surface. 

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