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02 Dec 2016 Articles Comments (1)

What happens when an atheist encounters Christ? This poet found out for herself

"Until two years ago, I was a really committed atheist and I really hated the Catholic Church," said poet Sally Read, as she explained how all that dramatically…

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03 Feb 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Does "the Black Pope" wield the true power in the Vatican?

Full Question I heard that the Vatican is run by an individual called "the black pope," who holds all the real power. What do you say to th…

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02 Oct 2015 News USA No comments

A tale of two papal meetings

During his visit to the United States, Pope Francis waded into the US culture wars with two private visits. But how Church officials managed the narrative of…

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31 Jul 2016 News No comments

‘Go out into the world,’ Pope tells priests at St John Paul II shrine

Francis celebrated Mass at a shrine dedicated to his Polish predecessor Catholic priests and nuns must renounce their personal interests and create a church th…

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27 Apr 2016 News No comments

Cardinal Ortega, who played key role in US-Cuba diplomatic thaw, retires

Cardinal Jaime Ortega was named Archbishop of Havana in 1981 and oversaw three papal trips to Communist Cuba Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who oversaw a warming of re…

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15 Sep 2015 Americas News No comments

Pope Francis’ impact on Cuba, and its Church, is already being felt

As the countdown to Pope Francis’ maiden voyage to the United States winds on, it may be easy for Americans to forget that before he touches down in Washington …

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19 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Every homeless child is ‘a cry rising up to God’, says Francis

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20 May 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Pope Francis’s Commission on Women Deacons: 12 Things to Know and Share

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05 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

Holy See calls for action in Iraq, and UN sends a mission

Vatican City, Sep 5, 2014 / 12:03 am.- The Holy See on Monday urged the UN to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq during a special session of the Human Rights Coun…

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Does the Catholic Church have a stand on plastic surgery?

Full Question

Does the Catholic Church have a stand on plastic surgery?


The Church has not dealt with this issue in magisterial documents. However, moral theology would seem to offer the following considerations:

Plastic surgery would seem to be warranted if it would provide a significant therapeutic benefit in some regard, either physical (e.g., reconstructive surgery to restore function or utility in cases of accident or birth defect) or psychological. This is provided that the procedure does not damage some other equal or greater good and provided that it is not intrinsically immoral.

Plastic surgery would seem to be permitted—even without significant therapeutic effect—provided that it did not damage a significant good and provided that the procedure is not intrinsically immoral.

Plastic surgery would seem to be impermissible if it damaged a good greater than that to be achieved, being venial if the difference in the goods were light and potentially mortal if the difference in the goods were grave.

Goods that could be damaged by undertaking plastic surgery are varied. They might involve harming oneself—one’s own physical, psychological, or spiritual health—or they might involve harming others, such as being financially unable to provide for one’s family in a proper and timely manner.

As always, if a medical procedure is intrinsically immoral—such as so-called trans-gendering surgeries—it cannot be performed.

1 comment

  1. marianfk Reply

    diese chirurgie sollte, so wie sie seinerzeit eingerichtet wurde, den wirklich schlimmen Verletzungen Unfallopfer etc. zugänglich sein. durch die sogen Schönheitschirurgie wird diese Kunst fälschlicherweise ausgebeutet.

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