What is the Catholic teaching on getting breast enhancement?

Catholic teaching on the dignity of the human person requires utmost respect for the human body. We do not have bodies, we are bodies, created in the image of God. But the Catechism of the Catholic Church warns against an attitude that “tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, [and] to idolize physical perfection” (CCC 2289). The body is good, but it is not an absolute value. In all times and places, people have developed ways to highlight human beauty according to culturally conditioned ideals. But if taken to extremes, these enhancements idolize human notions of beauty and fail to recognize that the work of the Creator is already perfect. Church teaching generally supports reconstructive or medically necessary interventions, but discourages elective procedures which may distort, rather than uphold, the dignity of the human body as created by God.

Neela Kale

Neela Kale

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.


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