If there is human dignity is there also an angelic dignity?

What does Catholcism say about this?

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    Can you define what you mean by those terms? – curiousdannii Dec 25 '19 at 14:48
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    The Church should I think. – Hank Dec 25 '19 at 14:49
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    If you mention human dignity, you need to let us know what you mean by that (perhaps with a quote from a Church document), and then say why, or how, that might apply to angels. – Matt Gutting Dec 25 '19 at 21:25

If there is human dignity is there also an angelic dignity?

First of all, what is a Catholic definition of dignity

The excellence that deserves recognition and praise in a person or thing. Highest in dignity is God, whose superiority over all creation is the basis for adoration. (Etym. Latin dignitas, dignity, worthiness, worth.)

St. Thomas Aquinas responds in the affirmative: Yes the angels possess an angelic dignity.

From what has been said above (I:108:6), it may be shown that some angels are sent in ministry by God. For, as we have already stated (I:43:1, in treating of the mission of the Divine Persons, he is said to be sent who in any way proceeds from another so as to begin to be where he was not, or to be in another way, where he already was. Thus the Son, or the Holy Ghost is said to be sent as proceeding from the Father by origin; and begins to be in a new way, by grace or by the nature assumed, where He was before by the presence of His Godhead; for it belongs to God to be present everywhere, because, since He is the universal agent, His power reaches to all being, and hence He exists in all things (I:8:1). An angel's power, however, as a particular agent, does not reach to the whole universe, but reaches to one thing in such a way as not to reach another; and so he is "here" in such a manner as not to be "there." But it is clear from what was above stated (I:110:1), that the corporeal creature is governed by the angels. Hence, whenever an angel has to perform any work concerning a corporeal creature, the angel applies himself anew to that body by his power; and in that way begins to be there afresh. Now all this takes place by Divine command. Hence it follows that an angel is sent by God.

The empyrean heaven belongs to the angelic dignity by way of congruity; forasmuch as it is congruous that the higher body should be attributed to that nature which occupies a rank above bodies. Yet an angel does not derive his dignity from the empyrean heaven; so when he is not actually in the empyrean heaven, nothing of his dignity is lost, as neither does a king lessen his dignity when not actually sitting on his regal throne, which suits his dignity.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, man should respect the angels as being created spiritual creatures that aid us here on earth.

In Brief

350 Angels are spiritual creatures who glorify God without ceasing and who serve his saving plans for other creatures: "The angels work together for the benefit of us all" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I, 114, 3, ad 3).

351 The angels surround Christ their Lord. They serve him especially in the accomplishment of his saving mission to men.

352 The Church venerates the angels who help her on her earthly pilgrimage and protect every human being.

353 God willed the diversity of his creatures and their own particular goodness, their interdependence and their order. He destined all material creatures for the good of the human race. Man, and through him all creation, is destined for the glory of God.

354 Respect for laws inscribed in creation and the relations which derive from the nature of things is a principle of wisdom and a foundation for morality.

An interesting note is that St. Gregory of Nazianzen teaches us that the sacerdotal dignity of ordained Catholic priests surpasses the dignity of the angels, who have a high esteem and reverence for the priesthood.


If there is human dignity is there also an angelic dignity?

Human dignity is rooted in the goodness of His Creator, the Almighty God created man in His own image and likeness.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itself and every creature that crawls upon it.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis1:26-27)

But God not only created man in His own image and likeness, God has given more;

God breathe in Divine Life or sanctifying grace and cloth the created man in the state of original holiness and original justice. The first man was cloth with the Light of God.

But the most important thing that God gave to mankind is the dignity to be overseer or stewards and to glorify Him in His creation. God has put man in charge of His creation and He trusted that the created man will follow His Divine Will.


The angelic dignity surpasses the dignity of man, how?

Let's look at the definition of dignity.

dig·ni·ty /ˈdiɡnədē/


the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.


a sense of pride in oneself; self-respect.

Before the fall of the angels, angels were created a perfect being with superb beauty & intellect higher than man. While man is only cloth with the Light of God over their flesh, the angels were created in Light, their whole being comes from the Light of God.

As we can see from the Book of Psalm;

Psalm 8:4-6 English Standard Version (ESV)

4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[a] and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,

The angelic dignity surpasses man but the difference is man is destined to be crown with glory and honor while the angels are not.Why? The angels do not have bodies to offer to God as a pleasing sacrifice.

A Living Sacrifice 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans12:1)

Angels like men are both "ministers" in the Kingdom of God, but angels have not given dominion over God's creation.

Angels before the Fall of Adam and Eve share a common priesthood, they were both offering praises to glorify God, but Adam does more because he is offering the work of their hands to God as a pleasing sacrifice, while the angels since they don't have a body it would be seen that although they are a perfect being their praises to God is inferior to men.

This difference in dignity of angelic being over created man led to Lucifer and his fallen angel's a source of envy, as Lucifer sees his perfection greater than the created man but in reality Adam's dignity surpasses his perfection because Adam was given dominion over God's creation while he is not.

Wisdom 2:24 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) 24 But by the envy[a] of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are allied with him experience it.

In closing, both man an angels derived their dignity in the goodness of God, but the Divine Plan of creation was rooted in the Salvation of Man and not thru the glorification of the angels.

"Everything was ordained towards the salvation of men." (St.Catherine of Sienna)

This "Truth" led to Lucifer envy as he thought his superb dignity and perfection is the center of God's creation until God revealed His Divine Plan for the Logos and the Woman.

Lucifer cannot take it, that a mere human creature were higher than them in dignity eventhough it is very obvious that their beauty and perfection surpasses men. But what hurt the pride of Lucifer and his fallen angels deeply is the full realization that the Incarnated Logos and the lowly Woman were destined to be crowned the Sovereign King and Queen of God's Heavenly Kingdom which is a Kingdom of Priesthood.

Exodus 19:6 New King James Version (NKJV) 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

The difference in dignity shines forth now that we know that God's Kingdom in the Heavenly Realm is a Kingdom of Priesthood, why?

The angels cannot offer a single sacrifice on their own merit, while man being a lowly creature can offer their bodies as a pleasing sacrifice to God united to Christ the Eternal High Priest.

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