Many ancient cultures practice circumcision.
It may be a rite of passage, among many other things.
Jewish boys are circumcised on the eighth day after birth (one week later).
Muslim boys are often circumcised between the age of seven to twelve.
- Respect for bodily integrity
- Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.
- Cf. DS 3722. Emphasis added.
- Fr. John Dietzen, Brooklyn Tablet, "The Morality of Circumcision." I think I disagree with Fr. Dietzen's argument. He believes that there are no "strictly therapeutic medical reasons" that would justify circumcision; others say that there are. He is correct, of course, that Catholics cannot view circumcision as a religious ceremony.
- "Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks."
- Catholic Encyclopedia, "Circumcision."