Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Role Of The Government According To Catholic Doctrine


Subsidiarity is the Catholic social justice principle which may be the least understood and taught and is one of the most important. Subsidiarity means that every issue should be handled by the lowest-level or least centrally-organized group whenever possible. The Catechism puts it this way:
Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which 'a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.'

"God...entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of government ought to be followed in social life.

"Subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention" (nn. 1883-1885).
Here is a great explanation:

2 comments:

tonychulo said...

Hey Marcel, thank you for what you do for the Church, I always love your blogs. However, I am struggling with somethings. After reading this attached article by the LA Times, it's a bit disheartening to hear about the divide in the Church regarding political issues. If the Church voted as a block, we could very well determine policy and who wins the election. But how can we attain a "both and" when we typically have to pick "one or the other", there never seems to be a perfect candidate, or one who sides/is in line with all aspects of Church teaching.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-catholics-presidential-20121010,0,2285748.story

Marcel said...

There are things we can never support - abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, cloning, genocide, slavery, same-sex marriage, unjust war, etc.

Other issues we can have a plurality of opinions on and still be faithful Catholics.

The issue is one of forming disciples in Christ's image. If we did that, we wouldn't have to worry about the issues a Catholic could never support.