Political Community by FaithfulInThe8th


									Political Community
As per Chapter 8 of the Compendium of the Social        justified, not by invoking respect for the freedom       mation for the trial'.[John Paul II, Address to the
Doctrine of the Church, "Considering the human          of others nor by appealing to the fact that it is        Italian Association of Judges (31 March 2000), 4:
person as the foundation & purpose of the political     foreseen & required by civil law. No one can escape      AAS 92 (2000), 633.] Moreover, it must be
community means in the first place working to           the moral responsibility for actions taken, and all      ensured that 'trials are conducted swiftly: their
recognize & respect human dignity through               will be judged by God himself based on this              excessive length is becoming intolerable for
defending & promoting fundamental & inalienable         responsibility (cf. Rom 2:6; 14:12).                     citizens and results in a real injustice'.[John Paul
human rights....                                                                                                 II, Address to the Italian Association of Judges (31
                                                        “The Church's social doctrine indicates the criteria
                                                                                                                 March 2000), 4: AAS 92 (2000), 633.]....
“The subject of political authority is the people       for exercising the right to resistance: 'Armed
considered in its entirety as those who have            resistance to oppression by political authority is       “presuming the full ascertainment of the identity
sovereignty. In various forms, this people transfers    not legitimate, unless all the following conditions      and responsibility of the guilty party, the
the exercise of sovereignty to those whom it freely     are met:                                                 traditional teaching of the Church does not
elects as its rep-resentatives, but it preserves the     1) there is certain, grave & prolonged violation of    exclude the death penalty 'when this is the only
prerogative to assert this sovereignty in evaluating      fundamental rights,                                    practicable way to defend the lives of human
the work of those charged with governing and also        2) all other means of redress have been exhausted,     beings effectively against the aggressor'.
in replacing them when they do not fulfil their           3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders,   [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2267.]
                                                         4) there is well-founded hope of success; &
functions satisfactorily. Although this right is                                                                 Bloodless methods of deterrence and punishment
                                                         5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better
operative in every State and in every kind of             solution”.
                                                                                                                 are preferred as 'they better correspond to the
political regime, a democratic form of government,      [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2243.]....            concrete conditions of the common good and are
due to its procedures for verification, allows and                                                               more in conformity to the dignity of the human
guarantees its fullest application.[Cf. John Paul II,   the danger that recourse to violence entails today       person'. [Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 46: AAS 83          makes it preferable in any case that passive             2267.]....
(1991), 850- 851; John XXIII, Encyclical Letter         resistance be practised....
                                                                                                                 “The Encyclical Centesimus Annus contains an
Pacem in Terris: AAS 55 (1963), 271.] The mere          "The State has the twofold responsibility to             explicit and articulate judgment with regard to
consent of the people is not, however, sufficient for   discourage behaviour that is harmful to human            democracy.... An authentic democracy is not
considering 'just' the ways in which political          rights & the fundamental norms of civil life, & to       merely the result of a formal observation of a set of
authority is exercised.                                 repair, through the penal system, the disorder           rules but is the fruit of a convinced acceptance of
“Authority must be guided by the moral law ....If,      created by criminal activity....                         the values that inspire democratic procedures:
as a result of the tragic clouding of the collective                                                                 the dignity of every human person,
conscience, scepticism were to succeed in casting       “Unfortunately, the conditions under which                   the respect of human rights,
doubt on the basic principles of the moral law,[Cf.     prisoners serve their time do not always foster              commitment to the common good as the purpose &
Pius XII, Encyclical Letter Summi Pontificatus:         respect for their dignity; & often, prisons become            guiding criterion for political life.
AAS 31 (1939), 423.] the legal structure of the         places where new crimes are committed....                If there is no general consensus on these values,
State itself would be shaken to its very                                                                         the deepest meaning of democracy is lost and its
                                                        “The activity of offices charged with estab-lishing      stability is compromised.
foundations, being reduced to nothing more than a       criminal responsibility…must strive to be a
mechanism for the pragmatic regu-lation of              meticulous
different & opposing interests. [Cf. John Paul II,      search for truth
Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, 70: AAS 87          and must be
(1995), 481- 483; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter       conducted       in
Veritatis Splendor, 97, 99: AAS 85 (1993), 1209-        full respect for
1211; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,       the dignity and
Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the          rights of the
Participation of Catholics in Political Life (24        human
November 2002), 5-6, Libreria Editrice Vaticana,        person....In
Vatican City 2002, pp. 11-14.]                          carrying       out
“whenever public authority — which has its              investigations,
foundation in human nature & belongs to the             the regulation
order pre-ordained by God [Cf. Second Vatican           against the use
Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution               of torture, even
Gaudium et Spes, 74: AAS 58 (1966), 1095-1097;          in the case of
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1901.] — fails to     serious crimes,
seek the common good, it abandons its proper            must be strictly
purpose & so delegitimizes itself….                     observed....Like
                                                        wise ruled out is
"Unjust laws pose dramatic problems of                  'the    use     of
conscience for morally upright people: when they        detention      for
are called to cooperate in morally evil acts they       the sole purpose
must refuse.[Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter        of    trying    to
Evangelium Vitae, 73: AAS 87 (1995), 486-               obtain
487.]....Such cooperation in fact can never be          significant infor-
                                                       citizens....Excessive bureaucratization is contrary      “Cooperation, even in its less structured forms,
                                                       to this vision.... The role of those working in public   shows itself to be one of the most effective
                                                       admini-stration is n0ot to be conceived as imper-        responses to a mentality of conflict and unlimited
                                                       sonal or bureaucratic, but rather as an act of           competition that seems so prevalent today....
                                                       generous assistance for citizens, undertaken with a
                                                                                                                “ The Second Vatican Council committed the
                                                       spirit of service.
                                                                                                                Catholic Church to the promotion of religious
                                                       "Political parties have the task of fostering            freedom….The just limits of the exercise of
                                                       widespread participation and making public               religious freedom must be determined in each
                                                       responsibilities accessible to all....                   social situation with political prudence, according
                                                                                                                to the requirements of the common good, and
                                                       “Information is among the principal instruments
                                                                                                                ratified by the civil authority through legal norms
                                                       of democratic participation. Participation without
                                                                                                                consistent with the objective moral order....
                                                       an understanding of the situation of the political
                                                       community, the facts and the proposed solutions          “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a
                                                       to problems is unthinkable....The media must be          nation, a religious community might be given
                                                       used to build up and sustain the human                   special recognition on the part of the State. Such
                                                       community in its different sectors....one                recognition must in no way create discrimination
                                                       fundamental moral principle always applies: the          within the civil or social order for other religious
                                                       human person and the human community are the             groups.[Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council,
                                                       end and measure of the use of the media. A second        Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, 6: AAS 58
                                                       principle is complementary to the first: the good of     (1966), 933-934; Catechism of the Catholic
                                                       human beings cannot be attained independently of         Church, 2107.]....
                                                       the common good of the community to which they
                                                                                                                “Although the Church & the political community
                                                       belong.[Cf.    Pontifical  Council     for    Social
                                                                                                                both manifest themselves in visible organizational
                                                       Communications, Ethics in Communications (4
                                                                                                                structures, they are by nature different because of
                                                       June 2000), 22, Libreria Editrice Vaticana,
                                                                                                                their configuration and because of the ends they
                                                       Vatican City 2000, pp. 23-25.]….
                                                       “The Church has contributed to the distinction
                                                                                                                “The duty to respect religious freedom requires
                                                       between the political community and civil society
                                                                                                                that the political community guarantee the Church
                                                       above all by her vision of man, understood as an
                                                                                                                the space needed to carry out her mission. For her
                                                       autonomous, relational being who is open to the
                                                                                                                part, the Church has no particular area of
                                                       Transcendent. This vision is challenged by political
                                                                                                                competence concerning the structures of the
                                                       ideologies of an individualistic nature and those of
                                                                                                                political community: 'The Church respects the
                                                       a totalitarian character, which tend to absorb civil
                                                                                                                legitimate autonomy of the democratic order and
                                                       society into the sphere of the State. The Church's
                                                                                                                is not entitled to express preferences for this or
                                                       commitment on behalf of social pluralism aims at
                                                                                                                that institutional or constitutional solution',[John
                                                       bringing about a more fitting attainment of the
                                                                                                                Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 47:
                                                       common good and democracy itself, according to
                                                                                                                AAS 83 (1991), 852.] nor does it belong to her to
                                                       the principles of solidarity, subsidiarity and
                                                                                                                enter into questions of the merit of political
                                                       justice. Civil society is the sum of relationships
                                                                                                                programmes, except as concerns their religious or
                                                       and resources, cultural and associative, that are
                                                                                                                moral implications.
                                                       relatively independent from the political sphere
                                                       and the economic sector....                              “The mutual autonomy of the Church and the
                                                                                                                political community does not entail a separation
                                                       “The political community and civil society,
                                                                                                                that excludes cooperation....The Church has the
                                                       although mutually connected and interdependent,
                                                                                                                right to the legal recognition of her proper
                                                       are not equal in the hierarchy of ends. The political
                                                                                                                identity....The Church therefore seeks:
                                                       community is essentially at the service of civil
“The Church's social doctrine sees ethical                                                                          freedom of expression, teaching and evangelization;
                                                       society....Civil society…has priority because it is in       freedom of public worship;
relativism, which maintains that there are no          civil society itself that the political community
objective or universal criteria for establishing the                                                                freedom of organization and of her own internal
                                                       finds its justification. The State must provide an            government;
foundations of a correct hierarchy of values, as one   adequate legal framework for social subjects to              freedom of selecting, educating, naming and
of the greatest threats to modern-day                  engage freely in their different activities and it            transferring her ministers;
democracies....                                        must be ready to intervene, when necessary and               freedom for constructing religious buildings;
“Democracy is fundamentally 'a „system‟ & as such      with respect for the principle of subsidiarity….             freedom to acquire and possess sufficient goods for
is a means and not an end. Its „moral‟ value is not                                                                  her activity; &
                                                       "The activities of civil society… represent the most         freedom to form associations not only for religious
automatic, but depends on conformity to the            appropriate ways to develop the social dimension              purposes but also for educational, cultural, health
moral law to which it, like every other form of        of the person, who finds in these activities the              care and charitable purposes.
human behaviour, must be subject: in other words,      necessary space to express himself fully. The            [Cf. John Paul II, Letter to the Heads of State
its morality depends on the morality of the ends       progressive expansion of social initiatives beyond       Signing the Final Helsinki Act (1 September 1980),
which it pursues and of the means which it             the State- controlled sphere creates new areas for       4: AAS 72 (1980), 1256-1258.]
employs'. [John Paul II, Encyclical Letter             the active presence and direct action of citizens,
Evangelium Vitae, 70: AAS 87 (1995), 482.]….           integrating the functions of the State. This             “In order to prevent or attenuate possible conflicts
“The Magisterium recognizes the validity of the        important phenomenon has often come about                between the Church and the political community,
principle concerning the division of powers in a       largely through informal means and has given rise        the juridical experience of the Church and the
State....As an instrument of the State, public         to new and positive ways of exercising personal          State have variously defined stable forms of
administration at any level — national, regional,      rights, which have brought about a qualitative           contact and suitable instruments for guaranteeing
community — is oriented towards the service of         enrichment of democratic life.                           harmonious relations.”

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