463. How should authority be exercised in the various spheres of civil society?

Authority should always be exercised as a service, respecting fundamental human rights, a just hierarchy of values, laws, distributive justice, and the principle of subsidiarity. All those who exercise authority should seek the interests of the community before their own interest and allow their decisions to be inspired by the truth about God, about man and about the world.


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2234. God's fourth commandment also enjoins us to honor all who for our good have received authority in society from God. It clarifies the duties of those who exercise authority as well as those who benefit from it.

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2235. Those who exercise authority should do so as a service. "Whoever would be great among you must be your servant."41 The exercise of authority is measured morally in terms of its divine origin, its reasonable nature and its specific object. No one can command or establish what is contrary to the dignity of persons and the natural law.

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2236. The exercise of authority is meant to give outward expression to a just hierarchy of values in order to facilitate the exercise of freedom and responsibility by all. Those in authority should practice distributive justice wisely, taking account of the needs and contribution of each, with a view to harmony and peace. They should take care that the regulations and measures they adopt are not a source of temptation by setting personal interest against that of the community.42

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2237. Political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person. They will dispense justice humanely by respecting the rights of everyone, especially of families and the disadvantaged.

The political rights attached to citizenship can and should be granted according to the requirements of the common good. They cannot be suspended by public authorities without legitimate and proportionate reasons. Political rights are meant to be exercised for the common good of the nation and the human community.

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2254. Public authority is obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person and the conditions for the exercise of his freedom.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What does the Bible teach about the importance of humility and modesty?

What is the role of spiritual gifts in building up the church, according to Ephesians 4:7-16?

What is the lesson taught in Philippians 4:10-13 about finding contentment in all circumstances?

What is the story of Uzziah and how was he punished for disobeying God?

Joseph’s story: How did God use Joseph’s story to fulfill his purposes?

The power of community: the unity of the Jewish people in Esther (Esther 9:1-5)

What does the Bible say about the wrath of God and how does it relate to the need for salvation?

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