464. What are the duties of citizens in regard to civil authorities?

Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God and offer their loyal collaboration for the right functioning of public and social life. This collaboration includes love and service of one’s homeland, the right and duty to vote, payment of taxes, the defense of one’s country, and the right to exercise constructive criticism.


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Paragraph 2238

2238. Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts:43 "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution.... Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God."44 Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.

Paragraph 2239

2239. It is the duty of citizens to contribute along with the civil authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom. the love and service of one's country follow from the duty of gratitude and belong to the order of charity. Submission to legitimate authorities and service of the common good require citizens to fulfill their roles in the life of the political community.

Paragraph 2240

2240. Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one's country:

Pay to all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.45

[Christians] reside in their own nations, but as resident aliens. They participate in all things as citizens and endure all things as foreigners.... They obey the established laws and their way of life surpasses the laws.... So noble is the position to which God has assigned them that they are not allowed to desert it.46

The Apostle exhorts us to offer prayers and thanksgiving for kings and all who exercise authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way."47

Paragraph 2241

2241. The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

Paragraph 2255

2255. It is the duty of citizens to work with civil authority for building up society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

What can we learn about divine wrath and protection of the righteous from the book of Nahum?

What is the Blood Moon prophecy of Joel 2:30-31 in the Bible?

What does the statement “God so loved the world that he gave his son” in John 3:16 mean?

How can Ruth’s story, from widow to wife, inspire us to trust God and seek a fresh start in our lives?

What is the importance of prayer and intercession in the Christian life, according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4?

What does the promise of salvation amid darkness in Micah 7:7 mean?

What do the passages in Daniel 7 and 11 teach us about the rise of the antichrist?

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