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460

Part Three

1881

Each community is defined by its purpose and conse­

quently obeys specific rules; but “the

human person . . .

 is and

ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social

institutions.”

4

1882

Certain societies, such as the family and the state, corre­

spond more directly to the nature of man; they are necessary to

him. To promote the participation of the greatest number in the life

of a society, the creation of voluntary associations and institutions

must be encouraged “on both national and international levels,

which relate to economic and social goals, to cultural and recrea­

tional activities, to sport, to various professions, and to political

affairs.”

5

This “

socialization

” also expresses the natural tendency for

human beings to associate with one another for the sake of attain­

ing objectives that exceed individual capacities. It develops the

qualities of the person, especially the sense of initiative and respon­

sibility, and helps guarantee his rights.

6

1883

Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive interven­

tion 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 co-ordinate its activity with the activities

of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.”

7

1884

God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of

power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of

performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This

mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. The way

God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great

regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those

who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers

of divine providence.

1885

The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of col­

lectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmo­

nizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends

toward the establishment of true international order.

4

GS

25 § 1.

5 John XXIII,

MM

60.

6 Cf.

GS

25 § 2;

CA

12.

7

CA

48 § 4; cf. Pius XI,

Quadragesimo anno

I, 184-186.

1929

1913

2431

307

302