Human interdependence is increasing and gradually
spreading throughout the world. The unity of the human family,
embracing people who enjoy equal natural dignity, implies a
versal common good
. This good calls for an organization of the com
munity of nations able to “provide for the different needs of men;
this will involve the sphere of social life to which belong questions
of food, hygiene, education, . . . and certain situations arising here
and there, as for example . . . alleviating the miseries of refugees
dispersed throughout the world, and assisting migrants and their
The common good is always oriented towards the pro
gress of persons: “The order of things must be subordinate to the
order of persons, and not the other way around.”
This order is
founded on truth, built up in justice, and animated by love.
“Participation” is the voluntary and generous engagement
of a person in social interchange. It is necessary that all participate,
each according to his position and role, in promoting the common
good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human
Participation is achieved first of all by taking charge of the
areas for which one assumes
by the care
taken for the education of his family, by conscientious work, and
so forth, man participates in the good of others and of society.
As far as possible citizens should take an active part in
The manner of this participation may vary from one
country or culture to another. “One must pay tribute to those
nations whose systems permit the largest possible number of the
citizens to take part in public life in a climate of genuine
84 § 2.
26 § 3.
31 § 3.