Life in Christ
As with any ethical obligation, the participation of all in
realizing the common good calls for a continually renewed
of the social partners. Fraud and other subterfuges, by which
some people evade the constraints of the law and the prescriptions
of societal obligation, must be firmly condemned because they are
incompatible with the requirements of justice. Much care should
be taken to promote institutions that improve the conditions of
It is incumbent on those who exercise authority to
strengthen the values that inspire the confidence of the members
of the group and encourage them to put themselves at the service of
others. Participation begins with education and culture. “One is en
titled to think that the future of humanity is in the hands of those
who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons
for life and optimism.”
“There is no authority except from God, and those
authorities that exist have been instituted by God”
Every human community needs an authority in order
to endure and develop.
“The political community and public authority are
based on human nature and therefore . . . belong to
an order established by God” (
74 § 3).
Authority is exercised legitimately if it is committed
to the common good of society. To attain this it must
employ morally acceptable means.
The diversity of political regimes is legitimate, pro
vided they contribute to the good of the community.
Political authority must be exercised within the limits
of the moral order and must guarantee the conditions
for the exercise of freedom.
The common good comprises “the sum total of social
conditions which allow people, either as groups or as
30 § 1.
31 § 3.