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.
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
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.
The duties of citizens
Those subject to authority should regard those in authority
as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution. . . . Live as
freemen, yet without using your freedomas a pretext for evil; but live
as servants of God.”
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.
It is the
duty of citizens
to contribute along with the civil
authorities to the good of society in a spirit of truth, justice, solidar
ity, and freedom. The love and service of
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.
Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the com
mon 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.