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542

Part Three

2243

Armed

resistance

to oppression by political authority is not

legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is

certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2)

all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance

will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of

success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better

solution.

The political community and the Church

2244

Every institution is inspired, at least implicitly, by a vision

of man and his destiny, fromwhich it derives the point of reference

for its judgment, its hierarchy of values, its line of conduct. Most

societies have formed their institutions in the recognition of a

certain preeminence of man over things. Only the divinely re­

vealed religion has clearly recognized man’s origin and destiny in

God, the Creator and Redeemer. The Church invites political

authorities to measure their judgments and decisions against this

inspired truth about God and man:

Societies not recognizing this vision or rejecting it in the

name of their independence from God are brought to seek

their criteria and goal in themselves or to borrow them from

some ideology. Since they do not admit that one can defend

an objective criterion of good and evil, they arrogate to

themselves an explicit or implicit totalitarian power over

man and his destiny, as history shows.

51

2245

The Church, because of her commission and competence,

is not to be confused in any way with the political community. She

is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of

the human person. “The Church respects and encourages the

political freedom and responsibility of the citizen.”

52

2246

It is a part of the Church’s mission “to pass moral judg­

ments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamen­

tal rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. The means, the

only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the

Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of

times and circumstances.”

53

51 Cf.

CA

45; 46.

52

GS

76 § 3.

53

GS

76 § 5.

2309

1910

1881

2109

912

2032

2420