Catholic Social Doctrine: the Purpose of Politics

Catholic social doctrine asserts that the human person is the foundation and purpose of politics. Humans naturally social and political, and thus social life is not something that is extra or added to us. Politics originates in the very nature of the human nature, and even more pointedly, in the very nature of conscience and its obedience to the moral order which orients humanity toward just solutions to problems between individuals, social groups, and between States.

Politics is inherent to human existence and exists to achieve the full growth of each of its members who are called to cooperate in the attainment of that common good under the influence of the dictates of conscience which directs us to that which is true and good.

We are joined to each other in a political community, which unites us as a people, and gives us a certain autonomy at the level of personal existence and goals. For every people, there is generally a corresponding nation; yet we know that within nations there exist minorities who may not share completely with the majority shared life and values. The Church maintains that such minorities retain rights and duties, most basically the right to exist, the right to culture and language, and the right to religious belief and worship.

For more discussion of this topic, refer to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of  the Church, nos. 384-387.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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