Thursday, December 21, 2017
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 376 – Part IV.
(Youcat answer - repeated) Every citizen has the duty to cooperate loyally with the civil authorities and to contribute to the Common Good in truth, justice, freedom, and solidarity.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 2242) The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mt 22:21). "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29): When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel (GS 74 § 5).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) A Christian, too, should love his homeland, defend it in various ways in times of need, and gladly offer to serve civil institutions. He should exercise the right to vote and even run for office and not shirk the duty to pay just taxes. Nevertheless, within the State the individual citizen remains a free man with fundamental rights; he has the right to offer constructive criticism of the State and its organs. The State is there for the people, not the individual for the State.
(CCC 2246) It is a part of the Church's mission "to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental 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" (GS 76 § 5).