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Old 4th November 2010, 01:28 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,590
Default Principle of Subsidiarity
"Often considered a corollary of the principle of the common good, subsidiarity requires those in positions of authority to recognize that individuals have a right to participate in decisions that directly affect them, in accord with their dignity and with their responsibility to the common good. Decisions should be made at the most appropriate level in a society or organization, that is, one should not withdraw those decisions or choices that rightly belong to individuals or smaller groups and assign them to a higher authority. However, a higher authority properly intervenes in decisions when necessary to secure or protect the needs and rights of all. The principle implies that, when a decision is to be made, we should identify the most appropriate forum and level of decision making, and how best and to what degree those individuals most affected should participate in the decision making process."

Notice that this principle does NOT require all decisions to be made at the lowest level, but rather at the most appropriate level. Each individual and group, each governmental body and other organization, has its own role. Higher authorities are especially needed in a sinful society in which many persons, left to their own devices, would commit grave sins against other persons.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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