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Dignity

Respect for the dignity of each and every human being from conception to natural death is the most fundamental principle of all. It affects every person, every issue, and every part of society. It is therefore the starting point for all policy development.

Subsidiarity

This is the concept that decision-making should always be devolved as close to the grass roots as good government allows. It stems directly from respect for the dignity of the individual, demands that the role of government is to be at the service of the human person, and affirms that it is wrong to take from individuals or voluntary bodies what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry. It is not an excuse for anarchy.

The Common Good

The common good is the sum of all those social conditions which allow the human dignity of all to be respected and their basic needs to be met, while giving people the freedom to assume responsibility for their own lives. It stems directly from respect for the dignity of the individual and recognition that some problems are so large that only governments have the resources to deal with them. It is not an excuse for totalitarianism.

Balance

Common sense, the Ten Commandments, and the traditional teaching of mainstream Christianity provide the balance between subsidiarity and the common good, but truth compels us to recognise that subsidiarity has been de-emphasised and ignored for so long that special effort is required to redress the balance.

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