"Just Government"


With all the news these days about governments (both here and in Canada) ruling against various religious activities and speech, I am just wondering if there is a similar idea to the “just war” that pertains to a “just government?”



I could be wrong, but was it Thomas Aquinas who said that monarchy is the best form of government? Provided, of course, that the monarch is both good and wise.

Probably nobody would go for that today.


Many philosophers have written about the ideal government being monarchical. Another way this is phrased is that the ideal leader is a “benevolent dictator.” Perhaps Plato was the first to explicitly reference this when he put a Philospher-King in charge of his ideal Republic. (??? I’m no expert in the history of philosophy.) It is unquestionably an attractive idea, however I think most who talk about the “benevolent dictator” know enough about human nature and the way we handle power to know that this can only be an ideal!

On the subject of government ideals, in my opinion Winston Churchill was right on when he said, “Democracy is a horrible form of government–it just happens to be better than all others.”

  • JP


A “Benevolent Dictator” is undoubtedly the best form of government. Problem is that Jesus doesn’t want the job and no one else qualifies. :wink:


Read paragraphs 1877-1948 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and this will address what you envision in a “Just Government”


[quote=T.A.Stobie, SFO]Read paragraphs 1877-1948 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and this will address what you envision in a “Just Government”

Thanks for the source. The part I was looking for is the following:

**1902 **Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:[1][/font]
A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.[2][/font]

**1903 **Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”[3][/font]

**1904 **“It is preferable that each power be balanced by other powers and by other spheres of responsibility which keep it within proper bounds. This is the principle of the ‘rule of law,’ in which the law is sovereign and not the arbitrary will of men.”[4][/font]

[1][/font] GS 74 # 2.
[2][/font] St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 93, 3, ad 2
[3][/font] John XXIII PT 51.
[4][/font] CA 44.

However, saying that, it does not address what our recourse(s) can be other than voting and getting involved in politics:( . Even with that, the increasingly activist judicial system cannot be effectively countered with either.

This is the jist of my question. What can be our recourse when our rights are being increasingly taken away by the secular relativism permeating society today.



We must pray for our government and leaders, something I don’t see being done very often in our churchs unless there is an election coming up.

We must vote with a Catholic conscience, something most Catholics these days justify away. When we have a choice between two “bad” candidates, we must choose the one who will do the least amount of harm.

And how about this…more “devoted” Catholics run for office?
The devoted ones who really follow doctrine and our Lord, Jesus Christ…


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