Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Human Rights and Democracy

The Catholic Church’s approach to human rights and democracy is one of great historical complexity. Though the Catholic Church has supported human dignity and social justice since its foundation, the idea of human rights is a modern notion that the Catholic Church only began to address at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Catholic Church, while advocating fair and justice government, was also suspicious of democracy and its values until well into the last century. Despite the historical positions, the Catholic Church today has become a firm and vocal proponent for human rights and accountable government throughout the world.


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