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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

Access to Information: Citizenship, Representative Democracy, and Catholic Social Thought

Access to Information: Citizenship, Representative Democracy, and Catholic Social Thought

Chapter:
(p.265) Access to Information: Citizenship, Representative Democracy, and Catholic Social Thought
Source:
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism
Author(s):

Barry Sullivan

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.003.0019

Barry Sullivan evaluates the relationship between government transparency, human dignity, and Catholic Social Teaching. In representative democracies, such as the United States, citizens have a right to the information necessary to make informed decisions about public policy and those they elect to enact it. The citizen’s claim to such information is grounded in the belief that citizens are respected and dignified when they are able to participate in, and exercise, deliberative forms of governance and decision-making. This right, and the dignity it is based on, finds strong support in both Catholic Social Teaching and the work of the philosopher Jacques Maritain. The problem, however, arises when this same call for transparency in government is applied to the inner workings of the Catholic Church itself. The duplicity of the Catholic Church’s position—supporting human dignity and government transparency as applied to others, but not to itself—compromises its effectiveness in promoting the democratic right to information and the human rights to respect and dignity.

Keywords:   Catholic Church, Catholic Social Teaching (CST), citizenship, government transparency, human dignity, Jacques Maritain, representative democracy, right to information, United States

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