Subsidiarity and Solidarity in Rerum Novarum

13…If the citizens, if the families on entering into association and fellowship [in civil society or government], were to experience hindrance in a commonwealth instead of help, and were to find their rights attacked instead of being upheld, society would rightly be an object of detestation rather than of desire.
14. The contention, then, that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error. True, if a family finds itself in exceeding distress, utterly deprived of the counsel of friends, and without any prospect of extricating itself, it is right that extreme necessity be met by public aid, since each family is a part of the commonwealth…”

Pope Leo XIII – Rerum Novarum (1891)

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