Samorząd terytorialny jako przejaw społeczeństwa obywatelskiego w ujęciu wybranych encyklik papieskich


Słowa kluczowe:

Benedict XVI, Catholic social science, social teaching of the Catholic Church, local self-government, self-government communities, civil society


Local self-government is considered a manifestation of civil society. This view is justified, among others, by the practice of social life and social teaching of the Catholic Church. This article includes reflections on Catholic social teaching in recognizing local self-government as an important element in building a civil society and promoting civic attitudes. Its authors attempt to indicate the position of Catholic social science regarding this issue, with particu-lar emphasis on the interpretation and contribution of Pope Benedict XVI. The main aim of the article is to reconstruct the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI on local self-government as a manifestation of civil society and to answer the question: “How did Pope Benedict XVI understand the idea of local self-government as a civil society in relation to Catholic social science”. The authors seek answers to this question based on the method of analyzing the sources, which are the encyclicals of Pope Benedict XVI: Deus caritas est (2006) and Caritas in veritate (2009). In addition, the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI in the context of the analyzed issue is completed with the fragment concerning its interpretation in the practice of social life, presented in the first part of the article. It is to show the understanding of this phenomenon in the public sphere and combine it with the understanding functioning in the religious sphere, in order to show that both approaches significantly correspond with each other. The authors argue that Pope Benedict XVI treated local government as an element of disseminating civic attitudes, and thus a factor strengthening civil society.