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Catholic Dictionary




According to scholastic philosophy, the authoritative direction of a people, requiring them to use certain prescribed means for realizing a predetermined plan for the common good. Essential to the notion of government are authority vested in certain designated persons; management of things pertaining to the common good; an official plan or overview of what needs to be done to promote the welfare of the society; laws that express the will of those in authority relative to the advancement of the public good; sanctions that may be imposed on those who do not observe the laws. (Etym. Latin gubernare, to direct, manage, conduct, govern, guide.)