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GOVERNMENT

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.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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