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Catholic Dictionary




Member of a state or nation, who owes it allegiance by birth or naturalization. This duty is based on the teaching of Scripture (Romans 13:1). Correspondingly, a citizen is entitled by the natural law to such civil rights as voting, running for office, and protection by the state in the possession of life and property, and the worship of God according to the dictates of conscience, as declared by the Second Vatican Council (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 73-76).