THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY
The emphasis on relations and responsibility finds practical support in the principle of subsidiarity, which plays an important role in Roman Catholic circles. Subsidiarity means that “….one should not withdraw from individuals and commit to the community what they can accomplish by their own enterprise and industry”. (Pope Pius XI 1931). This principle leads to an emphasis on grassroots community projects where community members are involved in leadership and decision-making (cf Rasmussen 1996: 336). At the same time, those functions that cannot be executed on a local level must be escalated to higher levels: “…subsidiarity asks not for the most local but for the most appropriate level of organization and response” (Rasmussen 1996: 339).
In our effort to think what we are doing, we ask ourselves questions about principles, processes and practices.
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