In one of his significant and memorable addresses to the young people from all the continents of the earth on the occasion of the much-renowned “World Youth day” recently held in Poland – wherefrom the world known and much-revered Pope John Paul II was born and whose pastoral activity historically changed the socio-political face of his own Country – Pope Francis expressly and clearly challenged the youth of the world to assume an active role in the socio-political plight of their respective Nations. No. He was not fomenting activism but denouncing passivism. Reason: The youth are the heirs of their respective Countries and they may not but be concerned with its present socio-political affairs that cannot but eventually bring about its curse or blessing, its malady or well-being in the years to come.
So it was that Pope Francis himself proclaimed and promoted the known “Principle of Participation”: What is the connotation – significance, implication, consequence – of the said principle? Such is the fundamental feature and concrete premise of democracy in action. And when the said reality is not merely set aside but actually denied, such is a marked demonstrative element of dictatorship, authoritarianism and the like. And from the start of human history to the present times, such dictatorial or authoritarian denial of the “Principle of Participation” is the eventual cause of social unrest, violence, deaths very well included. Needless to say, said principle has a special significance and relevance to the Philippines during these perceived uncertain times.
The truth is that the “Principle of Participation” is but a consequence of the “Principle of Subsidiarity”. One without the other is falsity. In other words, the very fact that subsidiarity means not only allowing but also urging the able members of society to do what they can do for their own good as well as the welfare of their Country, and furthermore means that the public authorities concerned should not bar no less that their sovereign constituents to intervene, to promote and sustain their own public welfare, their own common good. Otherwise, a dictatorial regime comes to fore and the citizens – the active young people well included – have no reasonable and laudable option but to have it done away with.
In other words, the characteristic implication of subsidiarity is participation, which is essentially expressed in a series of moves through which the young and their elders, either as individuals or in association with other groupings, decidedly move and act to regain what is their right, to re-establish what is true and just, what is right and proper for their own selves and their Country as a whole. These are no longer the times when people can justify the well-known censurable position of the infamous “Three Monkeys”: One sees nothing. The other hears nothing. The third says nothing. So it is that all three of them do nothing!