Problem

Abuse of authority


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Illegitimate authority
Illegal exercise or abuse of authority
Illegal use of administrative authority
Nature:
Abuse of administrative authority may be divided into two types: involuntary abuse, where the administrator made a bona-fide use of his powers, which, however, departed from the intention of the legislation; and voluntary abuse, where the administrator consciously departed from the rules governing him.
Claim:
Human society can be neither well-ordered nor prosperous unless it has some people invested with legitimate authority to preserve its institutions and to devote themselves as far as is necessary to work and care for the good of all. These however derive their authority from God, as St. Paul teaches in the words, "Authority comes from God alone." These words of St. Paul are explained thus by St. John Chrysostom: "What are you saying? Is every ruler appointed by God? I do not say that, he replies, for I am not dealing now with individual rulers, but with authority itself. What I say is, that it is the divine wisdom and not mere chance, that has ordained that there should be government, that some should command and others obey." Moreover, since God made men social by nature, and since no society "can hold together unless some one be over all, directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every civilized community must have a ruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, and has, consequently, God for its author". (Papal Encyclical, Pacem in Terris, 11 April 1963).
Broader Problems:
Abuse of power
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Date of last update
26.02.2002 – 00:00 CET