While social institutions are a good, they also present dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity which states that a community of a higher order should not assume the task belonging to a community of a lower order and deprive it of its authority. It should rather support it in case of need.1
Authentic human society requires respect for justice, a just hierarchy of values, and the subordination of material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones. In particular, where sin has perverted the social climate, it is necessary to call for the conversion of hearts and for the grace of God to obtain social changes that really serve each person and the whole person. Charity, which requires and makes possible the practice of justice, is the greatest social commandment.2
1 Compendium CCC, 403; CCC 1883.
2 Compendium CCC 404.