Stephen Schneck of the Catholic University of America offers a good post on the much-abused term:"Subsidiarity refers to the appropriate balancing of responsibilities and functions among the parts of a social order. It has its origin in the Catholic understanding of community, which perceives a community not as so many individuals connected by contracts, but as a corporate wholea moral and cultural body that, like any body, is comprised of limbs and parts the differences of which contribute to the good of the whole. The ethic that pertains to the unity of the body is called solidarity. The ethic that pertains to the role of the parts is subsidiarity. And the good of the whole by which solidarity and subsidiarity are measured is called the common good."Read the rest right here.
Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015.