The concept of “democratic rights” does not greatly differ, I suppose, from that of human rights as these are understood by persons of democratic mind and temper. But the existence of human rights is recognized also by persons who could not, even with the most elastic use of words, be described as favorable to democratic principles. Some ambiguities and some prejudicial implications might have been avoided if the term “democratic” had not been used in the title. It seems to presuppose the superiority of a democratic order. That is a popular idea in our political and cultural climate, and I myself hold it with strong conviction; but it is not an axiom upon which a discussion of the rights of man can be based. Particularly, it is not an axiom from which one may profitably or properly begin a consideration of human rights as defined and defended in the Roman Catholic tradition. For while the idea of human rights has an important place in the general course of that tradition, the concept of democracy has a very small place.