This essay concerns the foundation of the legitimacy of power in contemporary representative and liberal democracies. Firstly, the contribution describes the main theoretical framework; secondly, it underlines some questions concerning the "resources of meaning" required by the legitimacy of political power. In order to develop its main argument, the article proposes some selected reflections by Pope Benedict XVI, who has been considered as a "political theorist". It also liaises Benedict XVI’s reflections with some political analyses displaced in the XX Century, which recall concepts as "reason", "nature", "faith", "God", as well as the political-legal doctrines of "natural law" and "positive law". The article has a twofold purpose: directly, it aims at stimulating reflections on an important topic in the area of political culture; indirectly, it encourages social sciences (especially political science) to start again to carefully investigate the questions concerning the foundations of today’s democracies, the legitimacy of power and their relations with religion. The contribution draws some conclusions on non-believers, believers and differently-believers, who could be peers in the public sphere and in the political process of contemporary democracy.
Keywords: Political theory, Religion and democracy, Law and power legitimacy, Political culture, Benedict XVI