Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Benedict's resignation

Like many others, I'm sure, I find I am still "processing" the news about the Pope's resignation.  I don't have any insta-punditry to offer, other than to say "thank you!" to the Holy Father, and to the Holy Spirit, for the gift of his leadership, thought, and service.  I know that, here at MOJ, we've often discussed the Catholic-Legal-Theory implications of his encyclicals and writings, and I hope that the entire MOJ crew will consider posting additional reflections.  Certainly, for me, the Pope's exploration of the idea of "healthy secularity" has been hugely influential. 

I recall, a few years back, early in Pope Benedict's papacy, a very interesting conference at Villanova, at which participants were invited to reflect on his work, its themes, and its direction.  I contributed a short essay called "Church, State, and the Practice of Love," which is available here.   Here's the abstract:

In his first
encyclical letter, Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI describes the Church as a
community of love. In this letter, he explores the organized practice love by
and through the Church, and the relationship between this practice, on the one
hand, and the Church's commitment to the just ordering of the State and society,
on the other. God is love, he writes. This paper considers the implications of
this fact for the inescapably complicated nexus of church-state relations in our
constitutional order.

The specific goal for this paper is to draw from
Deus caritas est some insight into what is a fundamental and - at present - the
most pressing challenge in church-state law, namely, the preservation of the
Church's moral and legal right to govern herself in accord with her own norms
and in response to her own calling. It asks, what does the new Pope's work and
thinking, about the future and present state of the Church and her organized
practice of love, suggest about the appropriate content and vulnerable state of
the rights and independence of religious groups - and of the freedom of the




Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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