Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, January 11, 2010

One Explanation of Catholic Legal Theory?



I recently read the address given by Pope Benedict to the alumni, rector, and students of the Pontifical North American College in Rome this past weekend. [address HERE] The College was celebrating its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary. In his remarks to those in attendance, the Holy Father noted that the College has the mission of educating and producing “wise and generous pastors capable of transmitting the Catholic faith in its integrity, bringing Christ’s infinite mercy to the weak and the lost.” But the Pope also noted that the mission of these pastors-in-formation is to “enabl[e] America’s Catholics to be a leaven of the Gospel in the social, political and cultural life of their nation.”

I paused to consider whether this last element—to enable America’s Catholics to be a leaven of the Gospel in the social, political, and cultural life or our nation—represents an important component of what we here at the Mirror of Justice are attempting to do in our formation of Catholic legal theory? My answer to this question is: yes!

As educators, we prepare younger men and women for careers in the legal profession and other fields where legal training is or may be relevant to their vocation. Regardless of where our students find themselves later in life, they will have a significant influence on forming the social, political, and cultural institutions of the United States and beyond. Hence, it may prove worthwhile to commence each day with a series of related questions: Where is Christ in my life? How will I present Him to those whom I encounter? Will the Gospel inspire my work this day? Will the deposit of faith accessible through the Church’s teachings influence the questions I raise and the issues I address with those whom I deal? Will the Catholic intellectual tradition that has permeated the transmission of our faith be an essential element of what I do, what I say, how I conduct myself, and how I think?

It strikes me that Pope Benedict’s message to present and future pastors, in fact, has the potential to mold positively the discipleship of a much wider group of individuals including those who attempt each day to contribute to the development of Catholic legal theory.


RJA sj



Araujo, Robert | Permalink

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