Catholic Social Teaching and its Impact on American Law: Observations on the Past and Reflections on the Future

Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Vol. 1, pp. 277-312, 2004

CUA Columbus School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-16

37 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2010  

Lucia Ann Silecchia

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

In recent years, greater attention has been paid to the influence of Catholic social teaching as a contributor to legal debates in American society. As it has developed, Catholic social teaching clearly envisions a role for the Church to play in shaping society. The interplay between Catholic social teaching and American law is a fascinating, complex, and, at times, tense relationship. That relationship is the subject of these observations and reflections. The first part of this discussion explores how leading Church documents define the proper scope of influence for Catholic social teaching. After this brief background, the discussion will turn to reflection on the impact that Catholic social teaching has had on American law and politics. It will then explore in more depth three obstacles that have been barriers to a greater role for Catholic social thought in American legal and political discourse.

Suggested Citation

Silecchia, Lucia Ann, Catholic Social Teaching and its Impact on American Law: Observations on the Past and Reflections on the Future (2004). Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Vol. 1, pp. 277-312, 2004; CUA Columbus School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1559090

Lucia Ann Silecchia (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States
(202) 319-5560 (Phone)
(202) 319-4459 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.cua.edu/fac_staff/SilecchiaL/

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