• Helen Alvaré
  • Ryan T. Anderson
  • Ursula Cristina Basset
  • Paola Bernardini
  • Emanuele Bilotti
  • Mark Bonner
  • Teresa Collette
  • Robert Fastiggi
  • Carmen Domínguez Hidalgo
  • Maria Hildingsson
  • John Klink
  • Gudrun Kugler
  • Marguerite Peters
  • Grégor Puppnick
  • Elizabeth Schiltz
  • Marie Smith
  • Aleksander Stępkowski
  • Vincenzo Vitale

Welcome to ICOLF

If Marriage is Natural, Why is Defending It So Hard? Taking up the Challenge to Marriage in the Pews and the Public Square

INTRODUCTION Alfonso Cardinal Lopez Trujillo presents a rich and deep vision of marriage as “a natural institution which precedes the sacrament.” (1) The essence of marriage, so understood, is unity and indissolubility. Marriage does not ratify or celebrate a preexisting relationship. It transforms the relation between man and woman because it comes into existence only from the moment a man and woman decide, via a free act of the will, to give themselves to each other in this unique way. (2) Unity implies a community in the whole of life, including the gift and acceptance of the whole sexual self, and therefore an openness to giving and accepting from one another the gift of motherhood and fatherhood. (3) A woman who gives herself to a man at the altar as a wife, but secretly reserves the right to have sex or children with another man, is not really giving herself at all. A ceremony in which a man promises to stay with a woman until someone better comes along is not really making a marriage promise at all, whatever his legal certificate says. The task is to explain the obstacles to achieving this vision of marriage and also the ways to overcome such obstacles. Practically speaking, the strongest resistance to this vision of marriage as a natural institution clusters around three areas: contraception, divorce, and gender. (4) What is the deep source of these obstacles to marriage? There are many possible answers, many of which Cardinal Trujillo touches upon: legal positivism, individualism, false anthropologies, self-created spiritualities, and the accompanying decline in religious and/or moral authority. (5) Most intriguing is that Cardinal Trujillo identifies ideology itself as the enemy of the family: [T]he various historical attempts to eliminate the family as a   natural institution have perhaps contributed to the decline,   apparent now more than ever before, of the proper understanding   of the “natural character” of the family. Such attempts have   been produced particularly in countries following a Marxist   ideology, in a world pursued […]

The Holy See and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Working Toward

The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the Holy See’s perspective on the UDHR with the aspiration of promoting further study and development of an authentic perspective of international human rights and the family. While looking at human rights through an anthropological lens, the article will explore how the UDHR remains […]

The Pope’s Peace and Security Council Resolution 1325

INTRODUCTION Pope John Paul II, the late head of the Holy See, which is the governing organ of Vatican City and the Roman Catholic Church, (1) commenced an important conversation with women on January 1, 1995. On that day, he delivered the annual World Day of Peace message, inviting women “to become teachers of peace […]

What the Pope Has to Say About Women and HIV

This opinion piece is in response to Nancy Goldstein’s discussion of the debate occurring at the United Nations over the drafting of the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS (See “Why Won’t the Pope Let Women Protect Themselves From HIV?” June 8, Guardian). She criticizes Benedict XVI (otherwise known as the Holy See in international […]

The Holy See in Dialogue with the Committee on the Rights of the Child

This article views the Holy See’s relationship to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in light of the Holy See’s moral and spiritual mission to the world.  The interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as it pertains to the teachings and activities of the Holy See is discussed […]

What the Holy See Has to Say About Violence Against Women and Girls

What the Holy See Has to Say About Violence Against Women and Girls Commission on the Status of Women, 57th Session MARCH 27, 2013 ( Jane Adolphe, Esq. The Commission on the Status of Women, established by the United Nations in 1946, finished its annual meetings (4-14 March 2013) in New York. State representatives were […]

John Paul II and the Law-Some Preliminary Reflections

     At the deepest levels of his self-understanding and sense of vocation, the late Pope John Paul II was a Christian disciple and a pastor of Christ’s Church. Precisely as such–as a disciple, a priest, and a bishop–John Paul II exerted what many believe to be the greatest influence on world affairs of any pope […]

Pope John Paul II, Vatican II, and Capital Punishment

I am very pleased to be participating in this conference on the legacy of Pope John Paul II. Although I am speaking on John Paul II’s profound impact on the Church’s teaching on the morality of capital punishment, I would like to begin with a few comments about John Patti II’s larger legacy and, in […]

Pope John Paul II and Immigration Law and Policy

INTRODUCTION The immigration debate in the United States and in other developed countries has proved vitriolic and divisive, one view espousing limited immigration based on a stringent selection process reflecting the interests of the inhabitants and the other advocating a more open border in which the needs and desires of intending immigrants are considered. The […]

Pope John Paul II, Freedom and Constitutional Law

  This article examines Supreme Court jurisprudence as it pertains to substantive due process. The Supreme Court has absorbed certain elements of the larger U.S. culture, especially with regard to the accepted understanding of liberty. It argues that Pope John Paul the Great offered a more compelling understanding of freedom essential to lasting peace and order, […]