The Catholic University of America






Professors Destro and Silecchia Contribute to New Book
on US Law from a Catholic Perspective


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Catholic University law school Professors Robert Destro and Lucia Silecchia have each contributed a chapter to a new book, "American Law from a Catholic Perspective: Through a Clearer Lens," edited by Professor Ronald J. Rychlak (Rowman and Littlefield, March 16, 2015).    

Destro authored a chapter titled “The Ethics of Lawyers & Judges Perspectives from Catholic Social Teaching," while Silecchia contributed "The Call to Stewardship: A Catholic Perspective on Environmental Responsibility."
The new volume is described as “one of the most comprehensive surveys of American legal topics by a gathering of major Catholic legal scholars. Contributors explore, among other subjects, bankruptcy, bioethics, corporate law, environmental law, ethics, family law, immigration, intellectual property, international human rights, labor law, legal education, legal history, military law, the philosophy of law, property, torts, and several different aspects of constitutional law, including religious freedom, privacy rights, and free speech.”
Early reviews of the book have been positive:
Catholic Look at American Law: Through a Clearer Lens is just what its title promises and so much more: a brilliant collection of essays by some of the country’s best legal thinkers. This work reveals how practically every area of the law can be illuminated and enriched through a deep grounding in the Catholic faith. It’s a treasure house of insights and an inspiring demonstration of what it can mean for a jurist to respond wholeheartedly to the call of Vatican II for the laity to bring the social teachings of the Church to life in the professional, social, cultural, and political spheres. "
— Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
"Precisely because I am not a lawyer, I really liked this book. For an outsider, it provides a crisp guide to the history of American Catholics under American law – a fairly friendly and yet often antagonistic encounter. I hadn’t known that there are 29 Catholic law schools in the United States today, not even that the first of them opened at Notre Dame in 1869. I hadn’t been walked through some main currents of American law, from the long-contested meaning of “law” among philosophers of law to the current relation of law to bioethics. Catholic legal thinkers have awakened only slowly to the task of bringing new horizons into the national dialogue on law, and are only at the beginnings of doing so…. This book provides an invaluable overview, to which I shall want to return for references."
— Michael Novak, Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, 1994 Templeton laureate