Law, Secular

This is a list of online texts and ebooks concerned with human positive or secular law (or “ius civilis”) insofar as they relate to Catholic Christianity.

  1. The Acquisition of Sovereignty by Quasi-States: The Case of the Order of Malta, by Noel Cox. Available in PDF format at the International Law Students’ Association.
  2. Are We Doing Good? Catholic Social Teaching and the Ethics of Public Policy Outcomes in New Zealand, by Brenda Margaret Radford (2010). Doctoral Thesis, Massey University, Albany. 534 pages. Available in PDF format at Massey Research Online, Massey University. [N.B., The text states: “Copyright is owned by the Author of the thesis. Permission is given for a copy to be downloaded by an individual for the purpose of research and private study only. The thesis may not be reproduced elsewhere without the permission of the Author.”]
  3. “Bartolomé De Las Casas e Francisco De Vitoria: Filosofia Política e Moral no debate sobre o direito natural e o Direito das Gentes no Novo Mundo”, por Antonio Patativa de Sales. Construindo Direito, Vol. n.2 (Dezembro 2010). Disponível em Faculdade de Integração do Sertão.
  4. “Caring for the Sick: The Catholic Contribution and Its Relevance”, by Thomas J. Paprocki, Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, Vol. 25, Issue 2, p. 447 (2012). Available in PDF format at the University of Notre Dame.
  5. A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life’s Critical Decisions: Advance Directives, by Rev. Gerald D. Coleman (Los Altos Hills, California: Daughters of Charity Health System, 2007). Available in PDF format on this page (CLICK HERE) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Albany. [Although this 20-page pamphlet is written in a specifically US American context, the norms it enunciates are universally applicable, being founded on divine and natural law.]
  6. A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions: An Explanation of Church Teaching on Advance Directives, Euthanasia, and Physician Assisted Suicide (Pamphlet). Available in PDF format (on this page) of Holy Spirit Catholic church.
  7. “The Catholic Neo-Scholastic Contribution to Human Rights: The Natural Law Foundation”, by Robert John Araujo, S.J.  Ave Maria Law Review, Volume 1, No. 1 (2003): pp. 159-174. Available in PDF format at Loyola University.
  8. “Catholic Social Teaching and the Common Good: Challenges on Governance and the Good of Individuals in a Polity”, by Msgr. Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike. 16 page conference paper. Available in PDF format on this website of Msgr. Prof. Dr. Obiora Ike. [N.B.-Parts of the essay have a country-specific context, but it outlines universally applicable norms founded on the law of God, natural and revealed, as interpreted by His Church.]
  9. “Catholic Social Teaching on Restorative Justice”, by Most Rev. Ricardo Ramirez, C.S.B., Bishop of Las Cruces (University of Villanova Academic Symposium, September 18, 2009). Available in PDF format on this page of Priests for Life.
  10. The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response: A Pastoral Letter on War and Peace, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, May 3, 1983. Available in PDF format. Available in PDF format at the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops. [While the document deals with issues unique to its time—the Cold War and the threat of nuclear war—its recapitulation and analysis of the theory of just war remains timely and useful.]
  11. Charter for Health Care Workers, by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance (1995). May be read online at EWTN Library, and at Life Issues (as linked to by the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations). The summary of the document by Rev. Bonifacio Honings, OCD, “The Charter for Health Care Workers: A Synthesis of Hippocratic Ethics and Christian Morality”, is available at The Protection of Conscience Project. [N.B., According to CBCP News, a revised Charter will be issued in 2013.]
  12. CounterTrafficking Training Manual, developed through the collaboration of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Metropolitan Police Service and the International Organization for Migration (London: International Organization for Migration, 2014). Available in PDF format (on this page) of the International Organization for Migration United Kingdom.
  13. Crisis in a Global Economy: Re-Planning the Journey (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Acta 16: Proceedings of the 16th Plenary Session, 30 April-4 May 2010), edited by Jose T. Raga and Mary Ann Glendon (Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2011). 598 pages. Available in PDF format on this page of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [N.B., This corpus includes various scholarly addresses and articles, including “The Role of Macro-Prudential Oversight and Monetary Policy in Preventing Financial Instability” by Lucas Papademos, “The Impact of the Global Recession on Developing Countries” by Paulus Zulu, “The Governance of Globalization: Global Political Authority, Solidarity and Subsidiarity” by Vittorio Possenti, and “Financial Crises and the World’s Poor” by Partha S. Dasgupta.]
  14. Dark pages of English history: being a short account of the penal laws against Catholics from Henry the eighth to George the fourth, by Willington, J. R. (John Ralph) (London: Art and Book Co., 1902). Available at Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: University of California Libraries).
  15. Diplomatic Relations between the Holy See and The State of Israel: Policy Basis in the Pontifical Documents (1948-1997) [Doctoral Thesis] by Henry P. Bocala (Rome: Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, 2003). 285 pages. Available in PDF format on this page of Bibliotecanonica.
  16. “The Eichmann Trial: A Triumph of Natural Law”, by DonnaRose Echeverria, The Catholic Social Science Review, Vol. III, pp. 173-182 (1998). Available in PDF format (on this page) of The Catholic Social Science Review: Volume III archive.
  17. An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching, by George Augustine Thomas O’Brien (London, New York [etc.] Longmans, Green, and co., 1920). Available in various formats at Internet Archive, Open Library, and Project Gutenberg. Another edition (Kitchener, Ontario: Batoche Books, 2001) is available in PDF format at the University of Manitoba Undergraduate Economics Society.
  18. Europe‘s Social Agenda: Why is the European Union Regulating Morality? (white paper series number nine), by Maciej Golubiewski (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2008). 68 pages. Available in PDF format, with an Executive Summary in PDF format, at C-FAM, which states: “The EU has been active in funding programs aimed at changing prevailing religious and cultural attitudes with regards to human life and sexuality…  The article points to dangers of the nascent bureaucratically imposed human rights regime…”
  19. “The Freedom of the Church”, by Richard W. Garnett, Journal of Catholic Social Thought, Vol. 4 (2007). Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 06-12. Available in PDF format at the Social Science Research Network.
  20. “The Freedom of the Church and the Taming of Leviathan: The Christian Revolution, Dignitatis Humanae, and Western Liberty”, by Kenneth L. Grasso, The Catholic Social Science Review, Vol. 17 (2012): 221–240. Available in PDF format on this page of the The Catholic Social Science Review Online.
  21. From Law to Paradise: Confessional Catholicism and Legal Scholarship”, by Wim Decock. Rechtsgeschichte, 18 (2011), pp. 12-34. Available in PDF format at the Max Planck Society Publication Repository.
  22. “In Incognito: The Principle of Double Effect in American Constitutional Law”, by Edward C. Lyons, Florida Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 3 (July 2005), pp. 469-563. 95 pages. Available in PDF format on the Social Science Research Network.
  23. International Catholic Organizations & Catholic Inspired NGOs: Their Contribution to the Building of the International Community (The Caritas in Veritate Foundation, 2012). The Caritas In Veritate Foundation Working Papers: “The City of God in the Palace of Nations”. Available in PDF format on this page of the Caritas in Veritate Foundation.
  24. The text contains the following articles: “The Representation of the Catholic Church at the United Nations in Geneva” by H. E. Mgr. Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S.; “The Order of Malta and the United Nations in Geneva”, by H. E. Marie Thérèse Pictet Althann; “The Christian Presence at the United Nations in Geneva. Between Past And Future Perspectives,” by Dr. J. Joblin, S.J.; “Why is the Holy See Engaged in international Life?” by H. E. Mgr. Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S.; “The Diakonia of Truth and the Mission of Catholic Inspired NGOs”, by Prof. Mathias Nebel; “Faith-based NGOs: What Contribution at the United Nations in Geneva?” by H. E. Mgr Silvano M. Tomasi, C.S.”. It also includes “Some Texts of the Magisterium regarding ICOs and CINGOs” with a brief article on “Key Elements of the Texts”, by Prof. Mathias Nebel.
  25. International Pro-Abortion Litigation Strategy: An Anti-Democratic Plan to Force Legalized Abortion on the World’s Governments (White Paper Number Six), by Stephen M. Krason, J.D., Ph.D. (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2006). 26 pages. Available in PDF format at the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).
  26. “An Introduction to the Just War Tradition”, by John F. Coverdale, Pace International Law Review, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall, 2004): pp. 221-277. Available in PDF format (on this page) of Pace University Digital Commons. [N.B., This is a very comprehensive summary of ethical discourse on the initiation and the conduct of armed conflict.]
  27. “The Judge’s Conscience and the Protection of the Criminal Defendant: Moral Safeguards against Judicial Arbitrariness”, by Wim Decock (2013). From the Judge’s Arbitrium to the Legality Principle: Legislation as a Source of Law in Criminal Trials, edited by Georges Martyn, Anthony Musson, and Heikki Pihlajamäki (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2013) pp. 69-94. Available in PDF format at the Max Planck Society Publication Repository.
  28. [Lectures on the Indians, and on the Law of War, of Franciscus de Victoria] Francisci De Victoria De Indis et De Ivre Belli Relectiones, by Francisco de Vitoria, edited by Ernest Nys (reprinted 1964), of the multi-volume series The Classics of International Law, edited by James Brown Scott. Based on notes of lectures delivered 1532. May be read online at Constitution Society and at the webpage of Professor Ken Pennington. [NB: This is one of the leading early texts of international law and human rights theory, and has led some jurists to declare that Vitoria was the true founder of international law. Vitoria was among the first representatives of Spanish Scholasticism, which used Christian Faith and Thomist analysis to analyze emerging problems and thus laid the bases for modern jurisprudence, economics, political theory, and philosophy.]
  29. Letters on the Spanish Inquisition, by Joseph de Maître, with notes by John Fletcher (London: Keating; Dolman; Jones; 1838). May be read online and downloaded in various formats at Open Library and Internet Archive. A translation by T.J. O’Flaherty, S.E.C. entitled Letters on the Spanish Inquisition; a rare work, and the best which has ever appeared on the subject (Boston: Patrick Donahoe, 1843) may be read at Google Books. [N.B. This work is sometimes entitled Letters to a Russian Gentleman on the Spanish Inquisition, as in the 1851 translation by the Rev. Aeneaus Mcd. Dawson.]
  30. The Millennium Development Goals: In Light of Catholic Social Teaching (White Paper, Number Ten), by Terrence McKeegan, J.D. and D. Brian Scarnecchia, JD. (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2009). 108 pages. Available in PDF format at C-FAM, which states: “without genuine solidarity with the poor… wealthy countries are tempted to… promote the national interests of donor nations over the genuine needs and human aspirations of the people in developing countries.”
  31. The Natural Law: A Study in Legal and Social History and Philosophy, by Heinrich Rommen (1936), trans. Thomas R. Hanley, with Introduction and Bibliography by Russell Hittinger (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund 1998). Available in multiple formats at the Online Library of Liberty. “Rommen and Natural Law”, an introduction by Russell Hittinger, may be read on this page.
  32. “Our Debt to De Vitoria: A Catholic Foundation of Human Rights”, by Robert John Araujo, S.J., Ave Maria Law Review 10:2 (2012), pages 313-329. Available in PDF format on this page of the Ave Maria School of Law—Law Review.
  33. The Papal Sovereignty; Viewed in its Relations to the Catholic Religion, and to the Law of Europe, by Bishop Felix Antoine Philibart Dupanloup (London : Catholic Publishing & Bookselling company, 1860). Available at Open Library and Internet Archive.
  34. “The Physician’s Conscience, Conscience Clauses, and Religious Belief: A Catholic Perspective”, by Edmund D. Pellegrino, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp. 221-244 (2002). Available in PDF format (on this page) at the Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship & History.
  35. Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice, Issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 15, 2000. Available at the  the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  36. Rights By Stealth: The Role of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the Campaign for an International Right to Abortion (White Paper Number Eight), by Douglas A. Sylva, Ph.D. and Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2007, 2009). 72 pages. Permission to reprint granted by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Available in PDF format on this page of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).
  37. Securing a Better Future for Mothers in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Evaluating the ICPD Operational Review, by Stefano Gennarini, J.D. and Rebecca Oas, Ph.D. International Organizations Research Group Briefing Paper Number 11, March 28, 2014 (New York, Washington, DC: Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, 2014). Available in PDF format (through this page) at the Center for Family & Human Rights Institute.
  38. St. Thomas‘ Political Doctrine and Democracy, by Edward F. Murphy (Washington, D.C., Catholic University of America, 1921). Dissertation, 326 pages. Available in multiple formats at Internet Archive and Open Library, with a second copy at Internet Archive and Open Library. May also be read online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  39. Statement on Human Trafficking, by the Most Reverend Gerald R. Barnes, Bishop of San Bernardino, California and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration (September 12, 2007). Available in PDF format at Catholic Charities USA.
  40. Strengthening Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families with International Human Rights Treaties: A Do-it-yourself Kit (Geneva: International Catholic Migration Commission, 2006). Available in pdf format at the International Catholic Migration Commission.
  41. “Subsidiarity, Federalism and the Best Constitution: Thomas Aquinas on City, Province and Empire”, by Nicholas Aroney, Law and Philosophy, Vol. 26 (2007): pp. 161-228. University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 07-06. Available in PDF format (70 pages) on the Social Science Research Network.
  42. “Thomas Aquinas on Justice as a Global Virtue”, by Claus Dierksmeier. Available in PDF format through the Social Science Research Network [N.B. The text may be of interest in the application of Catholic Christian ethics in the Thomist tradition.]
  43.  “Towards a Jesuit Science of Law”, by Wim Decock. In The Jesuits of the Low Countries: Identity and Impact (1540-1773): Proceedings of the International Congress at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, Ku Leuven (3-5 December 2009), edited by Rob Faesen and Leo Kenis (Leuven: Peeters, 2012), pp. 17-42. Available in PDF format at the Max Planck Society Publication Repository.
  44. The United Nations Children’s Fund: Women or Children First? (White Paper Series Number Three), by Douglas A. Sylva, Ph.D. (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2003). 99 pages. Available in PDF format through this page of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (CFAM).
  45. United Nations Population Fund: Assault on the World’s Peoples (White Paper Number Two), by Douglas A. Sylva, Ph.D. (New York: International Organizations Research Group, 2002, 2005). 82 pages. Available in PDF format at C-FAM, which states: ‘UNFPA acts contrary to its self-declared “strict policy” not to provide support for abortions or abortion-related activities anywhere in the world…”
  46. Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Acta 17: Proceedings of the 17th Plenary Session, 29 April-3 May 2011), edited by Mary Ann Glendon and Hans E. Zacher (Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, 2012). 700 pages. Available in PDF format on this page of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. [N.B., This corpus includes various scholarly addresses and articles, including “How Christians and Other Native Minorities are Faring in the Unfolding Arab Turmoil of 2011” by Habib C. Malik, “What Is or Should Be the Role of Religiously Informed Moral Viewpoints in Public Discourse (Especially Where Hotly Contested Issues Are Concerned)?” by Vittorio Possenti, and “Fundamentalist and Other Obstacles to Religious Toleration” by Malise Ruthven.]
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