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Fordham Law School’s Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer’s Work hosted Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan, PhD, for an inaugural address in the Law and the Gospel of Life series. 

Sadly, it didn’t make the news, well not much was said around the area about it. Fordham University published this brief press release read here. The crowd exceed initial expectations and a change of venue was made. Cardinal-designate Dolan centered his comments on Blessed John Paul II landmark encyclical, the Evangelium Vitae (1995). An excerpt of Dolan’s remarks follows, below is the link to his entire text:

The Gospel of Life proposes an alternative vision of law and culture, one that provides an antidote to the pragmatic nihilism that produces a Culture of Death. It seeks to recapture the essential relationship between the civil law and the moral law, and to foster a culture in which all human life is valued and authentic human development is possible.

The fundamental premise is that the human person must be at the center of all legal systems and culture, and that human life is inviolable, an end in itself, not a means to an end. There is an old Latin saying, “Law is established for the benefit of mankind.”

This insight is at the heart of Pope John Paul’s call for “a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life.” It is also necessary to reestablish the relationship between the civil law and the moral law.

Despite the view that we should leave our religious arguments aside when we enter into these kinds of discussions, the Gospel of Life calls us specifically to offer a clear, faith- based view of humanity as a basis for human law. As Christians, we propose that truth can only be known and freedom truly exercised by recognizing that they are a gift from God. By bringing God back into the discussion, the

Gospel of Life offers a way to establish human law and human rights on a firm foundation. It offers a way to exercise true freedom, not based on a utilitarian calculus of self-interest, but on the innate dignity of every human person from the moment of conception as a gift from God.

But it is an important proposition of the Gospel of Life that the dignity of the human person and respect for inviolable human rights are not just based on divine revelation, but on “an objective moral law which, as the ‘natural law’ written in the human heart, is the obligatory point of reference for civil law itself.”

The full text of Archbishop Dolan is here:  Dolan Law and the Gospel of Life 2012.pdf