Sex and the Catholic Church: What does law have to do with it?

“This series of essays aims to open up, with respect to the sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, the ridiculously large question, ‘What does law have to do with it?’ How can exposure of the injuries inflicted by the church, and the conditions that enabled and protected those injuries, lead to a reimagining of the rule of law closer to the ground—away, that is, from statist and corporatist understandings toward a fantasy of law, civil and religious, that serves the people?

In this context, such a project might begin with a theological anthropology that asks how a particular individual fields the multiple normative orders to which she is subject, particularly in the context of a church apparently newly awakened to the reality of sin. How should we understand the interplay of and felt hierarchy among civil law, religious and moral norms, local custom, and other forms of institutional regulation? What does law have to do with remediating injury?”

Begin by continuing to read the introduction to the forum, written by co-curator (with managing editor Mona Oraby) Winnifred Fallers Sullivan.

Close