In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

252 the jurist casi, mancando la facoltà dovuta, l’amministrazione del sacramento è nulla. E più ancora, in tali casi si richiede per la validità la sacra ordinazione .” (p. 397) As for the role of the laity in exercising the power of governance, the authors conclude that superiors in institutes other than clerical and pontifical do not exercise the power of governance: “. . . non ci pare si possa sostenere che l’insegnamento della Chiesa equipari la potestà di cui sono dotati i Superiori religiosi all potestà ecclesiastica di regime” (p. 418). Yet, from the perspective of canon 135 §1, and given the authority vested in superiors by the code and by proper law, how can that authority be understood other than as an exercise of the power of governance? Nonetheless , the authors significantly contribute to the debate on the power of governance. Clearly, from the above comments, this text provides a helpful commentary on the norms of Book I and would consequently offer valuable assistance to canonists. But in addition and as importantly, the text invited me to consider and reflect on a number of canonical issues that extend much further than Book I; and in this sense it is more than a simple commentary on the canons. For both of these reasons, I consider that this text should prove a useful resource to all canonists. Robert J. Kaslyn, S.J. Dean School of Canon Law The Catholic University of America RECOVERING SELF-EVIDENT TRUTHS edited by MichaelA. Scaperlanda & Teresa Stanton Collett. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007. Self-evident truths are not self-evident to everyone. The appeal to selfevident truths is an appeal to natural law. Any appeal to natural law in American civil discourse calls attention to the fact that the ideas underlying theAmerican Revolution were firmly grounded in principles of the natural law (an Enlightenment understanding of natural law, rather than that of the Roman Catholic tradition). The underlying premise of the contributors to Recovering Self-Evident Truths appears to be that, recovering the self-evident truths given such a prominent place in the Declara- tion of Independence, will necessarily lead to discovering their presence in the Enlightenment natural law theory and ultimately lead to recovering their roots in the Roman Catholic tradition with beneficial consequences for all. How does one get from the Enlightenment’s adulation of reason to the Catholic Church’s so called “authoritarian” tradition of natural law? The Catholic natural law tradition knows no authoritarianism, and natural law is, in fact, reason. What to do with this skeleton in the closet of legal positivism and modern jurisprudence with authors intent on outing blatant , shameless appeals to natural law by retrograde cretins like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington when constructing the experiment in human dignity and freedom, justice and equal protection under the law and concern for the general welfare known as The United States of America? Recovering Self-Evident Truths is a good read and well worth the effort for its own sake. But it also provides grist for the classroom mill in a whole variety of areas of academic endeavor: philosophy, law, social studies, anthropology, theology, and canon law. This reviewer has used selections from the text in canon law courses to good effect. With a forward by Francis Cardinal George and an introduction by Scaperlanda and Collett, Part 1, “The Nature of the Human Person” contains essays on theological anthropology by LorenzoAlbacete and philosophical anthropology by Benedict Ashley. Part II, “The Person in Community ” has essays on “Truth as the Ground of Freedom” by the late Avery Cardinal Dulles, “Solidarity, Subsidiarity and the Consumer Impetus ” by RobertVischer, and the “Constitution and the Common Good” by Robert Araujo. Part III includes “Why We Should (and Should Not) be Liberals” by ChristopherWolf, and “Reason, Freedom and the Rule of Law” by Robert George. Part IV offers eight essays on Catholic perspectives in various areas of substantive law, and an “Afterword” by the Catholic journalist Russell Shaw. Whether for personal pleasure, serious philosophical reflection, or selective use in the classroom, Recovering Self-Evident Truths is an exceptionally good text. Phillip J. Brown St. Mary’s Spiritual Center...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 252-253
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.