This book affords the opportunity to examine our system of justice, identifying in several critical areas, how Catholic principles and legal principles overlap and diverge. While it is not expected or required that the reader agree, in every instance, with either the law or the Catholic perspectives, the reader of this work will come away with an understanding of both. Critiques and responses are included throughout. Topics include family issues (marriage, same sex marriage, divorce, annulment), immigration, public assistance, and matters of life and death, including abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty.
The book is aimed at law students, lawyers, those in Catholic undergraduate and graduate schools, and others who are interested in examining Catholic views regarding our system of justice. The book includes excerpts from cases and statutes, law review articles, and commentaries. It contains important Church documents including excerpts from papal encyclicals, communications from the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, theologians, and others. Each chapter concludes with a "For Further Thought" section, asking the reader to consider, apply, and examine the principles discussed in that chapter. It asks law students and lawyers to reflect on whether these principles will or should affect their representation of clients or the way judges should approach cases brought before them. The book contains a bibliography at the end of each chapter for further reading and study.
"[This book] presents a very balanced analysis of the differences between Roman Catholic and secular views on particular legal issues. ...In each chapter, Piatt sets forth the Catholic church's position with regard to key controversies and how it differs from prevailing norms of American law. As well, he thoughtfully demonstrates how and where divisions exist with the Catholic church concerning the manner in which Catholics — particularly lawyers — should reconcile the teachings of the church with their secular roles. ...In conclusion, Catholic Legal Perspectives is a clear, intriguing presentation of the tensions inherent between any religion and a secular legal system." Mark Rush, Law and Politics Book Review (Vol. 23 No. 1)