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68 Jurist 252 (2008)
Marriage: Its Relationship to Religion, Law, and the State

handle is hein.journals/juristcu68 and id is 257 raw text is: THE JURIST 68 (2008) 252-297

Father John Lynch-whom I have known fondly as Fr. Lynch for a
quarter-century now-was among the earliest influences on my own un-
derstanding of what an historian should be about when engaging the
records of the past. Certainly, Fr. Lynch taught some valuable lessons
about medieval canon law, as anyone who took his Gratian seminar or his
course on the sources of canon law, can attest. But he brought to the
classroom a pair of attributes that made the lessons he imparted singu-
larly compelling. By training a philosopher, he appreciated that, in com-
mon with other legal systems, canon law was not a self-contained system
of rules that should be studied in isolation from other intellectual cur-
rents. Second, he understood the pervasive influence canon law has had
on western law generally, secular as well as sacred.
A review of his scholarship, of course, reveals these attributes in abun-
dance. His studies on celibacy, the election of bishops, and the early his-
tory of the Eastern churches are well known and need no comment.2 And
his history of canonical studies at Catholic University of America is sim-
ilarly indispensable.3 I would like, however, to comment on two of his
lesser known, but still very significant articles. In The Medieval Canon
Law on Sanctuary With Particular Reference to England, Fr. Lynch con-
sidered a breath-taking panorama of sources in the course of studying the
* School of Law, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul, MN
1 An earlier version of this paper was presented at a Becket Fund Conference in 2005.
It will appear in a publication under the auspices of that institution and is here used with
I This article is dedicated to Fr. John Lynch of the Catholic University of America in
honor of his many years as a teacher, writer, administrator, and pastor of souls and schol-
ars at the Catholic University of America.
2 See John E. Lynch, Marriage and Celibacy of the Clergy in the Discipline of the
Western Church: An Historico-Canonical Synopsis, The Jurist 32 (1972) 14-38,
189-212; idem, Co-Responsibility in the First Five Centuries: Presbyteral Colleges and
the Election of Bishops, The Jurist 31 (1971); and idem, The Eastern Churches: Histor-
ical Background, The Jurist 51 (1991) 1-17.
3 John E. Lynch, Laying Down the (Canon) Law at Catholic University, The Jurist
50 (1990) 2-57.

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