Terrence J. Murphy Institute

for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy

Exploring the intersection of Catholic Thought and Law.

The Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law and Public Policy is a collaboration between the Center for Catholic Studies and the School of Law at the University of St. Thomas. The institute explores the various interactions between law and Catholic thought on topics ranging from workers' rights to criminal law to marriage and family.

The institute draws from the resources of both programs, other academic disciplines and other faith traditions. The institute's examination of law also is driven by a "vision of the human person and the world that is enlightened by the Gospel" (Pope John Paul II, Ex Corde Ecclesiae).

To help provide connections between law and Catholic thought, the institute develops curricular resources, facilitates scholarship and scholarly discussions, and engages and serves the church and community through public events and public policy analysis.

The institute's activities focus on four areas:

  • Facilitating scholarship and scholarly discussions concerning law and the Catholic intellectual tradition;
  • Engaging and serving the community through public events;
  • Developing curricular resources for relating law and the Catholic tradition in the classroom;
  • Providing nonpartisan public policy analysis rooted in the Catholic tradition. 

Statue of St. Thomas More

In the 16th century, St. Thomas More gave up his political position as the second most powerful person in the English realm rather than concede to Henry VIIIs demand for an oath to supremacy of the crown. In 2000, Pope John Paul II declared More the, "heavenly patron of statesmen and politicans." 

Designed by Leo Irrera and carved from Carrara marble, the life size statue of St. Thomas More was commissioned by the University of St. Thomas School of Law and sits outside the Frey Moot Courtroom.