Tag Archives: obituary

Fr. James Sadowsky, Catholic libertarian, 1923 – 2012

“When we say that one has the right to do certain things we mean this and only this, that it would be immoral for another, alone or in combination, to stop him from doing this by the use of physical force or the threat thereof. We do not mean that any use a man makes of his property within the limits set forth is necessarily a moral use.”

–James A. Sadowsky, S.J., “Private Property and Collective Ownership

There are many Catholic libertarians, living and deceased, whose contributions to the cause of liberty are valuable and unforgettable. I have posted articles on a few, Frédéric Bastiat, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Judge Andrew Napolitano, as well as some saints whose teachings are foundational to Catholic libertarianism, St Thomas Aquinas  and St. Augustine.

One Catholic libertarian I have taken too long to acknowledge is Father James Sadowsky, S.J., who died this last Friday. He taught philosophy at Fordham University for more than 30 years. While I did not know Fr. Sadowsky except through his writings, I am indebted to him for his exposition of libertarian philosophy, especially in his harmonizing liberty with the Church’s teaching on abortion. He argued that issue against the great Murray Rothbard, with whom he shared a friendship going back to 1963. That 1978 article, Abortion and the Rights of the Child, is still good reading today.

Here are some posts on the passing of Fr. Sadowsky. I suspect there will be more remembrances later:

Also by and about Father Sadowsky:

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God of mercy, look kindly on Your servant, Father Sadowsky,
who has set down the burden of his years.
As he served You faithfully throughout his life,
may You give him the fullness of Your peace and joy. Amen.