The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts

Lucia Silecchia

Lucia Silecchia, J.D.

Professor of Law; Director International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome

Phone: 202-319-5560

> Web Page


• Papal Teaching on the Environment and Sustainability
• Catholic Social Thought
• Legal Issues Pertaining to the Elderly and Disabled
• Women’s Issues and Catholic Thought
• Catholic Higher Education
• Environmental Law and Policy
• Real Property

School: Columbus School of Law

Media Appearances

  • January 26, 2017


    On abortion, the Supreme Court can no longer remain on the periphery.

  • January 22, 2017


    The legal legacy of Roe v. Wade.

  • November 2, 2016

    Catholic News Agency

    “Since the time of the Hippocratic oath – which long predated Christianity – the medical community saw the profound incompatibility of efforts to end life being facilitated by a healing profession,” said Dr. Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at The Catholic University of America and a Washington, D.C. resident.

  • October 6, 2016

    Washington Times

    An op-ed on "DC's dangerous "Death with Dignity Act"

  • September 1, 2016


    Lucia Silecchia, J.D., law, is featured in a segment aired on EWTN discussing care for creation and the environment.

  • July 28, 2016

    U.S. Catholic

    Concerns of the family have been front and center recently, both within the church and society at large. Last year’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family generated much discussion, with a consistent emphasis on marriage and parenthood as the foundation for family life.

  • June 29, 2016


    Catholics and pro-life activists expressed disappointment but little surprise over Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of a Texas law placing restrictions on the conditions in which doctors could perform abortions.

  • June 27, 2016

    Catholic News Agency

    There was “no language” about “the government’s interest in ‘preserving and promoting fetal life’” in the decision, said Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at The Catholic University of America. This was expressed in a previous case – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – but the Court didn’t invoke it in Monday’s ruling, she said.

  • November 6, 2015

    WAMU Metro Connection

    Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at Catholic University believes that leaves the door open for coercion. "[One] witness could be somebody who stands to benefit financially from the death of the person, either through their will, through their life insurance," said Silecchia. "[And because] there's no requirement anybody be present while [the drug] is administered... that person could have the vial of medicine in their home and be coerced by a family member into taking it or could be given it without knowing what it is."

  • October 27, 2015


    Lucia Silecchia, professor, law, was interviewed on EWTN News Nightly (minute 4:04) on a conference on Laudato Si sponsored by CUA and the USCCB.

  • September 26, 2015

    Silecchia was interviewed (with a Spanish voiceover) by a Venezuelan TV station about how Pope Francis is promoting environmental protection.

  • September 22, 2015

    U.S. News and World Report

    Silecchia was quoted in a U.S. News and World Report article about Pope Francis's call for environmental protection.

  • July 13, 2015

    Catholic News Agency

    On assisted suicide bill: Also, only one of the two witnesses required for the written request of lethal medication is required to be a “disinterested” witness, said Dr. Lucia Silecchia, a law professor at The Catholic University of America testifying in a strictly personal capacity as a D.C. resident. In contrast, she said, “traditionally, wills have required multiple disinterested witnesses.”

  • June 23, 2015

    Catholic News Agency

    On Laudato Si: “A dominant theme in the encyclical is that of interconnectedness – of economic life, political life, social life, moral life, spiritual life, physical environment, and natural environment.”

  • March 8, 2015


    On Pope's expected encyclical on climate change: The Internet is brimming with political, theological and academic analyses of what the pope might say, in large part because of hints he gives about the encyclical's contents. “No one knows right now what the encyclical will say; yet there has already been much commentary on it,” Silecchia said.

  • August 1, 2014

    US Catholic Magazine

    Silecchia was quoted in an article on estate planning.

  • July 9, 2014

    EWTN News Nightly

    Silecchia discusses the topics of Vatican Bank reforms and Catholic media. See minute 15:30.

  • May 9, 2014

    EWTN News Nightly

    Silecchia was interviewed on EWTN News Nightly to discuss Pope Francis' meeting with the UN.

  • April 22, 2014

    EWTN News Nightly

    Silecchia appeard on EWTN News Nightly to discuss environmental ethics.

  • January 9, 2014

    Wall Street Journal

    Law Professor Lucia Silecchia published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Religious Freedom


Research focus and experience

Silecchia has an extensive list of publications in the areas of in the areas of environmental law and ethics, Catholic social thought, legal education, law and literature, and legal writing. Please visit her faculty page (link above)

Attended a 2007 Vatican conference on the environment

She also directs Catholic University’s new International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome (

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