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The well-known island lawyer Paul Beckett feels “enormously honored” to have received the seal of approval from the Roman Catholic Church for his new book.
He said the reference work “Labor Rights and the Catholic Church” was the first published study of its kind in decades.
And it has now been granted an imprimatur by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon.
An imprimatur recognizes the Church’s consent to the publication of a book.
Mr. Beckett, senior counsel at Mann Benham island law firm and an attorney for 40 years, told the Manx Independent that he worked hundreds of hours on the project between April and October.
He said that for an author like himself, who is a practitioner / academic with no formal training in theology, it is highly unusual to receive an imprimatur from the church.
The book was also taken up by the newly formed Council on Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, which was established last December.
It is Mr. Beckett’s third book in recent years – his previous works have been “Property, Financial Accountability and the Law” and “Tax Haven and International Rights”.
Mr. Beckett, who is himself a Roman Catholic, said, “When you get an imprimatur, the archbishop sends someone to someone high up in the Catholic Church known as a censor and he raves about it. I was completely surprised.
“Someone was obviously behind my back when I wrote this book.”
He humbly suggested, “But I think the focus is not on me as a writer, but on the book. The church did not officially approve me, it is the book that the church approved.
“However, I am extremely honored that this work has been recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.”
He added that he put everything into research to spend “hundreds of hours” rummaging through ancient manuscripts.
His ability to speak French and German came to the fore after it was found that most of the research material was in those languages.
The book will be published by Routledge on April 13th and is already listed by booksellers around the world.
Mr. Beckett said, “The book was difficult to research and write, and it was fallow for most of a century. My wish for its readers is that it provokes and comforts at the same time. ‘
He added that labor rights and the Catholic Church should appeal to lay people both professionally and academically, be they researchers and academics involved in international human rights, theology, comparative philosophy, history, or social and political studies.
Mr. Beckett and his wife Dr. Lesley Stone have lived on the island since 1987.
They have two grown sons.