Dr. Jane F. Adolphe, Senior Advisor
Dr. Adolphe is a civil lawyer called to practice law in the State of New York, USA and Province of Alberta, Canada; a canon lawyer; a Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law (AMSL), in Naples, Florida (2001 – present) and an international human rights lawyer, who from 2003 to 2020, worked for the Holy See (Pope), Secretariat of State, Section for Relations for States, first as an outside consultant for Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, then as an inside expert in Vatican City State, during the final years of Pope Benedict VI’s papacy, until his resignation. Dr. Adolphe resigned from her position with the Holy See in 2020.
While working for the Holy See, in her capacity as Professor of Law, Dr. Adolphe established the International Center on Law, Life, Faith and Family (ICOLF), a forum for Catholic jurists guided by the Holy See’s Charter on the Rights of the Family. Under the auspices of ICOLF, Dr. Adolphe has organized multiple international conferences on topics of relevance for the Holy See, some of which, have resulted in the publication of books that she has co-edited: Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis (Cluny: 2020); Equality and Non-discrimination: Catholic Roots, Current Challenges (Pickwick: 2019); The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, Prosecution (Angelico Press: 2018).
Another notable book co-edited by Dr. Adolphe is St. Paul, the Natural Law and Contemporary Legal Theory (Lexington: 2012). A dialogue between theologians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, in Detroit, Michigan, and law professors at AMSL, it was the outcome document of a speaking series organized by Dr. Adolphe and Dr. Robert Fastiggi during the “Year of St. Paul”, declared by Pope Benedict XVI. The book responds to a specific request for a conference on the natural law made by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, as Pope Benedict XVI to AMSL President and Dean, at the time, Bernard Dobranski.
Dr. Adolphe was awarded the top 20 persons (6th) of 2020 by Inside the Vatican Magazine for her courage and determination. She was described as a “tireless advocate for victims of abuse and persecution,” and was also profiled as a guest on The Series: Where are they now?” regarding her athletic career with the University of Calgary Dinos basketball team, her career as a law professor, and work with the Pope.
She began her legal career clerking with the Court of Appeal and Queens Bench in Calgary, Alberta, and the law firm Bennett Jones Verchere, then prosecuted criminal cases for the Alberta Crown Prosecutor’s Office, and later worked as a legal consultant to a law firm in Rome, and to non-governmental organizations lobbying at United Nations’ conferences, before participating as a member of various delegations of the Holy See at international meetings.
Dr. Adolphe's doctoral thesis in canon law is entitled: “A Light to the Nations: The Holy See and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.” She has published numerous articles on international human rights and the Holy See, and holds four law degrees: licentiate and doctorate in canon law (J.C.L/J.C.D) from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome, Italy; common law (LL.B), and civil law (B.C.L.) from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary.