The Principled Resignation of Thomas More
McGlynn Gaffney Jr., Edward
Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, Vol.31 (1997)
Europeans are accustomed more to a resignation from high office over a matter of principle than we are. To be sure, there are political scandals in Europe1 from time-to-time that serve as a functional equivalent to our Teapot Dome or Watergate However, cabinet ministers in Europe more typically leave the government be- cause they can no longer support the position of the government in a dispute over a burning issue of the day, and not because they are hounded from office for their misdeeds…
My task is something of a difficult one. It is to try to evoke the voice of Thomas More. The task is not so easy because for most of us, the play5 and the film,6 A Manfor All Seasons, form the sole basis of our understanding and appreciation of More’s life and times. I will try to let him come through to you in his own words, not in the language of the playwright Robert Bolt.