Keep your eye on this -- Prof. Bainbridge, one of our blogosphere second cousins, so to speak, relays:
Unborn life and the natural law: these are the themes of two new documents being prepared by the Vatican congregation for the doctrine of the faith. ... the second new document, the one on natural law, will be the very first of its kind. On a number of occasions Benedict XVI has indicated as the foundation of shared existence among all men the moral principles inscribed upon the heart of every man, and “spoken in an unmistakable way by the quiet but clear voice of conscience.” But even as prefect of the congregation of the doctrine of the faith, he never dedicated a specific document to this.
[Cardinal] Amato explains: " ... The natural law is very important, in part because it alone provides the foundation for productive interreligious dialogue.”
And why is interreligious dialogue important? For one reason: international relations. Natural law is the only means short of punishing force to settle the disputes coming into play between great powers and rising/revisionist ones. The best thing about international natural law is it can go unenforced while still being effectively binding under observant circumstances. This of course is true about other kinds of law, too, only you have a big stack of positive law on the books, and a court, probably, where ingrates can make their demands. Natural law applied to international relations can return us to a realm of deliberate ignorance of one another, in the good way captured by Rieff's discussion -- and Weber's, for that matter -- of sacred distances between people. Even Socrates said the biggest crime was meddling.
What natural law can't do, however, is face up to Londonistan. Cosmopolitanism, o western-liberal friends and neighbors, may slip the grip of agency -- and turn against you. That natural law has nothing whatever to do with inter-anything understanding. It's oft been said before, but, still -- beware.