November 15, 2013 STEUBENVILLE, OH—Seeking to increase faithful Catholic scholarly reflection on the most pressing ethical issues of our day, Franciscan University of Steubenville today announced the formation of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life.Through research, writing, public appearances, engagement with the media, and scholarly conferences, the Veritas Center combats what Pope Benedict XVI described as “the dictatorship of relativism.”“As its name implies, the Veritas Center underscores the belief that truth must always be the foundation for human affairs,” said Dr. Anne Hendershott, Franciscan University sociology professor and the center’s director. “The Veritas Center brings a Catholic worldview to crucial ethical questions in the areas of business, law, politics, social services, education, and the arts.”Franciscan University President Father Sean Sheridan, TOR, said, “The Veritas Center is inspired by Blessed Pope John Paul II’s exhortation in the encyclicals Veritatis Splendor and Centesimus Annus that human freedom must be closely connected to the truth. As we know so well from recent seismic shifts in the secular culture, there is a pressing need for the teachings of the Church’s magisterium to be heard in the public square. We are excited that the Veritas Center offers another way to share what is taught at Franciscan University with a wider audience.”From April 4-5, 2014, the Veritas Center will host its inaugural conference, “Truth, Conscience, and the Assault on Religious Freedom,” which is co-sponsored with the Society of Catholic Social Scientists. This major conference will feature Robert George of Princeton University, Gerard V. Bradley of Notre Dame Law School, Robert Destro of The Catholic University of America School of Law, and other leading Catholic experts on religious liberty.The Veritas Center is made up of of Franciscan University faculty across a wide spectrum of disciplines. The center’s associate director is Dr. Stephen Krason, Franciscan University professor of political science and founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.The Veritas Center has created a Faculty Associates Program to enable current Franciscan faculty from the social sciences, the humanities, business, and other areas to become involved in a collaborative way with the center’s work.Toward that end, Dr. Regis Martin, theology professor, wrote for CrisisMagazine.com on “the forgetfulness of God;" Dr. Eugene Gan, communication arts professor, wrote on Catholic social media at Aleteia.org; Dr. Benjamin Wiker, theology, penned “Figuring Out Pope Francis” for ToTheSource.org; and Dr. Hendershott has had several essays published by the Huffington Post.The center will also launch a Visiting Fellows Program to permit leading Catholic scholars to spend time in residence at Franciscan University, where they can work on scholarly projects in keeping with the center’s goal of the pursuit of truth. Visiting scholars will also participate in the center’s activities and contribute to student learning by interacting with students through informal gatherings and public presentations.Further information about the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life and its inaugural conference can be obtained at www.franciscan.edu/veritas or by contacting the center firstname.lastname@example.org.