• The Veritas Center for
    Ethics in Public Life


  • Gan: Artificial Intelligence Taking Over Humanity? Why Catholics Have Nothing to Fear

    Hawking – and others – are making some fundamentally erroneous assumptions about the human condition. For starters, the word “intelligence” as they use it, is very narrowly defined. It doesn’t consider the gift of grace that enlightens the intellect, or the reality of our soul as “the subject of human consciousness and freedom”

    Martin: An Advent Meditation on Hope

    There can be no threat to the edifice of hope save our refusal to be enfolded by it.   Not even the devil, for all that his fury and hatred exist to undo the work of God, not even he may breach the fortress of our hope without our consent. Hope expects nothing less than God himself, and so we turn in resolute and childlike trust to the One who offers the hand that draws us safely home to him.

    Hendershott: Will Progressive Catholics Finally Admit the Truth about Obamacare?

    What is discouraging though is that Gruber is the only one who has actually publicly admitted to the “lack of transparency” leading up to the passage of the health care law. Perhaps it is time now for the Catholic leaders who promoted the president’s health care initiative—replete with public funding for abortion—to tell the truth also.

    Martin: On Not Taking It Anymore

    What happens when people allow themselves to be seduced by the spirit of the age? It is simple. They lose their souls. They become like those wretched “trimmers,” whom Dante consigns to the Vestibule of Hell because, having set their sails to every prevailing wind in this life, they no longer possess “the good of the intellect” upon entering the next.

    Martin: On Pilgrimage to Lourdes

    And so, summoning her courage, young Bernadette puts the question to the mysterious woman dressed in white, with the deep blue eyes and the ever-radiant smile. Who exactly are you? And at once the answer is given that will absolutely establish the authenticity of all that Bernadette claims to have seen. “Que soy era Immaculado Conceptiou.”

    Kuebler: Academic Freedom, Religious Institutions, and the State

    At religious institutes of higher learning, this pursuit of the truth represents a dynamic balance between faith and reason. In this context, faith illuminates rather than obscures reason. An active faith compels one to embark on a rational search for truth and knowledge. This is made evident by the long tradition of Christian intellectuals from Thomas Aquinas, who laid out a rational case for the faith in his Summa Theologiae, to Georges Lemaitre, a Jesuit priest, who was the first to propose the Big Bang theory.

    Martin: Reclaiming the Spirit … Wholly and Unsurpassed

    The Holy Spirit is fire and while Christ came to cast it upon the earth (“…and would that it were already kindled!” he exclaims), no one will be set on fire without giving assent. But refusal comes at a cost. “Faith is a tongue of fire that burns us and melts us,” Pope Benedict has said, “so that ever more it is true: I am no longer I…. When we yield to the burning fire of the Holy Spirit, being Christian becomes comfortable only at first glance…. Only when we do not fear the tongue of fire and storm it brings with it does the Church become the icon of the Holy Spirit. And only then does she open the world to the light of God.”

    Krason: Governors Who Properly Use or Misuse Executive Power

    The least we should expect of strong executives is that they properly control their own branch of government. Prosecutors are part of the executive bureaucracy, which has now become almost a government unto itself and an engine to bring about undesirable cultural change and thwart the rule of law.

    Gan: What's the Problem with Texting?

    Our language is a living language. It’s constantly in flux. As new things are made, as new technologies are created, we will verbalize them, truncate them, empower them, twist them, lend emphasis to them, decontextualize them, culturalize them, and even infuse them with new meanings and connotations. For the English teachers reading this, yes, I made up a word in that last sentence, but that’s precisely my point.

    Gan: Shock Value: A New Sci-Fi Fantasy With Catholic Roots

    Recently, I got to do something very thrilling. I got the chance to reconnect with two former students who are not only using their skills and talents in big ways, but are also living out their faith joyfully in the real world of media...

    Miller: On the Trinity and the Family

    This month’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops has as its theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” “Evangelization” refers to the spreading of the Gospel, which includes, but also goes beyond, the presentation of those truths about God and man that can be known from our natural power of reason alone.

    Lee: Marriage Redefinition and a Lifelong Commitment

    The commitment to be faithful to one’s spouse—for better, for worse, in sickness and in health—is not a pledge to keep the same feelings. It is a pledge to do certain things, to voluntary conduct.

    Zoric: A Simple Plan to Help the Middle Class

    The plan would increase the national savings rate and raise the living standards of all Americans whether they are single, a member of a family or in the middle, lower or upper class.  More Americans would be able to become self-sufficient.

    Martin: Remembering the Great War

    Let it not be said that the Church stood silent, keeping her own counsel in the face of so blatant and far-reaching a resurgence of barbarism. The spectacle of seeing so many of her own children killing one another to no purpose, roused the fierce instincts of a Mother in whom, the sainted Augustine would exclaim, an entire world stood reconciled (Mundus reconciliatus ecclesia).

    Hendershott: When Members of the Catholic Press Fail the Church

    It is not “news” that the National Catholic Reporter seems to have taken sides against many of the bishops in the Catholic culture wars, and it is not “news” that the National Catholic Reporter continues to dredge up old cases of clerical abuse in order to try to diminish the authority of the bishops, but what is puzzling for faithful Catholics is why the Catholic Press Association continues to reward the newspaper by honoring it with the Association’s most prestigious awards.

    Hendershott: Utah polygamist returns to a world without a definition of marriage

    Logically speaking, apart from concerns of faith, a negation does not constitute a definition—only the absence of a definition. This means that once laws against same-sex marriage are struck down, there will be no legal definition of marriage. With no definition of marriage remaining, how can the US government legally oppose polygamy?

    Kuebler & Hendershott: Catholic Universities Conduct Research on Rare Diseases

    While NIH and most large pharmaceutical companies have devoted far fewer resources to studying rare diseases, organizations like the JPII Research Institute and Catholic universities—motivated by the call to serve the poor and marginalized—have begun to step in to fill the void. The University of Notre Dame and Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio have both made it part of their mission to collaborate with visionary companies like Eli Lily and AbbVie for research and drug development on rare and neglected diseases.

    Martin: What Do We Say to the Bereaved?

    But there is another road, one that is both higher and deeper, and which goes by the way of the Cross of Jesus Christ. To travel that road is to see a profounder mystery at work, that of the Crucified God taking on the sorrow and travail of the world, of stretching forth himself to enfold within the arms of an infinite love and power all human misery and pain. Indeed, to set about redeeming it all from below.

    Krason: A “Better Life Index” that Ignores What Makes for a Better Life

    ...the Better Life Index (and the World Happiness Report), like the reigning perspective about man in the mainstream socio-politico-economic thinking of the Western world and international organizations generally—which comes from the materialist premises of modern philosophy—takes man only so high up Pope Paul’s hierarchy. It compromises man’s dignity because it views as irrelevant what makes him more truly human.

    Hendershott: The True Gift of The Giver

    The Giver is really a gift to us all because it is a reminder of the horrible costs we incur when we trade freedom for the “comfort” that comes from allowing others to make the “right” decisions for us.

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