• The Veritas Center for
    Ethics in Public Life

  •  The Creation of Adam - Veritas Center (small)

    “Truth enlightens man’s intelligence and shapes his freedom.”

    —Blessed John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor


    The Veritas Center for Ethics and Public Life exists to bring faithful Catholic scholarly reflection to bear on the most pressing ethical questions in contemporary culture—questions of marriage and sexuality, war and peace, life and death, as well as economic and social justice.

    Through research, writing, and academic conferences, the Veritas Center seeks to combat what Pope Benedict XVI described as “the dictatorship of relativism,” promoting the natural moral law, illuminated by the light of faith, in order to defend both human freedom and dignity in the public square.

    Inaugural Conference

    Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom: A conference Featuring Leading Scholars on a Critical Current Topic in the United States

    April 4-5, 2014

    Co-Sponsored by the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists
    Get full details and registration information

    Recent Articles by Veritas Center Associates

  • Krason: More on Presidential Power as Rescuer: A Rejoinder

    Relying on very strong executive power, for a time, in our current critical situation may be the most likely way to address it and effectuate the changes needed. Critics often provide no other solution and have almost a fatalistic assessment of our prospects, or else—like Hargrave— offer a solution that is not likely to be workable (or, similarly, successful) and presents the specter of greater dangers.

    Hendershott: Catholic Schools Pressed to Give Up Morality

    This is actually the problem as authentic Church teachings on same sex behavior and marriage  are now beginning to be defined as “hate-speech”—even when spoken by a nun or a priest or even a bishop.  Orthodox teaching will be suppressed in some institutions due to fear of protests, while lawsuits against school administrators and diocesan officials who uphold Church teaching will disrupt the administration of Catholic schools.  Faithful Catholics will be intimidated into silence.

    Kuebler: John Paul Brought Us Face to Face With Christ

    This was no ordinary family member, to be sure. This was a Pope who both believed in us and made a concerted effort to reach us, the youth of America. The Holy Father first came to the United States in 1979 on a six-city tour. But like the hound of heaven pursuing his lost sheep, he returned again and again … often making it a point to meet with young people directly.

    Krason: When the Government Takes Your Children

    The state’s rationale in taking custody of Justina is that her parents were guilty of medical neglect, which comes down to meaning nothing more than they didn’t agree with the hospital’s diagnosis. Such arbitrariness is not surprising, since the child abuse laws are utterly vague and overbroad. There is even disagreement within the CPS as to what constitutes child maltreatment. This was deliberate: the architects of the Mondale Act wanted utmost flexibility to combat abuse. As Professor Philip Jenkins writes, they were driven by “therapeutic values” and could not understand why legal standards or parental rights should hamstring “objective” professionals trying to protect children.

  • Vision

    The Veritas Center for Ethics and Public Life takes both its name and inspiration from Blessed John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor (“The Splendor of Truth”). We believe, with the Catholic Church, that human freedom cannot flourish apart from truth, and that a restoration of truth as the foundation of human affairs is essential to a healthy culture.

    Rooted in the teachings of the Church’s Magisterium and guided by the riches of Catholic social teaching, the Veritas Center strives to provide meaningful alternatives to the usual secular analyses of moral and cultural dilemmas.

    It also strives to integrate both the methods and wisdom of multiple academic disciplines—from theology and sociology to political science and economics—to more effectively explore, understand, and address social concerns that affect the flourishing of the Church and her people.


    The Veritas Center uses a four-pronged approach to carrying out its mission.

    First, it seeks to clarify and disseminate Catholic moral and social teaching by facilitating research, academic writing, and inter-disciplinary partnerships among Franciscan University faculty.

    To meet this goal, 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.

    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 will contribute to student learning by interacting with students through informal gatherings and student attendance at scholarly presentations by visiting scholars.

    Second, the Veritas Center attempts to engage those outside of the academic community in discussions about the pursuit of truth by encouraging and assisting Franciscan faculty members to publish articles on important social issues in newspapers and periodicals that are accessible to the general public. .

    Third, the center invites other scholars and teachers into the conversation about truth through its annual academic conference.

    The first conference, Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom, co-sponsored with the Society of Catholic Social Scientists, will take place on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, April 4-5, 2014.

    Fourth, the Veritas Center seeks to mentor a rising generation of Catholics, equipping them for effective engagement in the public square.

    Accordingly, all Franciscan students are invited to participate in many of the activities of the Veritas Center including attending the public lectures and conferences sponsored by the center. Moreover, future plans for the center include an Undergraduate Fellows Forum, which will provide a unique opportunity for a select group of Franciscan undergraduates to pursue, outside of the classroom, academic interests related to ethics in public life.

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