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

—Pope St. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor

The Veritas Center for Ethics in 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.

Our Associates
Stephen Krason
Jacob Wood
Anne Hendershott
Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR
Timothy Williams
Alexander Sich
Fr. Dan Pattee
Kevin Miller
Regis Martin
Patrick Lee

Martin: A Pope Turns Ninety

In the long march of the Church’s history, stretching all the way back to a certain failed fisherman called Peter—whom Christ himself caught with the bait of eternal life—few occupants of the papal chair have evinced as lofty a level of erudition, existing in happy combination with ardent and uncomplicated piety, as the Bavarian Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Who, God willing, turns ninety on April 16, this Easter Sunday.

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Martin: Thoughts on Suicide

It takes only four seconds to reach the water, the experts tell us, hitting it at a speed of about 75 mph. Death is usually instantaneous, although a few have survived the trauma, some of them even returning to get it right the second time. And while the death toll is impressive, what really catches the eye is the fact that, almost without exception, they are all pointing West, hurling themselves into the black expanse of the night.

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Hendershott: Political Partisans Within The Ivy-Covered Halls

In her address last month at CPAC 2017, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos strongly criticized the nation’s college campuses for trying to indoctrinate students. She claimed that the faculty — “from adjunct professors to deans” — are telling students “what to say, and more ominously, what to think. On many college campuses, if you voted for Donald Trump, you’re a threat to the university community.”

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Hendershott: President of Catholic university in D.C. attacks Kellyanne Conway

In a normal world, university presidents are grateful for their graduates. They invite them back to campus, honor their achievements, and celebrate their accomplishments. University presidents know that the alumni are the most faithful constituency they have, and most avoid doing anything that might offend them. So, why would Patricia McGuire, the President of the Catholic Trinity Washington University, accuse Kellyanne Conway—one of Trinity’s most accomplished graduates—of “spreading a skein of lies” in her work as a senior advisor to President Donald Trump?

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Martin: Wallace Stevens and the Limits of Poetry

Stevens had been busy keeping that candle going for forty some years, beginning with his first published poem, “Sunday Morning,” which burst like a meteor upon the literary world in 1915, with its gorgeous images of a life spent without the least intention of wasting it on God or the world to come.

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Hendershott: Can Sociology Be Saved?

In its most recent “Two Minutes Hate” on President Trump, The Nation magazine’s hyperbolic headline warned, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination.” Claiming that if signed, the president’s order “would create wholesale exemptions for people and organizations who claim religious objections to same sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion and trans identity, The Nation predicts that the order would “exceed the authority of executive branch,” and “risk violating the Establishment Clause of the first Amendment to the Constitution.”

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Martin: A Small Parenthesis in Eternity

Like most people who inhabit planet earth, the world I know is a place where things are perceived in a pretty uncomplicated way. When I leave the house in the morning, for example, and drive a half-dozen miles to work, the sun shines brightly upon my brow. And when, at day’s end, I turn the car around and head home, I am once again facing the sun. What

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Martin: The Ardor of Agnes

I have known only two women named Agnes in my life. One of them was my grandmother who, having died two years after I was born, I could hardly be expected to remember. But since I was often told things about her—for instance, that she was beautiful and pious and went to Mass every morning—I feel as if I should know her.

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Martin: The Idea of God

I am not aware of a single atheist argument that can answer any one of these questions. Are you? So why is it that, despite all the voices sounding the drumbeat of a world without God, there yet remains this intractable tendency to deify the heavens? Why is it that even the best and the brightest, with all their huffing and puffing on behalf of unbelief, cannot kill the desire for God?

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Martin: O Blessed Box!

He waited nearly a half-century before deciding to shake the Anglican dust from his feet, but when G.K. Chesterton finally resolved to become Roman Catholic, his reasons were perfectly simple: “To get rid of my sins.”

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Martin: Beguiled by Balthasar

Years ago when I was a student in Rome finishing up a dissertation at the Angelicum, I needed to schedule a formal defense of my thesis, which centered on the mysterious descent of Christ into hell and its myriad implications for the sufferings of men. Following which, I was told, a handful of Dominican tigers would then pounce, carving up into little strips the carcass of all my painstaking research. If the thesis survived their dissections, I was told, they’d give me the doctorate, and we could all go home happy.

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Martin: The One Whom Tradition Calls The Theologian

Since timing is everything, I waited a moment or two, letting the loss of all but a few hundred words of Holy Writ sink in, then told them that, of course, those few words written by the Beloved Apostle himself, John the son of Zebedee, who reclined his head upon the breast of Jesus at the Last Supper, would furnish quite enough evidence on which to found the faith and the hope and the love of Christianity.

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Martin: The Christmas Triad: Christ, Church, Eucharist

Who would not want to go to that party? Why would anyone disdain to join in a celebration so positively glorious? “Earth’s crammed with heaven,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning tells us. “And every common bush afire with God.” All because the Lord of the universe elected to walk among us, becoming one of us.

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Martin: Welcome to the Wedding

There are two things that I never fail to tell my students on the first day of class. One is that it won’t be long and the other is that they needn’t come back. I’m always suspicious, I explain, of professors who announce everything they know on the first day. Maybe they don’t know very much.

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Hendershott: 75 Christian Leaders Sign Charter Rejecting Coercive SOGI Laws

In an attempt to affirm “every American’s freedom to peacefully live their lives according to their beliefs,” 75 religious leaders came together this past week as charter signatories of “Preserve Freedom, Reject Coercion”, a statement that “opposes government coercion or censorship of fellow citizens who have different views.” United by the idea that all laws must respect religious freedom and promote justice for all, those signing the statement decry the ways in which “efforts to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classifications in the law have threatened basic freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, and association; violate privacy rights; and expose citizens to significant legal and financial liability for practicing their beliefs in the public square.”

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Hendershott: Persons or property? Celebrity Embryo Lawsuit Escalates

While much of the media ridiculed businessman Nick Loeb when he filed a lawsuit last year to prevent his former fiancée, TV star Sofia Vergara, from destroying the frozen embryos they created together in 2013, sentiment may shift following a disturbing development in the case. In an attempt to show that Loeb is dishonestly claiming to be “pro-life” in his quest to gain custody of the embryonic children the couple created together, Vegara’s attorneys have petitioned a California court to force Loeb to disclose the names of two women who underwent abortions after he impregnated them more than 20 years ago.

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Martin: Season of Hope

The desire for God, we are told, is a drive both deep and indestructible. Certainly, there can be no other longing as profound or pervasive. On the strength of its universality, we understand ourselves as creatures ineluctably religious.

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Krason: Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Thoughts On The Election And Its Aftermath

Much ink has already been spilled about what are the implications, big and small, of the 2016 presidential election. I offer a few thoughts as to its meaning and what we can expect from a new Trump administration.
The election was certainly a rebuke — it’s far from clear if it was a decisive repudiation — of a corrupted elite, especially by non-favored demographic groups that are tired of being stepped on.

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