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

Krason: “A Role for Government that Nobody Thinks About”

A few years ago, as Obamacare was being put in place, Republican governor John Kasich of Ohio suggested that the Christian obligation to assist the poor was a reason for expanding Medicaid in the state. Catholic social teaching does indeed make clear that the state has a role in assisting the needy, but only—in line with the principle of subsidiarity—when there is no other way it can be done. Is that the case with providing access to health care?


Hendershott: “First they came for the Confederacy”

While most Catholic leaders have been silent about the removal of the statues of Confederate War hero Robert E. Lee, and the desecration of statues of Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Columbus, it may be time for them to get involved in the debate as religious statues are now on the chopping block.


Wiker: “Sexbots, or How the Pill Made Women Obsolete”

Nearly every day the news presents yet another article on sexbots, robots that are designed to take the place of women. This is the most obvious “objectification” of women that has followed upon the sexual revolution, the literal creation of an artificial object, a robotic woman, for the sexual pleasure of men degraded enough to prefer a machine to the real thing.


Wiker: “The Deep History Behind Radical Islam’s Attacks in _____”

Depending upon when you read this article, you can fill in the blank. As I write, the newest was in Barcelona, Spain, perpetrated (so officials think) by an ISIS-inspired Moroccan, 18-year-old Moussa Oukabir. According to reports, Oukabir had recently “joked” on social media, when asked what he might do on his first day as absolute ruler of the world, “Kill all infidels and only allow Muslims to continue the religion.”


Wiker: “Atheists Don’t Even Trust Other Atheists”

A new study has just found something rather interesting: even atheists don’t trust atheists. Or, to put it the other way around, atheists themselves assume that religious believers are more likely to act morally than their fellow atheists, and atheists are more likely to engage in grossly immoral acts.


Hendershott: “Reaping What We’ve Sown”

The recent research revelation that sperm counts for men living in the West have plunged by 60 percent since 1971 provides readers of P.D. James’ great dystopian novel, The Children of Men, with a prediction of an unsettling future for a society that can no longer reproduce.  Set in Britain in 2021, James’s frightening fiction described a world of mass infertility among males – a world in which no children have been born in more than twenty-five years.


Krason: “The Charlie Gard Case Portends a Frightening Future”

The case of Charlie Gard, the British baby afflicted with the rare mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome who a London hospital would not discharge to his parents so they could take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment, brought together a number of increasingly portentous trends and realities that have come to define our age.


Wiker: “Pray for Justice Anthony Kennedy to Retire and Repent”

You may have heard that Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy may soon retire. Please pray that he does. Have all your friends and friends’ friends do it as well. This is a man who is singularly responsible for the destruction of all law, all rationality, and even all sanity.

And while you are praying for him to retire (and very soon), pray for him to repent of the damage he’s done. He is, by the way, a Catholic—so we are told.


Wiker: “With Climate Change, Caution is Not the Same as Apocalypticism”

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking has just issued (yet another) dire, apocalyptic warning: the US pullout from the Paris Accords could very well be the thing that pushes Earth into a hothouse meltdown. In his words, “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulfuric acid.”


Hendershott: “Why are more women choosing to put fertility “on ice”?”

When Apple and Facebook announced in 2014 that they would extend their fertility and surrogacy benefits for employees to cover the costs of egg freezing, Bloomberg Businessweek pronounced that the procedure would do more to “change family and career planning” than the birth control pill. Claiming that access to egg freezing would enable women to “kiss the Mommy track goodbye,” Businessweekasked readers to imagine a world in which life isn’t dictated by a biological clock.


Wiker: “Why Jesus Wants You to Hug Trees”

A less provocative title might have been, “Why Catholics Need to Be at the Forefront of the Environmental Movement,” but that probably wouldn’t have caught your eye. So, now that I’ve got your attention, let’s make the case for a Catholic Ecology.


Lee: The Soul: Not Dead Yet

We agree that human beings are both animals and persons, but it is important that the Christian (and Jewish, and Muslim, and classical) description of the soul not be reduced to a caricature. Indeed, properly understood, the traditional philosophical and theological concept of the soul is indispensable in integrating what the empirical sciences reveal about the world and ourselves with what we know about ourselves as rational and moral beings.


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.


Krason: Ideology and the Crisis of Integrity in American Politics

While politics is not known as a field that exactly encourages integrity—though that isn’t inevitable and wasn’t so at the time of our Founding Fathers, who despite imperfections were men of genuine character—the advance of ideological rigidity has substantially pushed it out of the picture. This has come mostly from the political left, as it has taken increasingly uncompromising and unreasonable—even irrational—positions, and the right has simply responded to it.


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.


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.”


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?