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Veritas Conference to Discuss Threats to Religious Freedom

2/28/2014 - 8:13 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

STEUBENVILLE, OH (February 28, 2014) - Against the backdrop of increasing threats to religious liberty in the United States, Franciscan University of Steubenville will host "Truth, Conscience, and Religious Freedom." The April 4-5, 2014, conference will feature renowned Catholic scholars who will examine the state of religious freedom through the lens of the United States' founding, history, and constitutional principles. They will also examine attacks on religious freedom in other countries and Dignitatis Humanae, the Catholic Church's leading document on religious liberty.

"Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI asked for the laity to have the courage to counter the relativism that would 'delegitimize the Church's participation in the public square.' Our upcoming conference will bring together the kinds of courageous people Pope Benedict spoke of who can confront that threat," says Dr. Anne Hendershott, Franciscan University sociology professor and director of Franciscan's Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life.

Conference planners cite a range of issues that pose grave threats to religious liberty including: the HHS mandate; health-care institutions requiring medical personnel to participate in morally objectionable procedures; legal liability for businesses refusing on religious grounds to provide services for same-sex "marriages"; students forbidden to engage in religious expression in public schools; and zoning laws used to stop Bible studies in private homes.

Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University, who has been hailed by The New York Times as "this country's most influential conservative Christian thinker," will address "The Nature and Basis of Religious Freedom."

Additional speakers and topics include: Randy Lee, Widener University Law School (Harrisburg), "Thomas More, Dorothy Day, and Janis Joplin, and the Search for Religious Pluralism in America"; Gerard V. Bradley, Notre Dame Law School, "The Culture of Religious Liberty"; Dr. Kevin Schmiesing, Acton Institute, "Marching in Opposite Directions: Religion and Liberty in the American Past and Present"; and William Saunders, Esq., human rights lawyer, Washington, D.C., "The Human Right to Religious Liberty: How Does the U.S. Measure Up?"

The conference is co-sponsored by the Franciscan University Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life and the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.

The conference will be held in Tony and Nina Gentile Gallery, J.C. Williams Center. Registration cost is $35. Meals are $40. For more information, visit To register and pay by phone, contact Carrie Libetti at 740-284-5262, or


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


Veritas, Franciscan University, Dr. Robert George, Religious freedom



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