National Catholic Bioethics Center

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National Catholic Bioethics Center
HeadquartersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Joseph Meaney, PhD, KM

The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) is a not-for-profit research center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after previous locations in St. Louis (1972–1985) and Boston (1985–2004).[1] Its mission is "to uphold the dignity of the human person in health care and biomedical research, thereby sharing in the ministry of Jesus Christ and his Church."[2] The chairman of the Board of Directors is Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans.[3] The Center publishes Ethics & Medics monthly[4] and The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly,[5] as well as books including the Handbook on Critical Life Issues.[6]


The founding president of the Center was Albert S. Moraczewski, O.P. The sixth president is Joseph Meaney, Ph.D., since 2019.[1] The staff of professional ethicists responds to hundreds of requests each year for advice on moral issues of concern to Catholics and other interested parties, via e-mail, phone, and letter.[7] The Ph.D. ethicists include John M. Haas, Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, and Marie T. Hilliard.[8] The Center also provides moral analysis to the offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and to the dicasteries of the Holy See (Vatican), although the Center is not itself governed or funded by the Catholic Church.[9]

In a 1999 article of Ethics & Medics, it was argued that "as parents have a moral obligation to secure the life and health of their children", so too do they "have a moral obligation to provide vaccinations to their children."[10] The NCBC later developed an extensive set of online resources specifically for the COVID-19 pandemic.[11]

The activities of the Center include education, publications, research, and public policy. The education department administers "The National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics", a year-long distance learning program that educates candidates in the fundamentals of Catholic medical-moral teaching. The program gives special emphasis to Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a USCCB document designed to guide Catholic health care institutions.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Our History", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  2. ^ "Our Mission to Serve", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Our Board of Directors", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  4. ^ "Ethics & Medics", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  5. ^ "National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  6. ^ "Store", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  7. ^ "Ask a Question", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  8. ^ "Our Ethicists", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  9. ^ Pacholczyk, Tadeusz (May–June 2019). "Exploring the National Catholic Bioethics Center" (PDF). Deacon Digest: 30–33. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  10. ^ Furton, Edward J. (March 1999). "Vaccines Originating in Abortion". Ethics & Medics. 24 (3).
  11. ^ "COVID-19 and Vaccine Resources", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  12. ^ "Certification Program", NCBC. Retrieved February 16, 2022.

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