National Catholic Bioethics Center

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The National Catholic Bioethics Center is a research center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1972, its mission is promoting and safeguarding the dignity of the human person, thereby sharing in the ministry of Jesus Christ and his Church.[1] The chairman of the Board of Directors is the Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino,[2] bishop of Madison, Wisconsin. The Center publishes Ethics & Medics and The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, as well as books, including the Handbook on Critical Life Issues.[3]


The founding president of the Center was the Rev. Albert S. Moraczewski, O.P. A library, named in his honor, was dedicated in 2007. The current president, who was named by Pope Benedict XVI in June 2010 as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is John M. Haas, Ph.D. The staff of six professional ethicists responds to over 600 requests each year for advice on moral issues of concern to Catholics and other interested parties via e-mail, phone, and letter. The Center also provides moral analysis to the offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and to the dicastries of the Holy See.

In a 1999 article of Ethics and 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."[4]

The departments of the Center include education, publications, research and public policy. The educational 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, with special emphasis on the application of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, a document of the USCCB designed to guide Catholic health care institutions.


  1. ^ Mission of the NCBC
  2. ^ Board of the NCBC
  3. ^ About the National Catholic Bioethics Center
  4. ^ Furton, Edward J., "Vaccines Originating in Abortion", Ethics and Medics, vol.24, no.3, March 1999