Since 1980, the Center, in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, has organized an annual or biennial Workshop for Bishops intended to provide ongoing formation of the bishops in bioethical issues which affect their episcopal ministry. Each Workshop has been attended by bishops from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the Philippines.
The late Pope John Paul II provided vigorous leadership in the area of medical ethics, and reinforced this by sending letters addressing the participants of the Bishops' workshops. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI continued this tradition of support as a former keynote speaker at the 1984 and 1991 Workshops. The text of those two addresses has been published jointly with Ignatius Press in a small volume called On Conscience . The text of Pope Benedict XVI letter to bishops may be read here.
The Workshops for Bishops are structured to address a specific topic or cluster of topics in the field of medical ethics. The proceedings are then published in book form and are available from The National Catholic Bioethics Center and at this site, through our on-line store.
The 2005 Workshop was dedicated to the moral legacy of John Paul II in Catholic health care and has been published as Live the Truth. The 2007 Workshop addressed the growing tension between cultural expectations for health care and the Catholic moral tradition and was titled Urged On By Christ: Catholic Health Care in Tension with Contemporary Culture. The 2009 Workshop confronted infringements on the rights of conscience of health care workers through political and judicial mandates and was titled Christ or Caesar: When Compliance Violates Conscience.
All available titles may be purchased from our online store.
To view documents from the 2013 Workshop, click here.