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Janet Smith

Sacred Heart Major Seminary






Janet E. Smith currently holds the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader and of many articles on ethical and bioethics issues. She taught for nine years at the University of Notre Dame and twelve years at the University of Dallas. She speaks nationally and internationally on the several issues, especially the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexuality.


Prof. Smith has received the Haggar Teaching Award from the University of Dallas, the Prolife Person of the Year from the Diocese of Dallas, and the Cardinal Wright Award from the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Over 750,000 copies of her tape, Contraception: Why Not, have been distributed (available from One More Soul 800-307-7685). She is serving a second term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council on the Family. 



Selected Publications



·        Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press 1991.

·        Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader, San Francisco: Ignatius Press 1993.

·        “Sterilizations Reconsidered,” Christian Bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies 
Medical Morality 4/1 (1998): 45-62.

·        The Pre-Eminence of Autonomy in Bioethics,” in David Oderberg and Jacqueline A. Laing (eds.), Human Lives: Critical Essays on Consequentialist Bioethics, McMillan Press, Ltd.: London, 1997.

·        “The Importance of the Concept of Munus to the Understanding of Humanae Vitae,” Trust the Truth: A Symposium on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, The Pope John Center (1992).

·        “Natural Law and Sexual Ethics,” American Journal of Jurisprudence 36 (1991): 171-201.

·        “Reclaiming or Rewriting the Tradition?,” Discussion article of Jean Porter's Natural and Divine Law, ACPQ 75/4 (2001): 601-11.

·        “Natural Law and Sexual Ethics,” in Edward B. McLean (ed.), Common Truths: New Perspectives on Natural Law, Wilmington, Delaware: ISI Books 2000, 193-218.

·        “Aquinas's Natural Law Theory and Homosexuality,” in Christopher Wolfe (ed.), Homosexuality and American Public Life, Dallas, TX: Spence 1999, 129-40.

·        “Moral Terminology and Proportionalism,” in Thomas Hibbs and John O'Callaghan (eds.), Recovering Nature: Essays in Natural Philosophy, Ethics, and Metaphysics in Honor of Ralph McInerny, Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press 1999, 127-46.

·        “Veritatis Splendor," Proportionalism, and Contraception,” Irish Theological Quarterly 63/4 (1998) 307-26.

·        “The Moral Vision of the Catechism,” in Maurice Hogan SSC and Thomas J. Norris (eds.), Evangelizing for the Third Millennium: The Maynooth Conference on the New Catechism May 1996, Dublin: Veritatis Publications 1997) 96-114.

·        “Natural Law and Personalism in Veritatis Splendor,” in Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick, S. J. (eds.), John Paul II and Moral Theology: Readings in Moral Theology: No 10, Paulist Press 1998, 67-84. Rpt. of Michael E. Allsopp and John J. O'Keefe (eds.), Veritatis Splendor: American Responses, Kansas City, MO.; Sheed and Ward 1995, Chapter 13: 194-207.

·        “Moral Methodologies: Proportionalism,” Ethics and Medics 19/6 (June 1994): 1-3.