The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts

John Garvey

John Garvey, J.D.


Phone: 202-319-5100
E-mail: cua-public-affairs

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• Constitutional Law
• Catholic Higher Education
• Catholic Family Life
• Virtues-based Education
• Catholic Perspectives on Public Policy

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Media Appearances

  • January 26, 2017


    How to build a great Catholic university which upholds both academic freedom and fidelity to mission.

  • January 24, 2017


    Commentary on American immigration policy

  • January 20, 2017

    Catholic News Service

    Trump and the forgotten America of the Fourth World

  • December 16, 2016

    Catholic News Service

    In his latest commentary for Catholic News Service, President Garvey addresses the future - and past - of Christians in the Middle East.

  • December 13, 2016

    Sirius Catholic Radio's "Conversation with Cardinal Dolan"

    President Garvey talked about The Catholic University of America.

  • December 2, 2016


    John Garvey, the president of The Catholic University of America, said the Catholic educational leaders’ support for those undocumented students demonstrates that the Church is not just concerned about pro-life and religious liberty issues, but also about care for the poor and immigrants. Catholic University’s president said he does hope that the statements send a message to the incoming Trump administration and to other government leaders, about retaining the DACA program and about working for the just treatment of the nation’s immigrants.“Now that Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency, I hope they can come up with an inviting, compassionate and generous vision for welcoming people to America, especially people like this,” Garvey said.

  • November 18, 2016

    Catholic Philly

    The media, and we who listen to them, were surprised at the election results. I have a feeling it’s not the last surprise we are in for. The campaign was more about character flaws than about policy, and as a result, we don’t know much about how President-elect Donald Trump intends to govern. In my own corner of the room, I find myself wondering about the future of religious liberty.

  • October 25, 2016

    The Trenton Monitor

    Garvey praised his predecessor for setting the university on the path which “transformed the place.” Emphasizing there was nothing inconsistent about being a great research institution and also a Catholic university, Garvey noted how “the new dean of arts and sciences promotes new research programs including the construction of a cyclotron particle accelerator in the physics department,” he said. “In April students will present projects of every discipline on Research Day. This week an article in the Washington Post stated that CUA has the best arts school in D.C.”

  • October 25, 2016


    Catholic University of America President John Garvey, among the more intriguing figures on the U.S. Catholic landscape, says the genius of Pope Francis is that he doesn't begin with the rules, but with the Good News of redemption and mercy.

  • October 21, 2016

    Catholic Philly

    There is a thought experiment in moral philosophy, made famous by Philippa Foot, called the trolley problem. Imagine you are the driver of a runaway trolley that you can steer but not stop. Up ahead, the track forks in two. On the left, there are five men working. If you go that way, you will surely kill them all. (And let us suppose the trolley is heading that way.) On the right, there is one man working. If you turn the trolley in that direction, you will kill him. What do you do?

  • September 9, 2016

    Catholic Standard

    At the conclusion of the Mass, John Garvey, Catholic University’s president, said, “We begin each year with a Mass of the Holy Spirit to entrust our work to God’s care” and to “look at what we are doing at The Catholic University of America,” in order to see the big picture before getting engrossed in assignments and tests.

  • September 3, 2016


    “In 2010, the department was growing like something out of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” said CUA president John Garvey, a member of Legatus’ chapter in Washington, D.C. “We could not contain the students. It seemed appropriate to build a school for them. Other Catholic universities have business programs, but I don’t know if they integrate faith and finance in the way that we do.”

  • August 3, 2016


    “Their approach is always thoughtful and creative,” Garvey told Crux, citing an initiative, described on Tuesday by Anderson, to donate some 700 new ultrasound machines to crisis pregnancy centers, which Garvey called “the cleverest pro-life maneuver I have seen in 20 years.”

  • July 26, 2016

    Catholic News Service, via Catholic Herald (UK)

    “The plan was laid out in 1990 by St John Paul in the apostolic constitution ‘Ex Corde Ecclesiae,’ a document that runs to about 50 pages. “But the kernel of the argument is in four short lines near the end. St John Paul says for a university to be Catholic a majority of its faculty must be Catholic,” Garvey said.

  • March 22, 2016

    Daily Signal

    President Garvey was interviewed in a story on how the HHS mandate could make "hypocrites" of Catholic University.

  • March 20, 2016

    Wall Street Journal

    President Garvey published an op-ed on Supreme Court cases challenging the Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

  • February 16, 2016

    Catholic News Service

    President Garvey published a column on Justice Scalia

  • February 15, 2016

    Catholic News Service

    President Garvey was quoted in a reaction story about the death of Justice Scalia

  • February 15, 2016

    National Catholic Register

    President Garvey was quoted in a story on the effects of the death of Justice Scalia.

  • February 15, 2016

    EWTN News Nightly

    President Garvey discussed the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

  • September 23, 2015

    Washington Examiner

    Over the last week and a half the campus of the Catholic University of America has been transformed. On September 23 we will welcome Pope Francis, who will celebrate the canonization Mass for Blessed Junipero Serra on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The congregation will gather for the mass on the campus of Catholic University. In preparation for the Holy Father's visit, a stage has been constructed, a three-story riser for the press has been built and miles of bike racks now line the campus perimeter and create a maze inside it.

  • September 23, 2015

    Chronicle of Higher Education

    When Pope Francis appears at the Catholic University of America on Wednesday, it will be to celebrate a Mass and canonize a saint, the American missionary Junípero Serra. Unlike his two immediate predecessors, Pope John Paul II, who spoke here in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI, who spoke here in 2008, Pope Francis does not intend to talk at length about Catholic higher education and how its mission imposes limits on academic freedom.

  • September 15, 2015

    Washington Post

    John Garvey spoke to Washington Post Video about Pope Francis

  • September 8, 2015


    "At one of the Catholic colleges within D.C.'s borders — the Catholic University of America — the popularity and energy of Pope Francis will be directly observable in a couple of weeks, when he celebrates a large outdoor Mass that will include the canonization of a saint. ... John Garvey, the president of Catholic, first got a sense of it in 2013, when he and several students camped out on Copacabana Beach in Brazil during the pope's visit there."

  • June 28, 2015

    Fox News Sunday

    Garvey was interviewed by Fox News's Chris Wallace as the Power Player of the Week.

  • June 9, 2015

    National Catholic Register

    John Garvey, a constitutional scholar and the president of The Catholic University of America, points to the deep wellspring of respect for religious liberty and conscience rights in his essay “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity.” The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “rests on a certain understanding of God and human nature. God, out of love for us, made us for himself and in his image. It is because we have that end and that nature that we need a right to religious liberty.”

  • May 28, 2015

    Kojo Nnamdi Show

    President Garvey was interviewed about Catholic University.

  • May 18, 2015

    National Catholic Register

    “We will certainly defend our rights, insofar as they are affected by these two bills,” said John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America (CUA), which is located in the northeast corner of D.C. “I’m disappointed in both of these cases: that the District has not shown more concern for religious liberty — it’s a civil liberty as old as the country is.”

  • April 17, 2015

    Washington Post

    The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act and the Human Rights Amendment Act purport to address “discrimination” by institutions such as ours, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Catholic University of America. The putative victims of this discrimination are people who part ways with church teaching about unborn life and sexual autonomy.

  • February 3, 2015

    Religion News Service

    On challenges to faith-based schools: “They’re telling religious schools who their faculty can be and what the terms and conditions of employment, that is to say, what they can teach,” said Garvey, whose Washington campus is the only school in the country overseen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “That the government ought to have some say over the people and the courses that are being taught at religious universities — that’s a big deal for religious freedom.”

  • November 12, 2014

    EWTN Live

    President Garvey appeared on EWTN Live to discuss religious freedom, Catholic education, and the American family.

  • June 30, 2014

    National Catholic Register

    Garvey commented on the Hobby Lobby decision’s implications for HHS lawsuits brought by religious nonprofits

  • June 12, 2014

    New York Times

    Garvey was quoted in an article about how U.S. bishops are attempting to match the tone of messages from Pope Francis.

  • June 7, 2014

    L.A. Times

    President Garvey was quoted in a story on Justice Samuel Alito Jr., who he worked with in President Reagan's Justice Department.

  • January 18, 2013

    PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

    President Garvey discussing President Obama's second inauguration from the perspective of people of faith.


  • 2011

    Religion and the Constitution

    John Garvey is co-author of this book that examines the relationship between government and religion within the framework of the Constitution.

  • 2006

    Sexuality and the U.S. Catholic Church

    Lisa Sowle Cahill, John Garvey, and T. Frank Kennedy, S.J., introduce the work of leading Catholic theologians, writers, and scholars on topics that include homosexuality and marriage; theology of the body; views of celibacy past and present; rebuilding community; childbearing; sexual discipleship; and future challenges. Crossroad Publishing Company.

  • 2000

    What Are Freedoms For?

    In this Harvard University Press publication, Garvey presents the idea of freedom as a right to act, not a right to choose; and furthermore, we should view freedom as a right to engage in actions that are good and valuable.

President Garvey, a Frequent Media Contributor

John Garvey is the President of The Catholic University of America. Since taking on that position July 1, 2010, Garvey has been a frequent media commentator and author. He has appeared in numerous television and radio reports, been quoted in major newspapers and magazines, and has authored guest columns that have been published widely on a broad range of topics.

He was the dean of Boston College Law School from 1999 to 2010. In 2008 he was the President of the Association of American Law Schools. He has practiced law with the firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, and taught at Notre Dame, Michigan, and Kentucky. From 1981 to 1984 he was assistant to the solicitor general of the United States. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 1982.

> View full list of Garvey's columns, articles, and speeches.

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