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Janet E. Smith

Janet E. Smith (born 1950) is a professor of moral theology and the Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Issues at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.



B.A., M.A., Ph.D., School of Theology, Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair in Life Ethics, Professor of Moral Theology. B.A. (Classics), Grinnell College, 1972; M.A. (Classical Languages), University of North Carolina, 1975; Ph.D. (Classical Languages), University of Toronto, 1982. Janet E. Smith has held the Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit since 2001.


Smith is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later and of the Right to Privacy, and the editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader. She has coauthored Life Issues, Medical Choices, Questions and Answers for Catholics, with Chris Kaczor. She has published in The Thomist, The Irish Theological Quarterly, Nova et Vetera, The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, among other publications.

She speaks nationally and internationally on the Catholic teachings on sexuality and on bioethics. She is serving a third term as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family and she serves the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission for 5 years.

She has received two honorary doctorates and several other awards for scholarship and service. She has appeared on the Geraldo show, Fox Morning News, CNN International, CNN Newsroom, Al Jazeera and has done many shows for various series on EWTN.

More than two million copies of her talk, Contraception: Why Not have been distributed. An updated version of Contraception: Why Not and a series of talks "Sexual Common Sense" are available through

Smith is known in Catholic circles for her adherence to Catholicism as well and is a well-regarded, popular public speaker on pro-life, pro-NFP, moral theology and other pertinent topics of concern to Catholics worldwide.


  • Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, (1991, Catholic University of America Press) ISBN 0-8132-0740-1
  • Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader, (1993, Ignatius Press) ISBN 0-89870-433-2
  • The Right to Privacy, (2008, National Catholic Bioethics Center) ISBN 978-1-58617-259-6

Audio recordings

  • Sexual Common Sense, twelve talk series on CD and MP3 [1]
  • Contraception: Why Not? NEW REVISED EDITION, CD or MP3 [2]
  • Introduction to Sexual Ethics International Catholic University, Notre Dame, IN, eight lectures. Excerpt on YouTube


External links

  • Sacred Heart Major Seminary profile page: [3]
  • Published, unpublished articles, books, CDs, other information: [4]
  • Moral Use of Natural Family Planning: [5]
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