Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life

Saturday, January 20, 2018


One of the highlights of the Conference each year, the Panel Discussion features leading intellectuals, activists, and/or clergy who convene to discuss the year's theme.

Below were the panelists for the 2017 Conference. The panelists for the 2018 Conference will be posted soon. 


Ross Douthat joined The New York Times as an Op-Ed columnist in April 2009. Previously, he was a senior editor at the Atlantic and a blogger for He is the author of "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics," (Simon and Schuster, 2012) and "Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class" (Hyperion, 2005), and the co-author, with Reihan Salam, of "Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream" (Doubleday, 2008). He is the film critic for National Review. He lives with his wife and daughters in Washington, D.C.


Kim Daniels is a communications consultant and the former spokesperson for the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she served both Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz. In that role she provided strategic communications advice to Conference leadership, furthering the development and implementation of a positive, proactive, and unified approach across a range of complex issues where Church teachings intersect with matters of public concern. She was named a member of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications in July 2016.

Kim has consulted for organizations such as the USCCB, Catholic Relief Services, the Archdiocese of Washington, and a variety of other Catholic nonprofits. Representative issues include refugee resettlement, religious liberty, immigration, human life and dignity, marriage, and responses to poverty. She was a lead member of the team responsible for the U.S. introduction of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si. Kim currently serves as a lay consultant to the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

Kim was a director of Catholic Voices USA, a national group that works to bring the positive message of the Church to the public square. She is a regular writer and public speaker on Catholic issues, bringing her commitment to the Catholic faith to religious, public affairs, and media arenas. She has appeared in a variety of media outlets, and provided commentary from Rome on the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014 as well as the conclave that elected Pope Francis in 2013.

Kim is also an attorney whose practice focused on religious liberty and pro-life matters. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School, and a mom of six.


Charlie Camosy is an Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, where he has taught since finishing his PhD in theology at Notre Dame in 2008. Among other places, his published articles have appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, the Journal of the Catholic Health Association, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News and America magazine. He is the author of four books. Too Expensive to Treat? (Eerdmans) was a 2011 award-winner with the Catholic Media Association, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics (Cambridge) was named a 2012 “best book” with ABC Religion and Ethics, and For Love of Animals (Franciscan) was featured in the “Beliefs” section of the New York Times. His most recent book, Beyond the Abortion Wars (Eerdmans), was also a 2015 award-winner with the Catholic Media Association. In addition to advising the Faith Outreach office of the Humane Society of the United States, Camosy received the Robert Bryne award from the Fordham Respect Life Club, and was also selected for the international working group "Contending Modernities" which attempts to bring secular liberalism, Catholicism, and Islam into dialogue about bioethics. He is the founder of the Catholic Conversation Project, serves on the board of Democrats for Life, and advises the ethics committee of the Children's Hospital of New York.



Dr. Roberta Bayer is an Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, Virginia.  Her doctorate in Political Philosophy was earned at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Previous graduate degrees were completed at the Center for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, and the London School of Economics, England.  Dr. Bayer edits Anglican Way Magazine, and also edited a festschrift entitled Reformed and Catholic: Essays in Honor of the Reverend Dr. Peter Toon. Dr. Bayer’s conference papers, essays, and book reviews have appeared in Life and Learning for the University Faculty for Life, Knit together in one communion: Anglican Identity and the Challenge of Diversity, Studia Gilsoniana, the International Philosophical Quarterly and Providence.  She is a Fellow of the Adler-Aquinas Institute, and on the Board of the Prayer Book Society of the United States.  Dr. Bayer taught  at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada, before moving to the United States.  She and her husband have two sons.