Cathleen Kaveny

  • Aired:  03/01/12
  •  | Views: 23,187

Notre Dame professor of theology and law Cathleen Kaveny discusses the framework within which Catholic leaders issue doctrinal documents. (6:48)

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>> I GUESS TONIGHT SHI IS

THE PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY

AND LAW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF

NOTRE DAME.

ALSO FOR COMMON WHEEL

MAGAZINE.

HER FORTHCOMING BOOK IS

CALLED LAWS VIRTUES

FOSTERING AWE TON IMAND

SOLIDARITY, PLOOS WELCOME

CATHLEEN KAVENY.

(APPLAUSE)

WELCOME.

>> HI.

>> THAT IS A LOT OF DEGREES

YOU'RE HOLDING IT THERE,

PROFESSOR.

>> 23 GRADE.

>> THAT IS A LOT.

YOU STAYED IN THERE SO TALK

TO ME, YOU ARE PROFESSOR OF

LAW IN THEOLOGY.

THIS FITS IN PERFECTLY.

HOW DO RELIGIOUS

INSTITUTIONS NAVIGATE THE

DIFFICULTIES OF BEING A PART

OF A SECULAR SOCIETY.

HOW DO THEY SET UP THE

GUIDELINES.

>> WELL, THIS IS ACTUALLY A

NEW QUESTION FOR CATHOLICS

IN SOME WAYS.

BECAUSE CATHOLICS ARE USED

TO HAVING A MORALITY THAT

PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY

ACCEPTS.

WE USED TO CALL IT NATURAL

LAW IT WAS A COMMON MORALITY

ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE.

BUT NOW WE'RE IN A CONTEXT

WHERE IT'S VERY CLEAR, NOT

EVERYBODY ACCEPTS CATHOLIC

TEACHING ON CONTRACEPTION,

HOMOSEXUALITY, ON THE ONE

HAND OR EVEN THE DEATH

PENALTY ON THE OTHER HAND.

SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO,

I THINK, AS A CHURCH, AS A

WHOLE IS TO FIGURE OUT HOW

TO BE TRUE TO OUR OWN

COMMITMENTS ON THE ONE HAND,

BUT ALSO RESPECT OTHER

PEOPLE IN THE BROADER

SOCIETY, AND OTHER PEOPLE

WHO WORK IN CATHOLIC

INSTITUTIONS WHO AREN'T

CATHOLIC.

>> WHERE WOULD THESE

DECISIONS COME DOWN FROM FOR

THIS.

BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO BREAK

ALONG CULTURAL LINES.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: SO STREAKLY.

THIS CONTRACEPTION ISSUE,

HOW WOULD THAT, SO THE

CATHOLIC HOSPITAL HERE, THE

HEALTH INSURANCE IS CHANGE,

WE HAVE TO COVER WOMEN'S

PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE,

CONTRACEPTION.

WHO DO THEY CALL, DO YOU

CALL, YOU KNOW, POPE --

>> IT IS NOT THE BACKBONE TO

THE POPE.

>> Jon: THERE IS NO RED

PHONE.

>> NO.

>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

>> BASICALLY WHAT HAPPENS IS

THE BIG PICTURE ISSUES ARE

SET BY THE POPE AND THE

COLLEGE OF BISHOPS.

YOU KNOW, ABOUT 5,000

BISHOPS IN THE WHOLE WORLD,

NOT JUST THE UNITED STATES.

AND THEY ISSUE TOGETHER KIND

OF THE FOUNDING DOCUMENTS OR

THE BASIC DOCUMENTS.

SO VATICAN -- YOU MIGHT HAVE

HEARD OF VATICAN 2, WITH THE

CONFERENCE THAT TOOK PLACE

50 YEARS AGO.

>> Jon: GREAT SEQUEL.

>> VATICAN 3, WE'RE WAITING

FOR IT.

>> Jon: IT'S GOING TO BE IN

3-D, GOING TO BE AWESOME.

HOW QUICKLY REQUEST THEY

MUSTER UP THAT, BECAUSE FOR

JEWS IT TAKES ABOUT 4,000

YEARS.

TAKES US AWHILE TO GET A

CONSENSUS.

>> IT TAKES US ALMOST AS

LONG.

SO THE BIG DOCUMENTS ARE SET

BY THAT THEN THE POPE ISSUES

DOCUMENTS THAT STATE, YOU

KNOW, CATHOLIC TEACHING, YOU

KNOW, ON CERTAIN ISSUES LIKE

THE DOCUMENT THAT STATES

CATHOLIC TEACHING ON BIRTH

CONTROL, JOHN PAUL II ISSUED

AN-- THAT TALKED ABOUT

CATHOLIC TEACHING ON

ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA.

AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS IS

THOSE DOCUMENTS ARE THE BIG

PICTURE.

AND THEN YOU TURN TO

DIFFERENT BISHOPS

CONFERENCES, FOR WAYS OF

KIND OF OPERATIONALIZING IT

IN A PARTICULAR CONTEXT, A

PARTICULAR LOCATION.

SO THEN THE BISHOPS IN

AMERICA SAY OKAY, WHAT ARE

GOING TO BE OUR PRIORITIES.

WHAT ARE WE GOING TO FOCUS

ON.

AND THEN THEY DECIDE THAT,

YOU KNOW, THERE'S ABOUT 450

BISHOPS.

AND THEY BASICALLY SAY THEY

GET TOGETHER IN A COUPLE OF

MEETINGS A YEAR AND SAY THIS

IS WHAT WE THINK WE NEED TO

WORK ON.

AND THEN THEY ISSUE

DOCUMENTS.

BUT THE KEY THING ABOUT THE

BISHOPS YOU NEED TO REMEMBER

IS THAT IT'S MORE LIKE LIKE,

YOU KNOW, A NEIGHBORHOOD

BLOCK THAN LIKE YOUR CONDO

BOARD.

>> Jon: IS THAT DIVISIVE AND

UGLY?

>> I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THE

MEETINGS.

BAD SCENE.

>> SO EACH INDIVIDUAL BISHOP

STILL HAS, YOU KNOW, CONTROL

OVER HIS OWN DIOCESE.

AND SO THIS IS MORE, THEY'RE

WORKING TOGETHER BUT THEY

CAN'T BIND INDIVIDUAL

BISHOPS EXCEPT UNDER VERY

SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

>> BUT IT ALWAYS SEEMS

TO-- IT'S HARD NOT TO VIEW

IT AS FALLING TO A

PARTICULAR CULTURE WAR,

POLITICAL VIEWPOINT BECAUSE

YOU THINK ALL RIGHT, THEY

DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR

WOMEN'S CONTRACEPTION.

BUT THEY ALREADY PAY FOR

VIAGRA.

>> RIGHT.

>> IN SOME OF THE HEALTH

INSURANCES THAT THEY OFFER.

THERE ARE SURELY SINGLE MEN

THAT ARE USING IT FOR

NONPROCEED OPERATIONAL

ISSUES THAT WORK IN CATHOLIC

INSTITUTION Y HASN'T THAT

BEEN AN ISSUE.

>> I THINK MORALLY IT WOULD

BE AN ISSUE.

AND THE CONSISTENCY IS

ALWAYS AN ISSUE.

AND TRYING TO TREAT MEN AND

WOMEN EQUALLY, YOU KNOW, IS

A BIG ISSUE IN THE CATHOLIC

CHURCH.

AND MY GUESS IS THAT THEY

THINK THIS IS A BIGGER

PROBLEM RIGHT NOW AND THEY

THINK IT'S A BIGGER PROBLEM

I THINK BECAUSE OF THE

DOCUMENT THAT SAID THAT IT'S

ALWAYS WRONG TO USE BIRTH

CONTROL.

>> BUT DON'T THEY --

>> FOR PURPOSES OF

PREVENTING CONCEPTION.

>> BUT DON'T THEY ALSO PAY,

YOU KNOW, THE ITEM IS THEY

WON'T PAY T IS AGAINST THEIR

CONSCIENCE TO PAY FOR

INSURANCE THAT MAY PAY FOR

IT BUT THEY ALREADY PAY

THEIR EMPLOYEES DIRECTLY.

ISN'T THAT LIKE HANDING THEM

A BOX OF CONDOMS?

BECAUSE BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T

HAVE, IF YOUR IDEA IS WE

DON'T WANT TO CONTRIBUTE

TO --

>> YEAH.

>> TO THIS EVIL, AREN'T THEY

ALREADY CONTRIBUTING CASH.

>> THERE IS-- THAT'S A

WONDERFUL QUESTION.

AND YOU KNOW, YOU COULD BE A

MORAL THEE LODGEAN IF YOU

WANTED.

>> I WOULD LIKE THAT SO

MUCH.

LET ME ASK YOU THIS.

>> THERE'S A DOCTRINE --

>> HOW BIG A HAT DO I GET AS

A MORAL THEOLOGAN.

>> I LIKED THE ONE YOU WORE

MONDAY NIGHT.

>> Jon: OKAY, I WILL WEAR

THAT.

THE CATHOLIC TRADITION HAS

ALWAYS LIVED IN A IS VERY

MESSY WORLD AND SO IT

DEVELOPS A KIND OF SET OF

CATEGORIES TO THINK ABOUT

THIS.

AND THE CATEGORY, THE

FRAMEWORK IT'S CALLED

COOPERATION WITH EVIL.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

>> OH MY GOD.

>> SO THAT'S THEIR

EMPLOYEES.

>> NO, NO, NO.

THEY LOVE THEIR EMPLOYEES.

>> Jon: IF IT IS, YOU SPEAK

OF IT IN TERMS OF

INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE AND

ALL THOSE THINGS BUT THE

LANGUAGE OF IT IS VERY A

PROCT LIP PARTICULAR AND

VERY MUCH ABOUT PERSECUTION

AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND IN

NO WAY REFLECTIVE OF WHAT

SEEMS TO BE A MUCH MORE

THOUGHTFUL PROCESS THAN YOU

ARE TALKING ABOUT.

>> THIS STRAND IS ABOUT AS

DRY AS THE TAX CODE OF MORAL

THEOLOGY BECAUSE YOU

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN VARIOUS

DEGREES OF CONNECTION WITH

EVIL.

IN AMERICA WHAT IS

INTERESTING ABOUT THE

CATHOLIC CHURCH IN AMERICA

IS THAT IT HAS PICKED UP A

LOT OF PROTESTANT DISCOURSE

IN TALKING ABOUT HOW WE

RELATE.

AND THE PURITANS HAD THIS

PRACTICE DECISION CALLED THE

INJURY MYI HAD,-- JERAMIAD,

SO PART OF WHAT YOU ARE

SEEING IS CATHOLIC MORAL

RHETORIC TO A PROTESTANT

CONTEXT THAT IS STILL VERY

AFFECTED BY PROTESTANT.

>> Jon: PUT A LITTLE

JEWISH-- UNDERNEATH IT.

DO YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO

STICK AROUND.

CATHLEEN KAVENY, GREAT JO

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