Lots of credit goes to the Daily Show for inviting University of Notre Dame law and theology professor M. Cathleen Kaveny to be last night’s guest to discuss the HHS controversy and the Catholic Church’s position on birth control. I was particularly impressed by Jon Stewart’s awareness of the disconnect between the way in which certain Catholics and Catholic leaders have gone to extremes to condemn birth control, yet there are few who are equally vocal about the death penalty and other evils in our society against which the Church stands. Kaveny does a great job toward the end of the interview highlighting the Catholic teaching commonly referred to as “the consistent ethic of life.” Enjoy the interview here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-1-2012/exclusive—cathleen-kaveny-extended-interview-pt–1

Photo: ND


  1. It was good to see my “pseudo-cousin” on TV. I have met her a couple of times at Notre Dame and we have the best conversations. I enjoy her insight as one who will be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate this summer. I think she would have a future as a commentator, if she wanted to, but I think she really enjoys teaching.

  2. I will consider the source. I have major points to this entire issue: hypocrisy, and First Amendment.

    This argument, counter to the unfortunate spin on of the MSM, the ultra-feminists and the ultra-right (e.g. Rush Limbaugh is a complete nut-job on this one), is not about women’s “preventative healthcare”. It is about a government’s imposition of its beliefs upon a religious affiliated institution. What I find truly distressing and even more distasteful is how certain people can find and make jokes of the Holy Mother Church. The last time I checked, these too are considered sins, Roman Missal (2004, p. 2244 of Examination of Conscience, 2nd Commandment). (Obviously, not as grievous as say an abortion, but a sin none the less). Additionally, I find it abhorrent and an extremely lame, to use the analogical excuse that since nobody believes in that whole sex before marriage, or nobody else goes to sacrament of reconciliation, etc. that we should just go with the flow. “So, if everybody is jumping off the bridge, would you do the same?” That way of thinking first and foremost is EXACTLY why we are in the mess we are in today. I understand the Works of Mercy, “bearing wrongs patiently”, but there is also “instructing the ignorant”, and “admonishing the sinner”. But as I now firmly believe this most recent HHS decision is really not about religion, nor is not about an individual’s choice, it is about the “governments” choice. This I believe, to be completely out of bounds, not in-keeping with the limits of power, and UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I have pray and have faith, it will be over-turned eventually.

    There are plenty of examples of where religious beliefs and practices have been upheld beyond the civil-secular law. Are not the Amish allowed to have their children returning to the farm after the 8th grade? Are not Native Americans and descendants allowed to smoke peyote for religious purposes? If we are forced to “respect” the building of an Muslim cultural center near ground-zero, without due regard to the sensitivities of the victims and families of 9/11, why again must a Catholic institution, which EVERYONE knows does Her best to be pro-life (and yes I am including all of the life issues – the dignity of all life from natural conception to natural death), provide for anti-life procedures in their medical plans. Everyone has a choice to work for an organization or not. If you don’t believe in an organizations “mission statement”, look elsewhere. The issue is still not about religion, but the imposition of the government’s “belief” and “values” of special interest groups upon a people of Faith.

    If the “left” such as the ACLU can support the Westboro “baptists”, a protestor burning the American Flag, or even the KKK, fighting for their First Amendment right….why exactly can they not recognize the difference of a religious organization’s right not to accept a mandate that goes against Her teachings. Could not all those who so firmly believe in abortion and contraception ban together and get a supplemental insurance, without involving a religious institution’s commitment to their Faith?

    Lastly, I find it amazing that a learned scholar would even appear on a show that clearly has it’s own agenda, to show the Church in an unfavorable light, and is certainly not concerned about the promulgation of the Faith, much less the salvation of souls. I would be more impressed with a panel discussion with the professor and perhaps Dr. Schindler of the JPII Institute: that would be much more productive than with that of a satirist.

    1. I enjoyed watching the video–I actually used up a good portion of my lunch time on Friday to watch it (though I normally work through half of my 35 minute lunch). Anyways, I like a majority of the views expressed in the respectful exchange of ideas and the format was fun.
      I especially liked how Kaveny corrected Jon Stewart’s misconception that there are many Catholics and Catholic leaders who have gone to extremes to condemn birth control, yet there are few who are equally vocal about the death penalty and other evils in our society against which the Church stands. She pointed out that there is a disconnect in media reporting, which he seemed to respectfully acknowledge. Just think, for example, how little media attention has been given to the Assisi Decalogue.
      I did not like how our Protestant brothers and sisters (or wife, in my case) seemed to be criticized for their activity in politics. I envy the Protestants for their historical work against slavery in the United States as abolitionists, as well as the work of the baptist preachers who organized the Montgomery bus boycott and other civil rights protests.
      The thing that really bothered me, however, was the way that this clip was used by the Daily Show to make it seem as though there was no real religious liberty being threatened by Obama. Catholics from both parties have really united in seeing that the state has no right to require the Church to pay for contraception. Almost every single bishop has spoken out against this mandate.
      Most Catholics use contraception, so Obama (against the advice of some Democrats) wants to force this upon the Church. The idea is that the Church will accept this, since most of us feel that the Church is wrong about artificial contraception. The next step, however, is having Catholic institutions pay for abortions. Catholic Hospitals will soon be required to perform abortions. Imagine if the government even required the Church to provide firearms to employees…

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