Cathleen Kaveny, a professor of law and theology at the University of Notre Dame, will lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 in Room 163 of Buckley Center on the University of Portland campus. Her talk, “Catholics in the Public Square: Prophecy, Civility and Truth,” will discuss how Catholics in a pluralistic society should frame their public discussion of controversial issues.

“Committed Christians often feel caught between two obligations, Kaveny says. “On the one hand, we experience a call to speak prophetically, calling attention to moral scandals in our society. On the other hand is the conflicting demand to speak politely and respectfully, taking into account the concerns and needs of those who disagree.”

Kaveny will argue that the tension is grounded in two demands of truth in service of the common good: the prophetic demand to "speak the truth to power" about controversial moral issues, and the demands of civility, which recognize the equal dignity of our fellow citizens. She will suggest ways to manage the conflict fruitfully.