The Catholic Church in the Face of the Europeanization of Polish Policy of Equality and Non-discrimination. The Case of the Cahvio Convention

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This article shall analyse the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the process of Europeanization of Polish policy of equality and non-discrimination. It shall be an analysis of a single case, i.e. the debate around Poland’s adoption ofthe CAHVIO Convention of the Council of Europe. These analyses shall seek the answer to the question of how the Catholic Church sees the process of Europeanization of equality and anti-discrimination policy in Poland. Whether it supports it or opposes it. What role does it want to play in this process? How is the Church and its attitude towards Europeanization perceived by other participants of the public debate and how does this affect the ability of the Church to control the process of Europeanization? The theoretical approach used in the research shall be the paradigm of the public sphere and Europeanization. Methods and techniques of discourse analysis shall be applied as well. More Info: Burgoński P., The Catholic Church in the Face of Europeization of the Polish Policy of Equality and Non-discrimination. The Case of CAHVIO Convention, “Politics and Religion Journal (PRJ)” 2015 vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 249-267. Journal Name: Politics and Religion Journal Publication Date: 2015
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  POLITICS AND RELIGION IN EUROPE 249 Piotr Burgoński 1  Прегледни рад Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University UDK 272:[341.1:   343.54/.55(438) Warsaw, Poland  THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE FACE OF THE EUROPEANIZATION OF POLISH POLICY OF EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION. THE CASE OF THE CAHVIO CONVENTION Abstract  This article shall analyse the attitude of the Catholic Church towards the pro-cess of Europeanization of Polish policy of equality and non-discrimination. It shall be an analysis of a single case, i.e. the debate around Poland’s adoption of the CAHVIO Convention of the Council of Europe. These analyses shall seek the answer to the question of how the Catholic Church sees the process of Europe-anization of equality and anti-discrimination policy in Poland. Whether it sup-ports it or opposes it. What role does it want to play in this process? How is the Church and its attitude towards Europeanization perceived by other participants of the public debate and how does this affect the ability of the Church to control the process of Europeanization? The theoretical approach used in the research shall be the paradigm of the public sphere and Europeanization. Methods and techniques of discourse analysis shall be applied as well. Key Words:  Catholic Church, Poland, CAHVIO, Europeanization, equality, dis-crimination Introduction  The Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (so-called “CAHVIO” Convention 2 ) was adopted by the Council of Europe on 11 May 2011 , and then opened for signature. At the beginning of March 2012 the Prime Minister of Poland announced his intention to sign and ratify the Convention. In the first half of April 2012,   a public debate started in 1 E-mail: burgonski@onet.eu2 The Council of Europe decided it was necessary to set comprehensive standards to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence. In December 2008, the Committee of Ministers set up an expert group mandated to prepare a draft convention in this field. Over the course of just over two years, this group, called the CAHVIO (Ad Hoc Committee for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) worked out a draft text. The final draft of the convention was produced in December 2010.   250 ПОЛИТИКА И РЕЛИГИЈА У ЕВРОПИ  ПОЛИТИКОЛОГИЈА РЕЛИГИЈЕ бр. 2/2015 год IXã POLITICS AND RELIGION ã POLITOLOGIE DES RELIGIONS ã Nº 2/2015 Vol. IX  Poland and then turned into a heated argument concerning several provisions of the Convention. A representative of the Polish government signed the Con-vention on 18 December 2012. After over 9 months of dispute the debate lost its momentum and almost completely disappeared [or: faded away, evaporated, disintegrated] at the end of January 2013. The debate concerning the Convention involved members of the Polish gov-ernment (prime minister and ministers) and politicians of the ruling coalition and the opposition, including parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations, the Catholic Church and the mass media. The purpose of the research, the results of which are presented in this article, is to show the role of the Catholic Church in the above-mentioned debate. In this case, the term “Catholic Church” is broadly under-stood as an ecclesiastical hierarchy as well as lay Catholics and Catholic mass me-dia. The choice of the Catholic Church as the subject of the study was dictated by the fact that it played an important role in the debate, i.e. it was the main opponent of the Convention. Therefore, the statements made by Church leaders and repre-sentatives of the Catholic organisations and media were the subject of the analysis. Furthermore, analysis was carried out of statements made by debate participants that were issued in response to the voice of the Catholic Church representatives.In this article, I have attempted to answer the question of how the Catholic Church sees the process of Europeanization of equality and anti-discrimination policy in Poland, whether it   supports it or opposes it, and what role it wants to play in this process. I also wanted to answer the question of how the Church’s attitude towards Europeanization is seen by other participants of the public debate and how this affects the ability of the Church to control the process of Europeaniza-tion 3 . Theory In the present study, the analytical approach included two paradigms. The first one is the paradigm of public sphere as formulated by Jürgen Habermas. In his view, the public sphere is a domain of social life where public discourse takes place and public opinion is formed. This discourse concerns matters of gen-eral interest, is essentially open to the general public, and can cover any issues. However, it is assumed that the participants of the discourse use rational argu-ments, as they are equally available to everyone 4 . Nevertheless, this does not 3 The research results presented in this article belong in the field known as politology of religion. It constitutes a relatively lately identified sub-discipline of political science. Politology of religion deals with the study of interaction between politics and religion and provides particular focus on relations between the subjects (actors) participating in politics in its narrow sense: the government, political parties, pressure groups and religious communities (Miroljub Jevtic, Political Science and Religion, Politics and Religion , Vol. I, No. 1, Belgrade, 2007, pp. 63-65).4 Jürgen Habermas, The Public Sphere, in: Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Anthology  , Robert E. Goodin, Philip Petit (eds.), Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1997, p. 103.  POLITICS AND RELIGION IN EUROPE 251Piotr Burgoński, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE FACE OF THE EUROPEANIZATION OF POLISH POLICY OF EQUALITY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION. THE CASE OF THE CAHVIO CONVENTION ã (pp249-267) mean that the process of shaping public opinion which takes place in the public sphere cannot involve religiously-minded citizens who introduce into public de-bate arguments resulting from their religious doctrines. Their presence is desir-able because religion is a source that supports public awareness of norms and solidarity. What is more, acceptance of public expression of religious beliefs in the public sphere contributes to the creation of social ties which cannot exist without mutual recognition. However, people [or: members of the public] who want to use religious arguments should be aware that in order to be understood they might be expected to translate these arguments into secular language. Fur-thermore, they must accept the boundary between the public sphere and the sphere of political institutions (parliaments, courts, ministries, administration) where only secular arguments are taken into account 5 . This theoretical perspec-tive that attributes rational nature to communication should be extended to other approaches towards the public sphere. The first one sees the processes in the public sphere as manipulation. The representative of this standpoint, Nancy Fraser, argues that discourse taking place in the public sphere often masks the dominance of some actors over others. Participants in discourse speak to each other as if they were equals in terms of economic and social status only because inequalities are put in parentheses. Fraser claims that the dominant group does not seek consensus but it reinforces [?its] power by extending ideology / ideas in the public sphere that justify and perpetuate relationships of domination and subordination 6 . Fraser, along with Seyla Benhabib, argues that today we should not draw a clear line between what is private and what is public as Habermas did. If the public sphere is to be consistent Habermas’ assumptions, i.e. it is open to all issues, it is also open to those that were attributed not so long ago to the private sphere (for example, domestic violence against women). There should be no dis-tinction between what can and cannot be discussed 7 . In another approach that was created by James W. Carey, behaviour in the public sphere is seen as ritual communication. This type of communication consists in constructing a symbolic reality, i.e. representing, maintaining, adapting and sharing social beliefs. So it is not about communication based on rational persuasion, but about expression of identity 8 . The second approach adopted in this study is the paradigm of Europeaniza-tion. Its main idea is that under the influence of norms, principles and proce-dures established by European supranational organizations, changes in law, poli- 5 Jürgen Habermas, Wierzyć i wiedzieć,  Znak  , No. 9, Kraków, 2002, pp. 10-16.6 Nancy Fraser, Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy,  Social Text  , No. 25/26, New York, 1990, pp. 58-62.7 Ibid., 62-67; and Seyla Benhabib, Models of Public Space: Hannah Arendt, the Liberal Tradition, and Jürgen Haber-mas, in: Habermas and the Public Sphere , Calhoun Craig (ed.),   MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1992, pp. 89-90.8 James W. Carey,  A Cultural Approach to Communication. Communication as a Culture , Routledge, New York, 2009, pp. 11-28.   252 ПОЛИТИКА И РЕЛИГИЈА У ЕВРОПИ  ПОЛИТИКОЛОГИЈА РЕЛИГИЈЕ бр. 2/2015 год IXã POLITICS AND RELIGION ã POLITOLOGIE DES RELIGIONS ã Nº 2/2015 Vol. IX  tics, administration, the party system etc. take place on the national state level. Europeanization is a multidirectional process (for example, top-down, bottom-up, cross-loading) and multidimensional (for example, functional and cultural Europeanization) 9 . The case discussed here shall be considered as an example of top-down Europeanization, i.e. the impact of European institutions on countries which are gradually opening up to this impact, and at the same time as an ex-ample of cultural Europeanization, i.e. transmission by the European institutions of ideas, beliefs and values that are expected to be internalized by elites and citi-zens of the Member States. Studies show that in Poland, the change in policy of equality and discrimination has been mainly forced by the European institutions and is a result of a rational choice based on weighing of costs and benefits of vari-ous options and then opting for the most useful one. However, the level of Poles’ internalisation of values underlying this policy still remains low 10 .Authors who bring up the issue of Europeanization of equality and non-dis-crimination policy on the national level (for example, A. Buzogany), among many factors contributing to this change, mention the involvement of non-state ac-tors 11 . They may have a positive impact on Europeanization and accelerate the adoption of European legislation and norms or become people who oppose and veto it. In the case studied here, I use the term “veto player” to refer to the Catho-lic Church, especially in terms of its opposition to the ideas, beliefs and values broadcast from the European level and included in the CAHVIO Convention. Method  The study of the public discourse concerning the CAHVIO Convention from the perspective of clarification of involvement of the Church as a veto player against the process of Europeanization has been performed using a method called “Critical Discourse Analysis”, which in recent years has been developed by such researchers as Teun A. van Dijk and Ruth Wodak. In this method, discourse is seen as a socially and culturally organized way of producing a text by which certain functions are implemented or a specific purpose is achieved. This is why 9 Tanja A. Börzel, Thomas Risse, When Europe Hits Home: Europeanization and Domestic Change, European Inte- gration online Papers , Vol. 15, No. 4, 2000, http://eiop.or.at/eiop/texte/2000-015a.htm  (accessed 12.08.2014); and Piotr Buras, Karolina Pomorska, Europeizacja – nowe podejście analityczne w studiach nad polityką zagraniczną,  Stosunki  Międzynarodowe , Vol. 38, No. 3/4, Warszawa, 2008, p. 31; and Kerry E. Howell, Europeanization, policy transfer, conver-gence and lesson-drawing: Case studies of UK and German financial services regulation,  Journal of Banking Regulation , No. 4, Warwick, 2005, p. 380.10 Piotr Burgoński, Europeizacja polskiej polityki równościowej i antydyskryminacyjnej, Przegląd Europejski  , Vol. 25, No. 2, Warszawa, 2012, p. 166.11 Aron Buzogany, Joining Europe, Not Sodom. LGBT Rights and the limits of Europeanization in Hungary and Ro-mania, paper prepared for the 40th National Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (20-23 November 2008), http://www.dhv-speyer.de/kropp/mitarbeiter/Mi-tarbeiter_Buzogany/BuzoganyEngl.htm  (accessed 24.11.2014).
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