I was surprised this morning to hear a discussion about the supposed outrage in the Catholic Church over the ruling insurance policies must cover contraceptives with no mention that 98% of all sexually active Catholic women in the US have used some form of artificial birth control.
I am a Catholic born and raised. In fact, I was born just 3 months after Joe. S. Growing up in the aftermath of Vatican II where we sang Dylan hymns at Saturday Guitar Mass and were taught Liberation Theology in the classroom, the conservative shift taken by the Church after the untimely death of Pope John Paul I is distressing.
I am also of the first generation of Catholics hugely impacted by divorce. My parents divorced and my father, though he goes to Mass every Sunday, was denied Communion for 31 years because he remarried a Baptist outside the Church. It wasn't until after my Mom died in 2003 that he got that straightened out.
I have been married for 30 years to a Protestant who thoughtfully took care of birth control concerns with a vasectomy back in 1988. As far as the Catholic Church id concerned I am living in sin with a heretic and our children are bastards but that's between me and my Church; not between me and my Church and my government just like my choice to use an artificial contraceptive or not is between me and my Church and my doctor and I don't believe it is the secular Government's place to enforce Church doctrine.
Rather than keeping government out of religion what this is actually doing is inserting itself between me and my Church in matter of faith, doctrine and free will and when Joe S. says his "real" problem with this is Federal control and that he doesn't care, States should be free to do whatever they want, it brings to mind pictures of dogs and fire hoses and schoolchildren being spit upon for trying to enter a public school and it's ugly.
Joe S. does the entire Catholic Church a disservice by speaking in such sneering and denigrating terms about "priests raping little boys." This was not a wound inflicted on the Church by the "media" or any external forces. This is a self-inflicted wound; one that many of the laity feels hasn't been adequately addressed by the Church hierarchy and too many of us is symptomatic of deeper issues within the Church.
What I feel has been entirely overlooked is the dormant power of the woman's movement. Women accomplished massive societal changes and true liberation from constrained, "traditional" roles. We recognize that it was advances in contraception and the ability to regulate our fertility and plan our families that has allowed us to come such a long way, baby. Women have been observing the conservative assault on our gender, on our very autonomy as free and equal citizens, and a tipping point will be reached.
Finally, I would ask Joe S. to ask himself exactly what is the Catholic Church? Is it the hierarchy or is it the people? Is he standing with the 2% or with the 98%?