What makes this particular battle interesting is the messaging employed by one Catholic Bishop in his attempt to sway public opinion -- and how completely disconnected it is from the realities the people of the Philippines face each day.
Thirty lawsuits have been filed by corporations challenging the Health and Human Services regulation requiring that most health plans cover contraceptives. The strangest thing is that the plaintiffs have not yet been required to provide contraceptive coverage -- and may never be.
At present there is a standoff between the Vatican and the organization that represents 80 percent of American nuns. The hierarchy likely will break the stalemate right after the noisy election season. But what seems like a straight, rigid line looks more convoluted on further examination.
Catholics know what's at stake, and they're making up their own minds despite the influence the bishops claim, or the relative importance the hierarchy's influence and divisive campaigns garner in the media.
I'm fine with the bishops having a Fortnight for Freedom -- and who isn't really? We all love freedom, and I'd venture to even say we love fortnights. However, we're missing the real issue at hand: poverty.
Women have long been subjected to excessive societal pressure to sublimate their own needs, bodies and behaviors and to sacrifice them to those of developing fetuses. But, slippery slopes are slippery.
Whatever your political beliefs, it must have come as a surprise to hear that Cardinal Timothy Dolan would be offering a benediction at the Democratic National Convention as well as at the Republican one. What gives?
Today's Catholic episcopate seems increasingly marred by a bitter-end spirit of strife and faction. Where's the humble recognition that the political squabbles of this world should not rend asunder the Church of Christ?
Long a bouquet of shy wallflowers compared with evangelicals, Catholic bishops are at last joining the dance at the Republican party. The Catholic hierarchs are abandoning the restraint that once made them credible as moral leaders above the partisan fray.
The bishops may take some satisfaction in an approval rating of 70 percent, but raising poll numbers was never their goal. The year 2012 still presents challenges, especially in the area of sexual abuse.
The bishops may reject the choices made by voters and their elected representatives and lament that Catholics use birth control and form families in violation of their commands, but this does not mean their religious freedoms are being violated.
The July 4 closing of the Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington drew a standing-room-only crowd, a fact that stunned organizers given the holiday.