James Carroll

Birth control and church’s power grab

HERE’S A book title suited to recent headlines: “The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor’s Proposals to End the Battle Over Birth Control.’’ Alas, the battle over birth control has been reignited, with Catholic doctors (and nurses, professors, social workers, and others whose health insurance is at issue) finding themselves in the thick of conflict, whether they want to be or not. Catholic bishops, having a generation ago squandered the treasure of moral leadership, have lately been offered a pulpit from which to bully. They’re back.

Never mind that the bishops have been had. Conservative Republicans, knowing which buttons to push, have successfully conscripted the Catholic hierarchy into the battle to unseat President Obama. As the right cheers the bishops on, they can dream that the long-settled issue of birth control is still lively.

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