I thought my beloved Italian mother could not be outdone in knowing how to use the victim and guilt tactic.
But she has met her match with the latest strategy of the U.S. Catholic Bishops. Unable to convince their flock -- 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women do not follow the church's edict on contraception, according to research released in 2011 -- the bishops decided to play the victim card.
The decision by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius does not impose contraception insurance coverage for those in ministerial positions that teach Catholic doctrine to their adherents, but it does require contraception insurance coverage for its employees in those institutions that serve the general public in our pluralistic society. Many employees in such publicly subsidized institutions should not have their consciences usurped working in such institutions. Nevertheless, the bishops assert the Obama administration is attacking religious freedom. The reality is the bishops' protests are not on behalf of employees' conscience rights, but an attempt to usurp the right of Catholics and others to follow their informed conscience and not follow the opinion of the bishops on contraception issues.
The church's teaching on contraception is not infallible, and it should enter the 21st century by following the findings of the 53-memberInternational Commission on Contraception formed by Pope John XXIII. The bishops and laity should read the American Catholic Historical Association's award-winning book, "Contraception," by Professor John Noonan, Mentor Omega Book Publisher, 1965. Get enlightened.