Ms Magazine challenges the Catholic Church and its 14-day "Fortnight for Freedom" campaign in a stinging essay that criticizes church hypocrisy and calls out leaders for declaring war on women, by serving as "generals" in denying and limiting women's access to abortion and contraception:
"And there’s no hiding today, June 21, when the U.S. bishops open their “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day national propaganda campaign disguised as being about “prayer, study, catechesis and public action.” Created under the pretense of defending religious freedom, the Fortnight will consist of nationwide rallies to “celebrate … great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power.”
“The Bishops like to hide behind religious liberty, but their agenda is very clear,” says Erin Hanna, executive director of the Women’s Ordination Conference, which works to end the exclusion of women from being priests, deacons and bishops in the Catholic Church. “They are declaring war on the right of women to be agents in their own lives.”
The article doesn't shy from its rebuke of Church leaders and their involvement in politics, citing efforts to block ACA, supporting so-called "religious liberty" amendments in states, and its clear interest in pushing for amendments to deny contraceptive coverage to employees if it infringes on an employer's religious beliefs:
"The bishops were not only instrumental in the birth control hearing but were staunchly behind recent state-level initiatives such as Measure 3 in North Dakota, which would have allowed employers who oppose contraception to deny such coverage to their employees. Similar legislation in Florida, Amendment 8, is also backed by the USCCB; in its press release for Fortnight for Freedom, the USCCB urged Catholics to “learn about” the amendment, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot."
RELATED: Bishops Launch 2-Week Campaign Against Health Law (NPR)