Liberal Catholics challenge bishops on contraception

“The Catholic bishops and their allies in the Republican Party are increasingly isolated,” James Salt, executive director of a liberal group called Catholics United, said in a statement over the weekend supporting the White House’s contraception rule.

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“The bishops’ blanket opposition appears to the serve the interests of a political agenda, not the needs of the American people,” Salt continued, e-mailing his group’s support for the White House to tens of thousands of Catholics nationwide.

Another Washington-based Catholic operative, John Gehring, e-mailed reporters over the weekend to knock the bishops for criticizing President Barack Obama, even after his administration revised its contraception rule Friday to mandate that insurers – not Catholic institutions – pay for birth control coverage.

“You have to ask why the bishops can’t take yes for an answer,” wrote Gehring, who works with the progressive group Faith in Public Life.

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