One of the most fateful (and evil) decisions made by the Catholic hierarchy in the 20th and 21st century has been to treat the movement of women around the world to claim full personhood and a full range of human rights for women as illegitimate, and as a threat to the Catholic faith. The top pastoral leaders of the Catholic church have done (and continue to do) incalculable damage to the Catholic "brand" by treating this movement as a threat to Catholic belief and values.
The recent Hobby Lobby decision of the five Supreme Catholic men is rooted in this attitude (and policy) of the top leaders of the Catholic church. This decision will ultimately backfire against those now celebrating it, and will bring great shame on the head of the Catholic bishops of the U.S. — if any more shame were possible after we've seen their shocking betrayal of pastoral leadership with the abuse crisis.
Here's something I wrote near the end of 2012 about that now infamous picture of the "religious freedom" hearings in D.C. in 2012, which I just included in a posting here a moment ago:
It will take a long time before any nice words of the U.S. Catholic bishops about a loving, inclusive, and salvific God who cherishes everyone in the world manage to dispel this image of Bishop Lori, the bishops' religious freedom guru, sitting at this table with his confreres. The image speaks volumes about who the bishops imagine their God to be, about who occupies the table the bishops' God sets and who is absent from that table, and about whom the bishops' God chooses, blesses, empowers, and includes, and whom their God shoves from the table.