Playing God: American Catholic Bishops and the Far Right

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"A fascinating, investigative dive . . . both alarming and enlightening." -- Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money

The definitive account of how a group of American Catholic bishops are using "dark money" and allying with ultra-right evangelicals in an attempt to remake America . . .

Seasoned Catholic journalist and former war correspondent Mary Jo McConahay tells the story of how the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have become one of the most formidable and reactionary forces in America -- by campaigning to alter democratic institutions under the guise of religious liberty, and allying with major right-wing contributors such as the Kochs.

In fact, many of the bishops--two-hundred and twenty-nine men, almost all white and beyond middle age--are such staunch opponents of Pope Francis that some US Catholics fear a schism with Rome.

The influence of these bishops can be traced in recent news stories--such was when they maneuvered to deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians like President Biden. With their lay partners, the bishops also help shepherd cases into the Supreme Court that change the law of the land, as with Roe v. Wade.

But as McConahay details, that's just the tip of the iceberg. In an investigation reminiscent of Jane Mayer's Dark Money, she uncovers an ominous and long-term political strategy of attacking secular, liberal democracy by waging war on democratic norms and institutions.