McCloskey is on the front lines of a long-simmering war over the Catholic Church, its direction and future—a war over the role of women, over contraception, over the proper role of the laity—ultimately, a war over the meaning of Vatican II. No one, save God, knows the outcome. But it's worth noting that even one of the church's most devoted partisans can't avoid a little "Protestant" dissent.
When asked what he would do if the Catholic Church ever reversed its position on birth control, McCloskey dismissed the question as an impossible hypothetical. Dismissed it, that is, after he blurted out his first, instinctive reaction: "I'd be gone in a second."
Perhaps there's room for private judgment after all.