This may be news to some of us who live in a 95% Catholic country and know plenty of practicing Catholics who use contraception, support gay rights, and are pro-choice, But it's news to the Guardian. And if anyone can see anything but ignorance and anti-Catholicism in paragraphs like this:
However, given that her faith is explicitly anti-abortion and anti-contraception and that its very highest level of priesthood is open only to men, is she really the best-placed person in government to speak up for women's rights?
...then I wish they'd explain it. Now, it does seem that Ruth Kelly is not a liberal Catholic - she's in Opus fucking Dei, after all. However, that doesn't meant that liberal feminist Catholics don't exist - indeed, Kelly considers herself a feminist, despite some possibly noxious personal views on sexual and reproductive issues - and Natalie Hanman's piece is seemingly based on the assumption that they don't, that all Catholics are automatically conservative and that therefore they shouldn't be allowed into any position in which human rights are at stake. That there's no need to examine Kelly's personal beliefs because, as a Catholic, she's automatically a pro-life gay-hating wingnut. I may not be a practicing Catholic, but I know that all Catholics don't believe exactly what the Pope tells them, and I can't express how offensive I find this.