Saturday, April 30, 2005


As a newbie Catholic blogger, I've been looking around to see how this is done. Not that I'm that much of a conformist, mind you. Mostly, I'm just curious.

I just ran across this little ditty about Catholic web authorship.
The style of a Catholic webauthor must be sober, solemn, and with a seriousness that dwells on sincerity, truthfulness, honesty and clarity of vision. He can also design his webpages in a way that is new, bright and attractive. This way, those who are not of our Catholic faith, may be initially attracted to find out more than the mere design of the webpage. But it must be stressed that the webauthor must be careful in balancing the power of attracting thru design and the power of attracting thru content. Ultimately, content is the more important because this is what will inspire, move and influence the surfer to take on a more serious look at his being Catholic. Or if the Internet user is non-Catholic, initial contact with the contents of the webpages may interest him and lead him to search deeper into the richness and quality of our way of being Christian.

But the best style of webauthoring is one in line with the style exhibited by our classic spiritual writers. It is imperative therefore that all Catholic webauthors be familiar with them and read them not only once in their lifetime but go back to those pages as often as they could.

I'm screwed.

Friday, April 29, 2005

My Menu Favorites

I've been feeling very Catholic lately. What, with the death of one pope and the selection of another, much of the world's attention was focused on Vatican City. Mine, too. While I watched and read, I did a lot of thinking....about these two amazing leaders of my Church, and what I really love about the Church and about being Catholic.

It's easy to point out which cafeteria selections I'm quick to pass by. (See my first post.) It's been great to think about what I like (and love) about the Catholic Church.

Here are some of my favorite items on the menu:
  • The Holy Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In that, I believe.
  • Mary. I've always felt a closeness to her. The Rosary is one of my favorite (and most therapeutic) devotions.
  • The Mass. It's magical. It can really be a feast. A lot happens there! I love the ritual of it. It's been (pretty much) the same for centuries. It's a powerful feeling to know that as I sit in a pew in my local parish, I'm hearing and saying the same words that are being recited around the world that day. And, it's comforting to know that I can walk into any Mass around the world and I have a sense of what I'll experience and I know how to participate. (Now, I'm feeling guilty that I don't go as much as I should!)
  • The Sacraments. For much the same reasons I like the Mass, only they're more special.
  • My Parish. I read recently that "Catholicism happens in the pews". I think that's true. The Vatican is a half a world away. My parish church is part of my neighborhood. It's a community of people I feel connected to. And, it's fun! Many of them, like me, are Cafeteria Catholics, too.
There's more, of course. And, that's enough for now. I just wanted to bring a bit more balance to the picture of this Cafeteria Catholic.

How about you? What's your favorite item on the Cafeteria Catholic menu?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

In Good Company

This from USNews:
According to a recent Gallup Poll, 78 percent of American Catholics support allowing Catholics to use birth control, 63 percent think priests should be able to marry, and 55 percent think women should be ordained as priests. Last week Gallup reported that more Catholics than non-Catholics believe that homosexual behavior, divorce, and stem-cell and human-embryo research are morally acceptable.

With more than 67 million Catholics in America today, those are some pretty impressive numbers! I'm comforted to know I'm not alone. In fact, this is one really big cafeteria!

And, I'm reminded of the old saying: "There is Strength in Numbers."

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Inspiration in a Cup

While surfing the web this evening, I ran across a photo of a mug promoting our new Pope. Below his name was a quote from Maureen Dowd's recent New York Times Column: "The Cafeteria is Closed."

As a long time Cafeteria Catholic, I was insulted. Offended, actually. And, in that moment, the idea for this blog was formed.

Welcome to Cafeteria Catholic. My hope is that this blog will become a place for those of us who identify ourselves as Catholic, and don't quite accept all of the doctrine.

I'm a 40-something lifelong Catholic who has accepted my lot as a Cafeteria Catholic. There is so much about the Catholic Church that truly speaks to me. And, yes, I have my points of disagreement. I believe women should be ordained, and priests should be allowed to marry. I think abortion is a choice, though it's not one I'd chose to make. I believe we as humans should have the right to love who we love, regardless of their sex. And, while I believe the Catholic church has the right to decide whether it or not it will allow same sex marriage, it should recognize that some of its followers are gay. And, that should be okay. I believe birth control is a choice, too. And, while I don't have any kids, I want my church to accept my marriage as it is, even without procreating.

Some might be quick to label me a Democrat. I'm actually a registered Independent who leans to the right. (Oh my gosh!) Is there anyone else out there???????????????

At the first sight of white smoke and the announcement of our new Pope, I will admit I was a bit upset. I saw his "take it or leave it" homily before the conclave. I heard the reports of "The Rottweiler" and the like. Hey, his job was to enforce doctrine. And, I suppose, he did it well. My hope was that as Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger might take on a more welcoming role.

In the middle of that first night of the new Papacy, I watched the broadcast of the Pope's first mass from the Sistine Chapel. After listening live to his 18-minute homily, I heard a Pope who was reaching out, not pushing away. One who wants to enter into conversation, not silence the masses. After that, I was hopeful. I truly believe this new Pope does not want to close the door on Cafeteria Catholics. I hope that's true.

Are you a Cafeteria Catholic? If so, I invite you to jump in and speak. There's plenty of room for you to comment. And, if you're not, you're welcome to comment, too.

The Cafeteria Catholic is open! I look forward to getting to know you.