Friday, May 06, 2005

Signs of a Cafeteria Catholic?

I did a Yahoo search on "cafeteria catholics" and found this from a definition of Cafeteria Catholics with which I beg to take issue:

(Q): What is a Cafeteria Catholic?
Cafeteria Catholics are those who pick and choose what doctrines they want to follow and what doctrines they want to ignore. They do not have any respect for the authority of the Catholic church. The guidelines of the church are meaningless. The sad part of the story is there are nuns and priests included in this category.

The difference between a cafeteria Catholic and a lukewarm Catholic is that the cafeteria Catholic is ruled by pride. They believe that they do not have to follow the rules of anyone. They are in charge and they can believe what they want.

(Q): What are signs of a Cafeteria Catholic?
Here are some examples of a cafeteria Catholic:

  • They see no problem with artificial birth control
  • They see no problem with premarital sex
  • They see no problem with divorce and remarriage
  • They see no problem with abortion
  • They approve and promote the ordination of woman
  • They approve and promote the marriage of priests
First of all, how Catholic is it to judge the opinions and beliefs of others?

I'm not judging here. I'm simply stating.

Let the record show, this Cafeteria Catholic picks and chooses and wrestles with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. This isn't easy! I do respect the authority of the Catholic Church, including the Pope. And, I don't agree with everything these men have to say. I find great meaning in the guidelines of the church, and see them as just that -- guidelines. That nuns and priests are like me is something I find comforting, not sad. While I am proud to be Catholic (Is that bad? I'm not sure.) I don't think I'm ruled by pride, whatever that means. True, I don't HAVE to follow any rules. However, I do find it wise to CHOOSE to follow many rules. When it comes to me, I realize I control very little, but I do believe I'm in charge. God gave me a brain and freewill to believe what I want.

"See no problem"? What in the heck does that mean?

Again, for the record, I believe artificial birth control is far more effective than "natural" birth control in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Better birth control than abortion, I say. I think premarital sex has its place, and I think divorce is a reality and remarriage should be welcome. I've already stated I believe abortion is a choice, and the church is entitled to its opinion. And, at a time when the priesthood crisis includes a shortage and a really bad image (to say the least) the idea of allowing women to follow this calling and allowing the men who follow it to marry, should they choose, is a good one. So, OK. I "approve" of those last two things. (As if my approval means anything.) And, beyond the words of this blog, I don't go out of my way to promote them.

Concerned Catholics are entitled to their opinion. I'm free to have mine. There is room for both....and more.

What's your definition? How do you spot a Cafeteria Catholic?


At 11:26 AM, May 06, 2005, Blogger Talmida said...

I actually think that the cafeteria catholics who have spent time in prayer and study and discussion before choosing to disregard or dissent from the Church's teaching might be better Christians than people who just blindly obey because they are told to.

If the institutional Church (as opposed to the Body of Christ Church) had never made any mistakes, and had a perfect track record of doing God's will, then I could with complete confidence obey it blindly.

It hasn't. I don't.

At 11:49 AM, May 06, 2005, Blogger Unapologetic Catholic said...

It's the "wrestle with" part that makes the difference.

At 4:20 PM, May 06, 2005, Blogger CafeCath said...

Three cheers for those who pray, study, discuss and wrestle!

At 3:32 PM, May 12, 2006, Anonymous Bernard said...

I have been a Catholic from the cradle.

It seem to me. its an easy question to answer " Am I a Roman Catholic or not."

If you are a Roman Catholic, you will follow the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church to the letter.

If you don't well technically your either a heretic or Protestant.

I have been in Parishes, were they have done away with Mortal and Venial sin and the need to attend Mass and even the need to believe in the Eucharist

At 6:47 PM, May 12, 2006, Blogger MikeD said...

I have to take issue with this: " Catholic is it to judge the opinions and beliefs of others?"

Opinions, beliefs, and behaviors are right subject of our judgements. People are not subject to judgement. Any rational discourse in which there is a disagreement will require the making of judgement about another's beliefs.

At 8:54 AM, May 15, 2006, Anonymous Bernard said...

I agree with the above comment in principle.

But I view ones judgement to be a personal one. Your judgement, I believe should be used to judge yourself for change.

With the issues in the Church as an example. The Church is an institution and its been in place for centuries.

If you judge your needs are not being met by the Roman Catholic Church then its your right to move on because that effect you.

But what about the ones who find peace and happiness in the teachings of the Church. as it is and accepts its guidance.

I don't believe, I have the right to tell the Roman Catholic Church to change its teaching to fit my belief system.

I do have the right and the responsibility to find my own way to salvation. If your having faith issues. maybe God trying to tell you something.

The Roman Catholic Church can not GIVE you your Salvation. Its a personal quest, that only you can obtain. We are all going to be be judged, on how we lived our lives someday. I don't believe that telling God; on the day of your judgement that the Roman Catholic Church told me to do it, is going to afford you your Salvation. The Church offers spiritual guidance, nothing more that.

Jesus Christ said that it would be better, to have a mill stone tired around your neck and then being thrown into the deepest ocean; then to lead one of my little ones astray


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