Cafeteria Catholicism


#1

Why is that most cafeteria catholics only reject magisterial teaching on moral issues? (specifically in the realm of sexual sin) and yet are perfectly happy to believe in Great Mysteries of the Faith such as the Ascenscion/Trinity.

You don’t often see a Catholic who abides by the church’s entire moral code but says “I am sorry I can’t believe in the Ascenscion it just doesn’t add up…BUT I don’t think people should judge me and i will continue communicating with Christ at the Altar.”


#2

Because cafeteria Catholics want a feel good Catholicism, one that does not require them to stop committing their pet sins! I know, because I was one!

The Great Mysteries of the Faith do not interfere with their life-style. Morals do.

Find out what teaching of the Church a cafeteria Catholic does not agree with, and you know the sins they do not intend to refrain from!! It is as simple as that!


#3

[quote=Joan M]Because cafeteria Catholics want a feel good Catholicism, one that does not require them to stop committing their pet sins! I know, because I was one!

The Great Mysteries of the Faith do not interfere with their life-style. Morals do.

[/quote]

Ditto.

You definitely nailed it ( :eek: ).

You can spout off all kinds of stuff about the Trinity, then five minutes later commit immoral act without guilt.

Find out what teaching of the Church a cafeteria Catholic does not agree with, and you know the sins they do not intend to refrain from!! It is as simple as that!

Oops.

This may certainly be true for many cafeteria Catholics, but not all, unless you really stretch the definition of “sin.” For example, a CC may not practice a sexual sin or skip Mass, but still have problems with “infallibility” or “Mary’s ever virgin” status, and the only sin there is their incorrect thinking. Did you intend to include this scenario in your comments, because I can see they could be related?

I say this because that was a place where I once was. My experience differs from yours, but maybe we can give a coherent message. :thumbsup:

[edit] That message, as I see it, is first pin down exactly what are the objections the CC has, to gain insight. I also suggest that some CC-ism is spawned by noise, branwashing, and incorrect leadership within the church or bashing from outside the Church, and not necessarily stem from a fleshly desire. Overall, I’d say I’d bet on the fleshly desire because I agree that is the most common case. I think. :confused:

Alan


#4

The number #1 area of dissent has to do with sexual issues and other crimes related to sexual sin (such as abortion). Since the 1960s, American society has become obsessed with so-called sexual autonomy. As the others have said here, one can believe or disbelieve in the Trinity and see it as a completely unrelated issue with no practical bearing on one’s life. But, if one wants to live a life of sexual immorality, then Church teaching gets in the way.

Sexual sin is so completely devastating, individually and socially. Not only are the individual consequences devastating but so are the social consequences (need for welfare, etc.). Many of the problems in our society would go away if people would be chaste.


#5

[quote=Joan M]Because cafeteria Catholics want a feel good Catholicism, one that does not require them to stop committing their pet sins! I know, because I was one!

The Great Mysteries of the Faith do not interfere with their life-style. Morals do.

Find out what teaching of the Church a cafeteria Catholic does not agree with, and you know the sins they do not intend to refrain from!! It is as simple as that!
[/quote]


#6

[quote=Joan M]Because cafeteria Catholics want a feel good Catholicism, one that does not require them to stop committing their pet sins! I know, because I was one!

The Great Mysteries of the Faith do not interfere with their life-style. Morals do.
[/quote]

So because you felt a certain way, means everyone else has the same motivation? I don’t think so.

I am a ‘Cafeteria Catholic’. I disagree with various teachings, the odd one to do with morality, more to do with various theology. Unlike most Catholics, I know the Bible really well and when I try to discuss these points I always get a shrug and a “Oh, I don’t know about that” and as soon as the Bible and scriptures itself come into it, the conversation ends. I’d prefer an intelligent, reasoned faith to blind faith. God gave me a brain. I’m sure he wants me to use it to think and question, otherwise I’d believe anything.

As far as morals, I agree strongly about abortion being evil. I disagree with birth control that is abortifacient. I believe that NFP is the ideal but I believe that sometimes there can be justification for use of non-abortifacient, barrier birth control where the intention of the couple is unselfish - and yes, sometimes having a child because it’s what the couple desires can be more selfish than not. That is true in my own circumstances. I see a big difference between preventing a life beginning and ending one already started, no matter how early in the process.

I have studied and read on the teaching against any form of birth control for years. I have tried to understand it but I just can’t see to ‘get it’ or accept it. I am a cradle Catholic and never knew the church even had a teaching about birth control until well after I was married so maybe that has something to do with it. 5/6 priests have told me that using birth control in my present circumstances is not a problem and I have to agree with them, not because it suits me, but for reasons that benefit my children and husband. I myself would love more children but for me to do anything about that at this point would actually be selfish.

So yes, call me a Catetera Catholic. I think it’s a pretty apt description.


#7

As a new convert to Catholicism I have a lot of trouble with “cafeteria” Catholicism. Being Catholic is not a human right, it is a choice. It is a choice to freely love and accept God.

If you freely love and accept God then you acknowledge that He is our creator and is supernatural. We cannot know the mind of God. But we can choose to trust Him.

How on earth can someone acknowledge that he is our creator, and then presume to know better than Him?

It makes no sense to me. I saw the Truth and beauty of the Catholic Church and chose to accept ALL of it. If I do not accept all of it, how can I be Catholic?

The teachings are clearly laid out and we are free to accept or reject them. Accept them and be Catholic, reject them and find another religion that forms to your beliefs… I choose to form my beliefs to Catholicism.

I do not pretend to understand it all, but I am willing to be obedient and God will reveal what I need to know. I trust in Him, not myself.

To me, Catholics who want to be Catholic without accepting all of the teachings are just as ridiculous as someone who joins an organization like Green Peace but then goes out and clubs baby seals…:nope:

Malia


#8

It is a choice for a convert, not for someone who was baptised as a baby. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.

The Pope and Magisterium do not equal God. If you decide to join a religion and not question then you could do the same for any other religion and swalow anything you are told to believe as truth without thinking. That’s the easy way out.

I do believe there will be a split coming in the church in future. So you should get your way in the end. Don’t forget there are some who think that even the conservative Catholic church went apostate when they ditched the Latin Mass and moved to the Novus Ordo. Since they are the more traditional Catholic church, why don’t we all join them?


#9

[quote=mumto5]So because you felt a certain way, means everyone else has the same motivation? I don’t think so.

I am a ‘Cafeteria Catholic’. I disagree with various teachings, the odd one to do with morality, more to do with various theology. Unlike most Catholics, I know the Bible really well and when I try to discuss these points I always get a shrug and a “Oh, I don’t know about that” and as soon as the Bible and scriptures itself come into it, the conversation ends. I’d prefer an intelligent, reasoned faith to blind faith. God gave me a brain. I’m sure he wants me to use it to think and question, otherwise I’d believe anything.

As far as morals, I agree strongly about abortion being evil. I disagree with birth control that is abortifacient. I believe that NFP is the ideal but I believe that sometimes there can be justification for use of non-abortifacient, barrier birth control where the intention of the couple is unselfish - and yes, sometimes having a child because it’s what the couple desires can be more selfish than not. That is true in my own circumstances. I see a big difference between preventing a life beginning and ending one already started, no matter how early in the process.

I have studied and read on the teaching against any form of birth control for years. I have tried to understand it but I just can’t see to ‘get it’ or accept it. I am a cradle Catholic and never knew the church even had a teaching about birth control until well after I was married so maybe that has something to do with it. 5/6 priests have told me that using birth control in my present circumstances is not a problem and I have to agree with them, not because it suits me, but for reasons that benefit my children and husband. I myself would love more children but for me to do anything about that at this point would actually be selfish.

So yes, call me a Catetera Catholic. I think it’s a pretty apt description.
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

I **highly **recommend you watch Christopher West’s video on Christian Womanhood. If there are priests telling you that contraception is OK, then someone needs to have a talk with their bishop.
You said, “preventing a life beginning”…and you don’t view that as something wrong? Think about those words; preventing a life from beginning. I don’t see how you can say that using contraception is “unselfish”. Would you mind explaining why that is?

In Christ,
Rand


#10

[quote=mumto5]Don’t forget there are some who think that even the conservative Catholic church went apostate when they ditched the Latin Mass and moved to the Novus Ordo. Since they are the more traditional Catholic church, why don’t we all join them?
[/quote]

I can’t explain why any serious Catholic cannot join them, as sedevacantism is a banned topic. But there is a very good reason.

In Christ,
Rand


#11

[quote=mumto5]It is a choice for a convert, not for someone who was baptised as a baby. Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.

The Pope and Magisterium do not equal God. If you decide to join a religion and not question then you could do the same for any other religion and swalow anything you are told to believe as truth without thinking. That’s the easy way out.

I do believe there will be a split coming in the church in future. So you should get your way in the end. Don’t forget there are some who think that even the conservative Catholic church went apostate when they ditched the Latin Mass and moved to the Novus Ordo. Since they are the more traditional Catholic church, why don’t we all join them?
[/quote]

You are not a slave to Catholicism, you have the free will to make the choice to leave it if you wish. Just as I exercised my free will to leave the faith I was baptized into.

The Pope and Magesterium do not equal God, I agree. But they are representatives of Him and act to see that His will is done. Do you know much about the Holy Spirit? Incredible, to say the least.

And I fully questioned the Catholic faith (for about 5 years), before I decided that it was indeed the Truth and it was where God was leading me. To not question would be foolish, I agree, again. No one should just “swallow what they are told” and take the “easy way out”. That would be very lazy and foolish indeed.

As for a split in the future, it is already here. As far as the Catholic Church can be split, anyway. The split is in people who want to see their own will imposed instead of practicing the virtues of obedience and humility.

But the Church can never truly “split”. It is promised that the Church will endure until the end of days… if it doesn’t, then none of this matters because it would prove that the Church is not what it is supposed to be and would be false anyway.

Yes there are some who think the Church already split when they “ditched the latin mass”. But do you see the common thread here? Human opinion.
**
The Church has never, and will never change her teachings on faith and morals. It is not possible. The Pope and the Magesterium are guardians of that Truth. They are not the creators so they have no power to change it.

If you are indeed a “thinking Catholic” as you claim, I do hope that you will expand your knowledge of our beautiful faith and pray for the wisdom and understanding to accept it fully, as God wills.

Peace to you mumto5. I will add you to my prayers,

Malia


#12

Each time we say the Credo we profess our belief in the Most Holy Catholic Church. We also profess our belief in the Holy Spirit. Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit does not guide Holy Mother Church, yet directs us individually to work around that Church? Trust in the Holy Spirit without trust in the Magisterium and Papacy is a clear conflict of faith.

1) Know
2) Obey
3) Understand

And, in that order.

Understanding is not a prequesite to obedience. In fact, obedience in the absence of understanding is one of the most pure sacrifices we can offer, and a pure act of trust and faith in the Holy Spirit to work through the Church. We sacrifice our will, our desire, for that of the Lord’s as passed down through the Church He instituted.

Know the teaching. We have an obligation to learn what the Church says on any issue and to never stop learning. We can look things up in the CCC, Encyclicals, Letters, and we can ask a priest. Surely Scripture plays a role and all of the Vatican doctrines include references to Scripture, in context. Personal interpretation of Scripture alone is a dangerous way to give ourselves freedom of dissent because there are so many variables involved.

Obey the teaching. Once we know the teaching, we are bound by obedience to it otherwise we commit dissent and an act of disobedience. Obedience requires humility; disobedience is rooted in pride, it’s opposite. Both humility and obedience are gateways through which only the Holy Spirit can pass, and are barriers to the devil and the self, which always seeks its own desires sometimes to the point of confusing its own voice with that of God’s. Almost always, it is out of convenience or lack of desire to sacrifice something in humble obedience to the will of God.

Jesus was obedient to the authority of Pontius Pilat because he would not have the authority unless it were granted by the Father. He was obedient to death - death on a cross. Mary was obedient when the angel of the Lord appeared to her, “Let it be done to me according to your Word”. The saints teach us obedience to heroic levels, demonstrating that the Holy Spirit works through others.

**Understand the teaching. **Knowing and understanding are two different things. One can know that contraception of any kind is considered sinful. But, people wrongly conclude that understanding is required for assent. This is not the case at all. Understanding is something we pray for and then continue to learn through reading, listening, talking, and finally just waiting for a response from God. After prayerfully asking for the Holy Spirit to grant us this gift on the subject at hand, it may someday come. Understanding is not a right, but a gift.

When I have struggled with a church teaching, I asked God to help me to understand the “why’s”. Then I set out to find the answers through some hard work. Sometimes I don’t have time right away. On more than one occasion, I have assented to something that was troubling and I did so in my heart as well as in word and action. It was an act of trust. More often than not, I find myself rewarded anywhere from hours to days or weeks later with a deep understanding without having gone through books or other means. I could be standing in a grocery store line when it hits. However, I know that the understanding is something He can decide to give me on his terms, if He so desires I have it at all.

God tests us often. One test He uses is to see if we will have enough trust in His Spirit to assent to something we do not fully understand. This is a critical test to pass.

Many dissenting Catholics (cafeteria Catholics) cannot explain why the Church teaching is what it is, they simply find all the arguments against it. I recently challenged a dissenter this way asking what he could tell me about the teaching and why it was in place. I asked how much time he put in to understanding it, and the answer was, “none.” How sad for some to take up a defense without knowing the how the game is played.

:blessyou:


#13

[quote=mumto5]I’d prefer an intelligent, reasoned faith to blind faith.

Have you not met any devout Catholics (who follow ALL of the teachings of the Church) who have an intelligent, well reasoned faith?

God gave me a brain. I’m sure he wants me to use it to think and question, otherwise I’d believe anything.

Yes He gave you a brain. But the Fall also introduced sin into the world.

**Pride **is one of the seven deadly ones for a very good reason…

we need to be very careful when determining if we are “thinking and questioning” or being disobedient because we think we are right.

It is not God’s job to prove His teachings to us. It is our job to accept and understand them, in that order.

Malia

[/quote]


#14

[quote=Lux_et_veritas]Each time we say the Credo we profess our belief in the Most Holy Catholic Church. We also profess our belief in the Holy Spirit. Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit does not guide Holy Mother Church, yet directs us individually to work around that Church? Trust in the Holy Spirit without trust in the Magisterium and Papacy is a clear conflict of faith.

1) Know
2) Obey
3) Understand

And, in that order.

Understanding is not a prequesite to obedience. In fact, obedience in the absence of understanding is one of the most pure sacrifices we can offer, and a pure act of trust and faith in the Holy Spirit to work through the Church. We sacrifice our will, our desire, for that of the Lord’s as passed down through the Church He instituted.

Know the teaching. We have an obligation to learn what the Church says on any issue and to never stop learning. We can look things up in the CCC, Encyclicals, Letters, and we can ask a priest. Surely Scripture plays a role and all of the Vatican doctrines include references to Scripture, in context. Personal interpretation of Scripture alone is a dangerous way to give ourselves freedom of dissent because there are so many variables involved.

Obey the teaching. Once we know the teaching, we are bound by obedience to it otherwise we commit dissent and an act of disobedience. Obedience requires humility; disobedience is rooted in pride, it’s opposite. Both humility and obedience are gateways through which only the Holy Spirit can pass, and are barriers to the devil and the self, which always seeks its own desires sometimes to the point of confusing its own voice with that of God’s. Almost always, it is out of convenience or lack of desire to sacrifice something in humble obedience to the will of God.

Jesus was obedient to the authority of Pontius Pilat because he would not have the authority unless it were granted by the Father. He was obedient to death - death on a cross. Mary was obedient when the angel of the Lord appeared to her, “Let it be done to me according to your Word”. The saints teach us obedience to heroic levels, demonstrating that the Holy Spirit works through others.

Understand the teaching. Knowing and understanding are two different things. One can know that contraception of any kind is considered sinful. But, people wrongly conclude that understanding is required for assent. This is not the case at all. Understanding is something we pray for and then continue to learn through reading, listening, talking, and finally just waiting for a response from God after prayerfully asking for the Holy Spirit to grant us this gift on the subject at hand. Understanding is not a right, but a gift.

When I have struggled with a church teaching, I asked God to help me to understand the “why’s”. Then I set out to find the answers through some hard work. Sometimes I don’t have time right away. On more than one occasion, I have assented to something that was troubling and I did so in my heart as well as in word and action. It was an act of trust. More often than not, I find myself rewarded anywhere from hours to days or weeks later with a deep understanding without having gone through books or other means. I could be standing in a grocery store line when it hits. However, I know that the understanding is something He can decide to give me on his terms, if He so desires I have it at all.

God tests us often. One test He uses is to see if we will have enough trust in His Spirit to assent to something we do not fully understand. This is a critical test to pass.

:blessyou:
[/quote]

AMEN!


#15

Thanks so much Diane! What a great post… you took the words right out of my head and made them make more sense than I ever could.

Malia


#16

[quote=E.E.N.S.]AMEN!
[/quote]

Ditto!:clapping:


#17

(yawn)

This again, huh?

So we’re cafeteria Catholics because we’re (1) immoral, (2) poorly informed, (3) proud, or (4) intellectually lazy, eh?

I am with mumto5 here. God gave me a brain and a conscience for a reason; presumably He expects me to use them.

(Question: Penny, God gave you an appendix as well. Does He expect you to use that?

Answer: Hush.)

I do not believe that one must accept every teaching of the Church to be Catholic, or even to be a good Catholic. I think we have come to a Pharasaical emphasis on law at the expense of mercy, justice, love, and common courtesy, all of which are as much a part of Christ’s teachings as the Law.

I think those who slander us cafeteria Catholics by spreading the, well, LIE that we disagree with some of the Church’s teachings on morality because we are personally immoral should guard their tongues and bone up on charity. I speak only for myself, of course, but I disagree with the Church’s teachings on civil homosexual marriage because it is silly and unjust, not because I am a closet lesbian.

As to the reason you hear more about moral disagreements than the other types, it’s because they’re more relevant. Do I think that Mary was a perpetual virgin, for example? Nah, not really. Does the Church teach otherwise? Yes. Does it come up in conversation much? No. Does Mary’s perpetual virginity or lack thereof make the slightest bit of difference in my daily life or that of the people around me? No.

So do I care very much one way or the other? No.

And is my Catholicism a “feel-good” Catholicism? It is not.


#18

[quote=John of Woking]Why is that most cafeteria catholics only reject magisterial teaching on moral issues? (specifically in the realm of sexual sin) and yet are perfectly happy to believe in Great Mysteries of the Faith such as the Ascenscion/Trinity.

[/quote]

Operating as a “cafeteria Catholic” I would make a couple points. First–I would second the sentiments of the earlier poster who noted the difference between being born and raised Catholic and those who come to the faith later in life. We are not “choosing” all aspects of the faith or dogma. Nonetheless, we would no more consider leaving our faith tradition than we would abandon our family of origin just because we disagreed with something they did, believed or stood for.

Second, and related to the point above, Catholicism is as much a culture as it is a faith. We share with our Catholic sisters and brothers common traditions, educational experiences, life milestones, leaders/mentors and, of course, values. The discrepancy over some issues does not break the bonds that permeate our very being.

Finally, for many of us the conflict with absolute Church teachings on sexuality and contraception arise directly from the absence of input on the subject from Jesus himself. It is one of those issues on which the omission speaks as loudly as directives which were verbalized clearly. While we recognize and in many other ways defer to Church teachings to discern truth and reveal God’s plan, there are many of us who struggle with sincere hearts, not a misdirected sense of self-importance or pride, over the issues surrounding human sexuality.


#19

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

I **highly **recommend you watch Christopher West’s video on Christian Womanhood. If there are priests telling you that contraception is OK, then someone needs to have a talk with their bishop.
You said, “preventing a life beginning”…and you don’t view that as something wrong? Think about those words; preventing a life from beginning. I don’t see how you can say that using contraception is “unselfish”. Would you mind explaining why that is?

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

I don’t mind at all. I was thinking of my own example where I almost died having my last baby and have a very high chance of repeating the incident that led to it again. I had problems after my fourth birth. I desire more children, I’ve always wanted lots and thought I’d always have at least one more, but I have decided not to try to conceive another one as I feel that God would rather I be there to raise my five children than to die having six and leave them all motherless (and possibly take the baby with me as well). My husband is exhausted and needs a break from the babies. I feel that not having a baby is the least selfish course, for everyone else concerned, that I can take. I feel it would be selfish for me to take the risk as far as my children are concerned and to not take my husband’s feelings into account in this matter. He was ready to stop three children ago and has taken into account my wishes, now I have to take into account mine. I do hope that I will get the chance to adopt in future but I’ve left that up to God’s will. Obviously I believe that if God wants me to have more children I will - be that via adoption or birth.

No doubt there are other circumstances where it would be selfish - and contrary to responsible parenthood - to choose to have a child because I want one. Sometimes choosing not to have a child can be the more noble course.

Did I say contraception was unselfish? I can’t remember. I’m not talking about the means as much as the intention, be that NFP or otherwise. I think there is a huge difference between keeping sperm and egg apart and destroying a life begun.

You don’t have to agree with me, I don’t care, you are not my judge. I do know that I think and reason on things and that includes my faith. Otherwise I may as well just join a cult that dictates what we need to believe without question.


#20

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]I can’t explain why any serious Catholic cannot join them, as sedevacantism is a banned topic. But there is a very good reason.

In Christ,
Rand
[/quote]

sorry, didn’t realise that was a forbidden topic.


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