Catholic use of self-descriptive adjectives

If a baptized or confirmed Catholic attends Mass regularly but disagrees with the Catholic Church on say whether a woman has a legal right to an abortion under the US Constitution or on marriage equality, or disagrees even on the use of contraception as many Catholics do at least according to polling…

Does the Catholic Church consider such a person:

A practicing Catholic because they’re at Mass regularly and perhaps follows other things?
A non practicing Catholic?
An unorthodox Catholic?
An in name only Catholic?
Not a Catholic?

Feel free to give other suggestions. I’d prefer something not so harsh as to judge them a heretic but if you must.

Once Catholic Always Catholic

" once a Catholic by baptism or reception one remain always remains a Catholic…Even those who have joined other religions, have become atheists or agnostics have been excommunicated remains Catholics."-New commentary on the Code of Canon Law> page 63

read what Jimmy Akin says here
As of the time the motu proprio goes into effect, therefore, anybody who has ever been a Catholic (even if they were baptized one as an infant and then raised something else) must follow the same marriage laws as those who consider themselves Catholic or their marriages will be invalid.

It brings to mind the old saying, “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” I’m not sure what people always had in mind by this saying–whether they were saying that Catholic culture runs deep in the soul, even if one joins another church; whether they were asserting that it is impossible to truly leave the Church; or whether they were asserting something else.

Whatever was meant, though, and whatever nuances have been introduced theologically about kinds or degrees of ecclesial communion, **going forward everybody who has ever been Catholic will be juridically Catholic, attempts at formal defection or no.

Since Omnium in mentem took effect on 9 April 2010, defection from the faith no longer has any canonical effect. “Defection” does not release one from ecclesiastical law, including the observance of canonical form in marriage.
Once a Catholic, always a Catholic is not just cultural, or emotional… it is juridical. Baptism to death, friends.

read it again i case you missed it
Even those who have joined other religions, have become atheists or agnostics have been excommunicated remains Catholics."

Is it the Catholic view that someone can be God denying atheist and still be Catholic?

A lapsed Catholic refers to those not regularly participating in the Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation.

But one who rejects Catholic dogma or doctrine is a dissenting Catholic.

Christ’s Magisterium has warned us, through a Saint, precisely against such actions:
There has never been, and is no, “licit dissent” as St John Paul II has confirmed: “It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a ‘good Catholic’ and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere.” [Meeting with US Bishops at Our Lady Queen of Angels Minor Seminary, Los Angeles, Sept 16, 1987].

A real Catholic is bound to give their assent to all of the doctrinal teaching of the Church. In reality the dissenters make up their own immorality to declare independence from the Magisterium, with the logical result that each one poses as pope, and “represents the crux of the confusion in the minds of believers about the meaning of their religion in the modern world.” Fr James V Schall, S.J., concludes: “The result of no real orthodoxy is skepticism and usually counter-orthodoxy.” Distinctiveness of Christianity, Ignatius Press, 1982, p 176].

Sections 25-31 covers “not irreformable” teaching even for theologians in the Instruction On The Ecclesial Vocation Of The Theologian, (Donum Veritatis) [DV] 1990, even for those who “feel” that they cannot give “intellectual assent,” they have “the duty to remain open to a deeper examination of the question.” (31).

Donum Veritatis completely rules out all dissent:
“32. The Magisterium has drawn attention several times to the serious harm done to the community of the Church by attitudes of general opposition to Church teaching which even come to expression in organized groups. In his apostolic exhortation Paterna cum benevolentia [1974], Paul VI offered a diagnosis of this problem which is still apropos. In particular, he addresses here that public opposition to the Magisterium of the Church also called “dissent”, which must be distinguished from the situation of personal difficulties treated above. The phenomenon of dissent can have diverse forms. Its remote and proximate causes are multiple.”

#36. “The freedom of the act of faith cannot justify a right to dissent.”

do you agree with this:

“As for the head count Catholics, whose presence in the pews somewhat MASKS the actual depth of the crisis of Faith the Church is undergoing, it would be better if they left as well.”…JhU64JoTBVSWeQ


**"Less than 10 percent of Catholics are ACTUALLY Catholic. **
That is the headline that Catholic bishops have got to come to grips with.

Since the 1960s massive number of Catholics have abandoned belief in Church teachings,
most of them left the Church in practice, BUT – SOME of them didn’t leave in practice.

They kept attending their local parishes, occupying seats in the pews, skewing the number of “Catholics who attend Mass Once a week”.
Call ‘em Head Count Catholics.
**They show up on the rolls, but reject the teachings.
The reasons they reject them vary from person to person of course, but that isn’t the point.

And again, we aren’t talking about the former Catholics who don’t go to Mass anymore –
**we’re talking about the former Catholics who DO go to Mass.
**It’s a little disingenuous actually to sit in parish, go up to receive Holy Communion –
signifying you are one with the Church, to rattle off the line, “I believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” and then reject that same Church in Her teachings.
They stick around for every reason except the right reason. **
It doesn’t matter if you are attached nostalgically to the parish of your childhood of you reject the teachings.
It doesn’t matter if you have friends in the parish and feel all warm and nice when you see them on Sundays if you reject the teachings.
It doesn’t matter if you send your child to the parish school so they will get a blue ribbon education if you reject the teachings.
It doesn’t matter if you are invested in the whole social justice movement of helping the poor if you reject the teachings.
It doesn’t matter if you like the music at the parish if you reject the teachings.
It doesn’t matter if you like the pastor because he’s friendly and approachable if you reject the teachings.
What matters – and the only thing that matters is you reject the teachings.

As for the head count Catholics, whose presence in the pews somewhat MASKS the actual depth of the crisis of Faith the Church is undergoing, **it would be better if they left as well.

It’s a two-step process. Somewhere around 15-20% attend Mass. Check. But the second step is admitting that a substantial number of those 15 percent, reject the Church teachings – leaving a realistic portrait of somewhere between 7-10 percent of baptized Catholics are actually Catholic. It’s taken decades for bishops to publicly admit the first step, what everyone has already known for years.

Perhaps the reality of the head count Catholics and the truth of the full reality is just too painful for them to deal admit or deal with.

God Love You.
I’m Michael Voris **

Dissenting Catholic.

If the person also gives voice or action to the dissent, he/she would no longer be considered a faithfully practicing Catholic.

"Catholics don’t think it is necessary to agree with the pope on issues like abortion and birth control in order to be a faithful member of the church.

Eighty-three percent of Catholics said they think it’s possible to disagree with the pope on issues like these and still be a good Catholic,
and 78 percent of American Catholics are more likely to follow their own consciences rather than the pope’s teachings (13 percent) on difficult moral issues. "**

Until they are convinced differently:
they will call themselves “good Catholics”
they will call themselves “faithful Catholics”

Has anyone ever told them that they are NOT good and faithful Catholics?

I realize you weren’t asking me but…


I agree propositionally that a lot of Catholics in the pews are nowhere near as obedient as they could be. I strongly disagree, however, that “it would be better if they left”. I cannot support any action that involves encouraging people to cut themselves off from the Church, which is basically what is being advocated here.

Michael Voris may have a good heart and even argue a fair point or two at times but I can’t shake the suspicion that he just doesn’t get it… or that he isn’t doing more harm than good with his silly little videos.

I understand how vexing it can be to see people thumb their noses at the Magisterium but the alternative is encouraging these baptized Catholics to leave themselves with no means of reconciliation. I can’t do that in good conscience. As long as they continue attending Mass, they may yet come to their senses. If nothing else, the Church is a witness in their disobedience. That’s what matters in my opinion.

That I agree with. Mind you, I have personally seen and believe (and have it on good authority that) the same is true of other organizations such as the Southern Baptist Convention, where the precise same number of people are truly committed to their faith. So this “1 in 10” thing doesn’t just affect the Church.

The point is this isn’t a uniquely Catholic phenomenon. But what separates the Church from the SBC, however, is that she won’t change her teachings to get along with what people say they want these days. Other ecclesial bodies will.

As one of those former “headcount Catholics” as you call them, I can tell you that the reality of being in essence a bad Catholic if you hold those contrary views is not well explained to many of the headcount Catholics. And when it is explained many continue on loving with a sense of cognitive dissonance regarding their status via-a-via the RCC.

Luckily notorious defection remains an out for them even if formal defection is no longer possible.

What in the world is this for?

What possible purpose does putting labels on people serve?

No good can come from this.


YES. Pay close attention to the BOLD.
There are those that would water down the faith…don’t engage it.

I would personally say, if they still identify as Catholic, a dissenting Catholic.

Disobedient Catholics:shrug:

I certainly wouldn’t call them practicing since they are rejecting part of the faith and in many cases actively undermining the faith by promoting things in direct opposition to what she teaches.

I am curious why people say it is harsh to refer to heresy? Heresy is simply obstinate rejection or doubt about something that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith. Given how happily and openly many people are about flouting Church teachings I would think they would embrace the term. Or is it simply a matter that people don’t want to think of themselves as holding heretical views because that might mean they officially have set themselves at odds with Christ’s Holy Church?

Labels are very important in this age of relatavism.

And some of the descriptions that people identify themselves with on the forum can be sad for them but kind of funny…ex Catholic seeking to become protestant but Jewish will do…lol.

First, questions of whether or not the U.S. Constitution grants legal rights to abortion or similar are not questions that the Catholic Faith even tries to answer. So a Catholic who thinks that such a right exists in the law is not, by thinking such, either agreeing or disagreeing with Catholic teaching. The question as to whether or not such a legal right should exist is different, but merely the question on whether it does exist in current law is not a religious question.

But if they actively dissent on things that are actually Church teaching, then they are a Catholic who is wrong and not following Church teaching. All those other phrases you just mentioned are various ways of saying that. (Except perhaps Catholic in name only, as they actually are Catholic, but most people understand that phrase to mean that their Catholicism doesn’t extend to their actions in at least several important respects.)

Probably cause the people who say it is harsh are liberals who are heretics lol.

I think the difference is more than that the Church won’t change her doctrines, it’s that she demands obedience in a way that almost all other religions do not. To be a good Catholic, one has to accept every single doctrine of the Church. Dissent is not allowed on a single one. That’s not true of the Southern Baptist Convention. So to be a Baptist in good standing requires accepting fewer propositions than being a Catholic in good standing does.

Maybe someone more knowledge than I can tell us if there are any other major religions that require the same obedience as the Church?

The Church doesn’t command obedience. Jesus does.

'If you love me you will obey my commandments.

Actually since Jesus and the Catholic Church are One and the Same I suppose you could say that the Catholic Church commands obedience. But only because Jesus does.

Why would you want to dissent from a teaching of Jesus anyway?

Michael, why do you think this is true? If only 7-10% of Catholics are good Catholics, were the Church were to shrink to her ‘correct’ size, she would be tiny. She would lose her income, close her great sacred spaces, shrink her charitable outreach. All those Catholic hospitals would lose their funding. Yes, a lot of lapsed Catholics don’t donate, but what percentage of the rich donors are fully obedient Catholics who would stay after this purge?

And, more importantly, the Church would lose her voice in society and stop having a real influence in the culture. Yes, the Church doesn’t win ever argument, but she’s still a voice people listen to. It was a big deal when the Pope visited the United States last year. It’s not a big deal if the Russian patriarch were to do so. Being a large religion brings influence.

A Church that shrank by 93% would be a Church correspondingly small and if you think she is a force for good in the world, why would it be good for her to become a tiny sect?

Here is another suggestion. Don’t judge them. Why on earth do you need any adjective at all?

Well it’s kind of obvious. How would you know who to evangelize?

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