Identifying and Responding to Imposter Catholics

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This statement in the article is golden:
‘many people are hypersensitive and have been raised to believe that sensitivity and confrontation avoidance are paramount virtues. They are wrong. Although, our default demeanor should always be one of love and respect, we must not give in to the false moral philosophy that sensitivity and harmony-by-relativism outweigh truth.’


Please define “imposter Catholics”.


What are impostor Catholics?

I have heard Catholics who don’t follow Church teaching makes them lapsed Catholics.

Any person who is baptized Catholic is Catholic. They may not be practicing Catholics but they’re still (real) Catholics.


I think the moniker is intended for people who claim to be Catholic while actively rejecting or even working against the teachings of the Church. Joe Biden is a good example given the current US situation.

Biden claims to be Catholic, and uses that as a campaigning point. However, he actively works against many of the Church’s teachings on topics such as abortion and traditional marriage. He has even gone so far as to sue Catholic organizations for not providing abortifacients, and has promised to do so again if elected. He is a clear example of what I would call an imposter Catholic. He may be a Catholic by baptism, and that can never be removed, but his positions and the way he has conducted his life seem to so wholly rejects the Church’s teachings that it doesn’t seem reasonable to actually call him Catholic anymore.


Father Guido Sarducci, for one?


Okay I understand the point but I disagree with the label.

Biden is a lapsed Catholic, not an impostor Catholic.

The sacrament of Baptism is what makes a person a Catholic, regardless of that person’s choice later in life to follow or not follow Church teaching.

This is why reverts do not have to be rebaptized.


Why do you say he is lapsed? I thought he went to mass every week?

Come on.

Going to mass by itself does not make one a faithful Catholic.

Especially if one lives life contrary to Church teaching.

I have heard of Mafia dons attending mass each week while ordering executions on their enemies.


It doesn’t make one lapsed. I thought lapsed meant you no longer practiced?

I believe he’s not entirely in communion with the church because of some of his beliefs. I think this would make him a dissident catholic of some kind. (Of course, I have also known priests who shared some of these beliefs.)

Yes, dissident Catholic maybe but not impostor Catholic.


I don’t think he is a lapsed Catholic; there are plenty of Catholics who go to weekly—even daily!- Mass and observe selected Catholic traditions new and old who disagree with some, many, or most teachings of the Church. These are the Catholics who support women priests, who advocate “Catholics for choice”, who are ‘personally against abortion but would, in ‘charity’, drive a woman to the clinic and sit with her because it’s ‘her personal decision’; who think the Real Presence was a medieval superstition, who are fine with gay marriage, and whose idea of Catholic faith is that Jesus was a great guy, although limited by ‘the times’, who probably was not really GOD but was somehow ‘’godified’ while he was on earth, never performed real miracles but encouraged people to ‘share’, was all about social justice and the poor, never cared about a Church or a book (both of which were ‘obviously’ taken over by radical men and are suspect), and whose ‘identity’ will use “Catholic” if needed and ignore it when not.

Catholics who are not practicing their faith but either not recognising that they have strayed, or who are trying to ‘drag the church where THEY think it should be’. . . A little different from lapsed Catholics who either don’t bother to practice their faith at all or who are upfront over “I don’t identify or practice as a Catholic any more.”


These could be dissident Catholics.


It’s not up to us to judge who is a real Catholic and who is not.

We don’t know the hearts of others. That’s God’s job.


I think being a practicing Catholic is more than just going to mass and some prayers on the side.

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Also participating in the sacramental life of the Church.

Our church fathers, many of them had opposing opinions on many things. They don’t agree uniformly in all things like a group of robots.

Are they impostor catholics too?

I’m a Catholic. I don’t reject any Catholic doctrine. I hold on to all Catholic doctrine and refer to it as the deposit of Faith. If someone is Catholic but rejects particular doctrines, he is just treating the Church as a place to pick and choose doctrines and not as the only Church founded by Jesus and protected by the Holy Spirit.


Do we really need yet another conversation on Joe Biden and Catholicism? There are already at least a couple that are active.


Why don’t we leave that to the proper authorities to deal with?

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