The Church and Cafeteria Catholics


#1

I am not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes. My husband, a non-Catholic, says that the Church is de facto approving of Cafeteria Catholics by remaining silent on some of their activities. I tried as best I could to discuss this with him, and we do discuss and not argue, but I do not feel equipt to offer a good response. Any suggestions appreciated.


#2

Sadly at times here in America it does. Very few in the American episopate seem willing and able to confront the problem, same with the priesthood. Certainly Rome, in the person of Benedict XVI and under his predecessor John Paul II spoke against the cafeteria if you will. But were sadly largely ignored. The Church has very few tools in its arsenal these days to deal with politicians, laity, clergy who defy the teachings of the Church.


#3

when you speak of cafeteria, are you referring to like the lunch cafeteria , im sure its not that lol but if you wouldnt mind defining as to what exactly you mean by cafeteria?? thank you


#4

[quote=mary bobo]I am not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes. My husband, a non-Catholic, says that the Church is de facto approving of Cafeteria Catholics by remaining silent on some of their activities. I tried as best I could to discuss this with him, and we do discuss and not argue, but I do not feel equipt to offer a good response. Any suggestions appreciated.
[/quote]

Honestly, I have to agree with your husband. How many families do you see in church with more than 3 children? There aren’t too many at our church and I don’t think everyone there is practicing NFP…


#5

[quote=Catholic mommy]Honestly, I have to agree with your husband. How many families do you see in church with more than 3 children? There aren’t too many at our church and I don’t think everyone there is practicing NFP…
[/quote]

Just to speak up for some of us, and I know that you didn’t mean us, but my wife and I have been practicing NFP for all of our married life (10 years this May), but using it to TRY to have children for the past six. We could decide to go the medical intervention route, but have chosen not to. Still no children, though.

Actually, kind of making me sad right now. Stepping outside for a minute.

God bless all of you who have children or are pregnant.

P.S., Catholic mommy, I LOVE your signature line.


#6

OK, back again. So, I guess my question would be, about which position has your husband not heard a statement or position from the church?

We are not a “Johnny one-note” church, but neither can we mention every issue every time a statement is made.

I’m not arguing that there are not “Cafeteria Catholics”, but wondering, instead, which parts of the buffet people see others choosing from or avoiding.


#7

[quote=mary bobo]… My husband, a non-Catholic, says that the Church is de facto approving of Cafeteria Catholics by remaining silent on some of their activities. I tried as best I could to discuss this with him, and we do discuss and not argue, but I do not feel equipt to offer a good response. Any suggestions appreciated.
[/quote]

I disagree with your husband’s premise that the Church is “remaining silent.”

John Paul II on dissent:

"It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church on a number of questions… It has to be noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teaching. 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 of the Bishops in the United States and elsewhere.” (Pope John Paul II in his speech to the Bishops in 1987)

Pope Benedict XVI on dissent (while still Cardinal prefect of the CDF):

the theologian should avoid turning to the “mass media”, but have recourse to the responsible authority, for it is not by seeking to exert the pressure of public opinion that one contributes to the clarification of doctrinal issues and renders servite to the truth.

In opposition to and in competition with the authentic magisterium, there thus arises a kind of “parallel magisterium” of theologians… it can cause great spiritual harm by opposing itself to the Magisterium of the Pastors…

The freedom of the act of faith cannot justify a right to dissent… the theologian who is not disposed to think with the Church (“sentire cum Ecclesia”) contradicts the commitment he freely and knowingly accepted to teach in the name of the Church…

Setting up a supreme magisterium of conscience in opposition to the magisterium of the Church means adopting a principle of free examination incompatible with the economy of Revelation and its transmission in the Church and thus also with a correct understanding of theology and the role of the theologian…

…The acts of assent and submission to the Word entrusted to the Church under the guidance of the Magisterium are directed ultimately to Him and lead us into the realm of true freedom.

(Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Instruction on the ecclesial vocation of theologian:
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19900524_theologian-vocation_en.html )

The Church seems very clear to me. The fact that many children don’t listen does not prove the parent is “remaining silent.” The Church is trying to respond like a patient Mother. She teaches, and prays. She’s grown tired of beating her children into submission, because it seems that just tends to drive them away. She chooses instead to simply teach the truth over and over again, and hope one day that her prodigal children will return to Her before it is too late.


#8

[quote=willy]when you speak of cafeteria, are you referring to like the lunch cafeteria , im sure its not that lol but if you wouldnt mind defining as to what exactly you mean by cafeteria?? thank you
[/quote]

Willy,

The lunch cafeteria is exactly where the term comes from. The idea is that some Catholics pick and choose what to believe regarding Church teaching, just like you would pick and choose the food you want to eat in a cafeteria. To accept the authority and teaching of the Church is to accept the authority and teaching in all cases.

BTW…It doesn’t mean you have to live a perfect life to avoid being called a Cafeteria Catholic. The fact that you may be struggling with sin (i.e. sexual acts, birth control, abortion rights, etc.) doesn’t mean you don’t believe what the Church teaches.

God Bless,

Robert


#9

[quote=willy]when you speak of cafeteria, are you referring to like the lunch cafeteria , im sure its not that lol but if you wouldnt mind defining as to what exactly you mean by cafeteria?? thank you
[/quote]

Just like a Lunch Cafeteria, a Cafetria Catholic picks and chooses what he/she cares to "pick up"in their Religion, for example, A person may go to Church every Sunday and Holiday, but use Artificial Birth Control, supports abortion and takes the Lord’s Name in Vain. Another may just go to Church on Christmas and Easter, yet proudly proclaim he’s a Catholic. That’s what it means.


#10

Thanx , i understand now :smiley:


#11

The Bishops and priests in the U.S., for the most part, are more concerned with the collection of money than the collection of souls. There are, of course, excellent exceptions. Bishop Bruskewitz from Nebraska, I think, is one. But, for the most part, they’re afraid of not having enough money to run their dioceses/parishes. If they only had faith in the message of Christ through His Church, they’d have all the money they need! Stand up, teach what the Church teaches in a plain, easy to understand, unadulterated fashion, and I guarantee that the money will be there! Don’t, and you’ll not only not help souls, you’ll hurt the Church. That’s one of the reasons, I believe, that we’re having all these scandals in the Church. Instead of taking care of Jesus’ business, i.e., saving souls, many clergy became secular and worried about worldly things. How many parishes in the U.S. have Confession for half an hour once/week rather than daily before Mass where it would be easily accessible? How many priests are too busy attending committee meetings rather than tending to souls and administering the Sacraments like only they can do?!

Good news is around the corner, though. Most of the young men coming out of the seminary these days have their spiritual heads on right! At least the ones I’ve seen. Hopefully, Pope Benedict XVI is willing to tap some younger priests to be bishops and skip over the generation that just hasn’t gotten it. That’ll get us on the right track sooner. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait a while till these young priests get enough time under their belts to become elligible.


#12

I fear that there is a basic assumption being made here that is largely incorrect: that the “cafeteria Catholic” ***chooses *** to believe or not to believe teachings of the Church, although there are some who do so.

I think in a great percentage of the cases where we run across people professing positions contrary to Church teaching it is because of ignorance due to the overwhelming lack of good catechesis. The realization of this has really only been becoming apparent relatively recently and it will take a good deal of time to correct. My experience is that most Catholics are just not as aware of what the Church actually does teach, much less why, having been subjected to much misinformation from many sources and too little correct information from any source at all. I fear that in a large part of the cases, we are just blaming the victim when we go to criticizing the less-catechized Catholics.

Correcting this is going to be a long-term project that will not happen overnight, just as it didn’t come about overnight. I personally feel like the Church needs to consider mandatory adult catechesis since a 10 minute Sunday homily is just not going to get the job done at this point.

Additionally, there needs to be a good program created of actually modeling what the Catholic life should look like. When I say that, I don’t just mean people able to recite the catechism, but people who actually joyfully live the gospel life in all of its dimensions. Unless we can see people who are able to live the life that Jesus passed on, it will just be more “do as I say, not as I do” and people will ignore it anyway. It can’t be just a matter of rapping people on the knuckles and saying “bad Catholic” for using contraception or whatever issues we happen to be addressing.

Like Cardinal Bernadin’s “seamless garment” description in dealing with “life issues” the Church’s teachings and the gospel life have to be a seamless garment. Seen in their total beauty they are irresistable and cannot help but draw people to God. I see these qualities in many of the Church’s small communities, from Cursillo to secular Franciscans or Dominicans. Somehow we have to be able to tap into that energy and understanding to bring to the greater Church community.

BTW, I don’t see the new young priests being the answer to that at this time. My experience with them so far is that most seem to be–expectedly so–short on the wisdom and life experience to be able to be the leaders for what needs to be done. Mentored by older priests who do “get it” though, I agree that the future could be much better than where we currently find ourselves.

Peace,


#13

Since none of us is without sin aren’t ALL of us "cafeteria Catholics to one degree or another?

Or is someone claiming that they completely 100% LIVE every single teaching of the Church 100% of the time?


#14

i agree with Bill P…

and the Church is not cafeteria Catholic… the Church
teaches one faith…

however, the Church doesn’t judge, or pretend to know
how each member adheres to that faith… the Church knows
what we tell her in confession, and what we publicly profess…

the Church is in a difficult position in this regard… a politician,
can be a good Catholic, not approve of abortion, but still
vote for abortion, because he might feel he was elected to
speak for his ‘constituency’, which he feels is pro-choice…

or voting for what he might not be sure is a ‘just war’, because
he see’s no other reasonable alternative that his constituents
would accept…

i’m sure this would hurt a good Catholic… just as killing
someone would hurt… even if it were a soldier, and in a
time of war…

the situation with the abusive priests is another example…
the Church is about forgiveness, and redemption… so, when
a person confess’ to a sin, and does penance… it is supposed
to be over… the Church is to assume, that the person is
not going to sin anymore… to make any other assumption,
would seem to send the message, “you can confess, but
we dont’ necessarily have to believe you, and if we doubt you,
then you don’t have true forgiveness”

the Church is in a hard position, always has been… that’s
why abuses are possible… if Hitler were running the Church,
there would be far less abuse and very few ‘cafeteria’ Catholics
… lol

so, what do they do?.. the best they can, and still hold to the
traditions and teachings of the Church…

Merry Christmas

:slight_smile:


#15

[quote=Scoobyshme]The Bishops and priests in the U.S., for the most part, are more concerned with the collection of money than the collection of souls.
[/quote]

I’d say that this is an awfully general statement to make, and paints with a very broad brush ministers of the church who are doing the Lord’s work in a very strong culture of death. I know that you offered exceptions, but I think that there are more exceptions than you believe.


#16

[quote=BillP]Since none of us is without sin aren’t ALL of us "cafeteria Catholics to one degree or another?

Or is someone claiming that they completely 100% LIVE every single teaching of the Church 100% of the time?
[/quote]

I suppose, in a way, that this is true.

My understanding of “Cafeteria Catholic” has always been someone who says, for example, “I agree with the church, except for this: I believe that we can use artificial contraception (birth control), and it is not a sin.”

Not that they know that it is sinful, and still do it, coming to confession afterward, but that they don’t believe that it is sinful. That, I believe is an important distinction of the “Cafeteria Catholic.” Yes, we all sin, but faithful Catholics recognize, repent, confess and seek absolution.


#17

[quote=Scoobyshme]The Bishops and priests in the U.S., for the most part, are more concerned with the collection of money than the collection of souls.
[/quote]

Typical cheap shot. Go for the old canard, it requires no thought, less proof, and all the right types will shake their heads knowingly.


#18

While of course, the church line is to be against cafeteria catholics, in reality, I suspect it would rather have these folks be cafeteria catholics versus them leave the church altogether.

BTW, IMO, the majority (not all) of American catholics are cafeteria catholics to one degree or another.


#19

In 1987, Pope John Paul II told the American bishops in San Francisco that it was a “grave error” to imagine that “dissent from the teachings of the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a good Catholic and poses no obstacle to reception of the sacraments.” The presumption of the pope’s words had to be that dissent from established doctrines is not “compatible with being a good Catholic” and does pose an “obstacle to the reception of the sacraments,” if words mean anything.

catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=1209


#20

[quote=mary bobo]I am not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes. My husband, a non-Catholic, says that the Church is de facto approving of Cafeteria Catholics by remaining silent on some of their activities. I tried as best I could to discuss this with him, and we do discuss and not argue, but I do not feel equipt to offer a good response. Any suggestions appreciated.
[/quote]

By that logic, we would have to conclude that because Jesus was silent before Pilate, he was guilty.

Silence does not equate approval of the opposing side.


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