What do you call a Catholic who does not follow Church teaching?


#1

I am trying to get a handle on what terms to use for Catholics who do not follow all of the teachings of the Catholic Church. I’ve heard the term cafeteria Catholics but that is limiting.

For example, one could use “left” or “right,” “conservative” or “liberal,” etc. but that smacks of politics. In trying to converse I would prefer terms less polarizing. What terms might you use?


#2

I recommend avoiding such qualifiers altogether, especially because it is possible that some of those who might be lumped under the label cafeteria Catholics are blamelessly ignorant of what the Church teaches. The sacraments, especially baptism, are what make us Catholics, not how well we understand or practice our faith. Generally speaking, it is best to focus on the issues by explaining what the Church teaches, and avoid to the greatest extent possible the practice of characterizing people.


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