*]A Catholic who becomes atheist because he doubts, but tries to remain moral
*]A Catholic who succumbs to moral relativism
I don’t see that there is a “worse.”
The atheist is guilty of falsehood and rebellion. He can preen as a moralist but by rejecting the essential rationality of the natural order, his “morality” will invariably degenerate into some consequentialist/utilitarian or otherwise incoherent nonsense.
The Catholic moral relativist compounds all the above sins with perjury.
Neither of these individuals would be Catholics anymore so both situations are about equally bad.
An atheist by default cannot be Catholic (or a Christian of any kind) and a moral relativist cannot possibly believe in the teachings of Christianity either because Christianity believes in absolute Truth and so is also not Catholic (or a Christian of any kind).
May God have mercy on anyone who ends up in either of these situations and lead them back to Himself.
That’s it in a nutshell. Well said.
Just one comment though.
The atheist has arrived at a conclusion. He must have, or else he couldn’t truthfully describe himself as an atheist. His conclusion then, can be challenged according to how he arrived at that conclusion. If he stays moral, he is at least accepting the objective moral order that he initially accepted. That suggests, to me anyway, a slight double standard that should point to a flaw in his deliberations. The double standard, though, is not observable in his actions.
The Catholic who adopts moral relativity, on the other hand, is deliberately flouting the objective morality that underpins his religion. He wants his cake and to eat it too. If his intellectual honesty was real, he’d drop the Catholic tag. However, he doesn’t, so that’s a double standard devoid of intellectual credibility, as sw85 observes. It isn’t a double standard observable in just one’s deliberations, but also in one’s actions and must, by definition, be deliberate.