Living The Worthy Life: Maybe Shutting Down These Cafeterias Would Help Our Society
There is one thing that should scare most traditional Catholic: the growing number of Cafeteria Catholics. In the middle of a pandemic that has shut down restaurants and only allowed a small portion of patrons to dine in or to pick up, maybe we should revisit and try to completely shut down these cafeterias for good.
Bishop Fulton Sheen told us, “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
The words “Cafeteria Catholics” were first popularized in the early 1970s and were used to describe a growing group of liberal Catholics who openly broke with some of the traditional beliefs of the Church including the ordination of women, use of birth control, and abortion just to name the few.
The term has no status in official Catholic teachings. However, the practice of denying adherence to the sexual morality of the Church has been criticized by Pope John Paul II stated in his talk to the Bishops in Los Angeles in 1987:
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, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the clear position on abortion. 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.
Many of the ideas of Cafeteria Catholics come from our political leaders who Catholic but traditionally vote and or sponsor laws that go against the Catholic teachings. In our current Congress, 30% of Congress are Catholic. In fact, they are the largest religious group in Congress. If these Congressmen and Congresswomen were of the traditional Catholic values-maybe our current political problems would not exist. The problem is clear, look at the words of Bishop Fulton Sheen one more time.
“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
By not taking a stand of courage our members of Congress are in fact doing what Bishop Fulton Sheen said was a silent acquiesce to evil. Are you willing to allow our leaders to do this to us? Are you upset because this was all foretold to us, ninety years ago by Bishop Fulton Sheen and thirty-two years ago by Pope John Paul II. They were leaders of courage that spoke their mind and acted the same way as they spoke. Our political leaders doing the same? Are you doing the same?
Now, thirty percent of our Congress is Catholic but when you look at the U.S. Supreme Court you can really get an idea of what Cafeteria Catholic is all about. Six of the current nine justices are Catholic or were raised Catholic. Look at their voting record. Does their voting record on major subjects reflect the teachings of the Church? If it doesn’t then we can see completely how widespread the idea of being a Cafeteria Catholic has become. This doesn’t even include some of the current leaders of the Democratic Congress and even our President who are poster role models for the Cafeteria Catholics.
In the Book of Revelations Chapter 3: 14 John explains:
To Laodicea.* 14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea,* write this:
“ ‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this: 15“I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.* I wish you were either cold or hot. 16* So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17* i For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire* so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. 19Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.
These words can easily apply to Cafeteria Catholics- are they not lukewarm? Are they not following the teachings of the Church and are they not doing much like the Church at Laodicea was doing- leading people away from the Church?
Can you be a good Catholic and be a Cafeteria Catholic? Did Jesus create a Church or did Jesus create a way of life? Do we go to Church to celebrate Him or go to get votes? Will we get to Heaven through Him or through the government? Brothers and Sisters, I am not calling out a particular person or group because of hate, I am calling them out because their political opinions are not the same as the Church, and we should no longer accept this behavior. If the Church will not do anything about it, then remember when it comes to the next general election, you can. You can cancel the Cafeteria Catholic movement easily by not voting for people who express these beliefs. Without these role models and these laws, we would have a much better world. You can make a difference for both the good of our nation and the good of our Church.