Up until now, you've all been given a free pass. When it comes to the Church's teachings on abortion, homosexuality, birth control, women in the priesthood, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning, and such; Cafeteria Catholics have been able to sit in the pews and pretend like it doesn't matter. They've been able to go up and receive communion, along with everyone else, as if there is no difference at all. Thanks to a few bold cafeteria Catholics in New York and Washington DC, that is all about to come to a crashing halt.
During the pope's visit, a few Cafeteria Catholic politicians took it upon themselves to receive communion at a papal mass. Among them were Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator John Kerry, Senator Chris Dodd, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The Church has deemed that all of them are publicly in a state of mortal sin, because they publicly support "abortion rights," among other things the Church has deemed to be egregiously sinful. The Vatican has ruled that such politicians are not to receive communion until they fully repent. This current pope, while he was prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine & Faith, was very particular about that.
In attempt to prove the Church's teachings are irrelevant, and don't really apply to them, this above mentioned "gang of five" quietly snuck into communion lines and received the blessed sacrament in violation of Church Law during a mass presided over by the pope himself.
The gauntlet has been thrown, and now the debate is on! Up until now, the U.S. Catholic bishops have left it up to the individual bishop to decide how this particular rule should apply in their own diocese. It doesn't look like that will be the case much longer. The scandal created by this "gang of five" is now opening up debate as to what this bishops should do with the Cafeteria Catholics in this country....
(PewSitter.com) - Let us cut to the chase here.
When it comes to membership in the Church, either you accept the entire deposit of Catholic faith, or you do not. If you do not, simply put -- you are not Catholic. If you have, dissenting views about birth control, abortion, the dignity of human life and so on…take it to another religion that supports your opinions of discord and dissent.
Moreover, if you don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage, the permanence of character sacraments, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the infallibility of the Pope, the perpetual virginity of Mary, the duality of Jesus’ nature, both human and divine, the Communion of Saints, our belief in resurrection from the dead, and all of the other points defined by the creed of Nicaea…you’re not Catholic either.
Our faith is founded upon beliefs that are immutable and not part of the art of compromise. While I am at it….if you are in favor of a female clergy, join the Anglicans. If you want “gay rights”, lesbian rights, transgendered rights or just the right to dissent openly…join the Democrats. If you want to have a representative vote in any issue that the Church addresses…understand, our Church is not a working democracy.
When considering membership in our divinely instituted and absolute monarchial Church, also realize our message and purpose is to bring the teachings of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by the Apostles to a world of fragile peace and broken promises. We are a faithful community that is trying to make the world a holier place through our evangelical message and sacramental ministry. We are flawed as well.
The Catholic Church collectively has made its share of mistakes over the centuries, and we have admitted and recognized these errors. However, we stand for the development and stability of the natural family unit, advocated freedom of conscience and the fulfillment of human rights for all of our members. Throughout the world the Church, as an institution, provides medical care, food, shelter and other necessary resources for human comfort and sustenance. Additionally, the Church provides spiritual counseling and Eucharistic nourishment to over a billion people that need spiritual nourishment.
We advocate the causes of the poor and underprivileged. Through the diplomatic efforts of the Catholic Church, we are proponents of human rights and freedoms for all humankind in every part of the globe. We have no army, no navy or any other military instruments that are poised to harm the world and destroy the people of the world, and our message is one to bring about world peace and harmony.
If in fact, you want to belong to the Catholic organization and do not want to fully adhere to our beliefs and principles…then please pray some more about the lifestyle commitment the Catholic Church represents. Honestly, we are not looking for perfect members, just members that are willing to work towards human perfection as part of the ongoing process of living a Catholic life. If the pursuit of perfection in a spiritual manner is not something you seek, call the Episcopalians, they have space for dissent based upon secular humanism...
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In other words, if you can't be authentically Catholic (by subscribing to the teachings of the Church) then GET OUT! There are plenty of other "churches" out there that will openly embrace you and your dissident beliefs. An old joke once asked: "What do you call a Catholic who picks and chooses which teachings of the Church to believe and practice?" Answer - A Protestant!
Yes, it may be a bad joke, but it's true. There really is no such thing as a "Cafeteria Catholic." The whole term is a misnomer. The varied assortment of Protestant churches out there were literally made by the "picking and choosing" of Catholic doctrine. A Catholic who engages in "Cafeteria Catholicism" has effectively become a Protestant in his own personal belief system.
For those Catholics who may fall into this category, The Catholic Knight would like to make a suggestion for a particular Protestant organization you might enjoy. It has the look and feel of Catholicism, but without all those pesky doctrines and moral standards. It's called the Episcopal Church USA. (I've provided a like for your convenience here). Please feel free to join them. They're really nice people, and I know they will welcome you with open arms.
OFFICIAL: All Cafeteria Catholics Barred From Communion