(Closed) Cafeteria Catholic? Thoughts & Opinions Welcome!

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
1231 posts
Bumble bee

I think it’s silly that Catholics are given silly names like Cafeteria Catholics, but other people in other religions may do the same thing but there is no name for it. So yea I guess it is insulting. I do consider myself Catholic but I do not agree with some of their choices, like being against marriage equality.  

My father grew up Catholic and my mother was a Baptist. Neither one really forced a specific religion on me. My grandmother who lived in the same building as me wanted me to be baptized Catholic so I was. But when I went to visit my other Grandparents I went to their Baptist Church where they didn’t take communion every sunday, but during the week and you did not have to go to reconciliation first.

Maybe growing up this way I don’t feel that one way is the only way to be in the grace of God. I’m not going to judge anyone for their beliefs. Unfortunately, I haven’t been given the same respect from others that choose to believe in God in a specific way and also from people that do not believe in God at all.

Post # 5
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

In my RCIA class, we talk a lot about formation of conscious– in which you take the church’s teachings and your own experience to form your own conscious opinion about important social matters. 

We’re waiting to live together til marriage but I do plan on using some form of birth control– I’m still waffling on how or what type or maybe I’ll change my mind again, but I don’t think this makes me not Catholic. 

I don’t believe everything someone says when I vote for them for President, but I pick the best choice I can– that’s how I came to Catholicism.  (I think faith also is a matter of the heart, so I’ve got a love for the church… I don’t want to belittle my faith, but the “president scenario” is the best analogy I’m able to come up with.)

Post # 6
1829 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bookworm88:  i like the president scenario.

im admitedly a terrible catholic.

i was raised in the church and am getting married in a church, but i definitely pick and choose what to believe. im for gay rights, im all about birth control and sex before marriage, and i think abortions are pretty much the most horrible things ever, but i am pro-choice.

im also not very well-informed. i havent had real catholic education since 8th grade, and when i was that age, a lot of the more important issues were glossed over.

because of this, i feel like im always learning plenty of things about my religion i never knew before. i was in pre-cana and a speaker was talking about the story of the creation of adam and eve. i always took offense that story, thinking it was degrading to women, since eve was created from adam’s rib bone, and was not her own separate being. our speaker explained that eve being made from adam’s rib was actually a story of love. back when the bible was being written, a common phrase to describe your best friend was “my rib”- they protect your heart and are the person closest to you. eve is therefore adam’s rib. it’s very romantic. i really liked that, and i hope to be able to lean more…

also, i recently attended a catholic funeral for the first time as an adult, and it was incredibly moving abd beautiful. by far one of the best religious experiences i have ever had. it was a sad event, but left me with so much peace. i was truly surprised, but very pleased.

that being said, i would like to be a better catholic/learn more. (and when i say be a better catholic, i do not mean that i’m going to become pro-life, anti-gay marriage, etc. no sirbob). we’re going to baptise and raise our children catholic, and hopefully instill a good sense of faith in them.

so yes, i will be picking and choosing. i feel mildly guilty, but i don’t think it makes me a bad person.


Post # 7
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I feel guilty for living together before marriage, using birth control and not marrying in the church.

However, Fiance is not Catholic so I have decided if he comes to me at some point and would like this to be his faith path then we can remarry in the church.

Also, while I have differing opinions of what the church practices or preaches I still respect it. 

Post # 8
6248 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

Interesting way to put it.

I guess I’d fall under this category. I believe in gay rights, am pro-choice, support the use of birth control, think priests should be able to marry, etc.

Even though I don’t attend church on a regular basis nor do I believe in or agree with everything, at the end of the day I still consider myself a Catholic.

Post # 9
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I also fall into this category, and am not keen on the term “Cafeteria Catholic” either. I was raised in the Church, but as an adult I do not practice and do not agree with the major topics raised by the other posters.  FI is not Catholic and we are not getting married in the Church (partly citing the same reasons as OP).

The way I can “sleep at night” so to speak, and call myself a Catholic, is that when I was in Confirmation class, I remember only one thing.  We were taught that one of the Church’s main teachings was that of tolerance, and that no person on this earth could condemn another.  On our Confirmation retreat, the theme was Living Each Day in a Christ-Like manner.  To me, those two are my stand-by bottom line morals.  Sometimes my tolerance ends at my front door, sometimes my tolerance is just keeping my mouth shut.  It’s not quite, What Would Jesus Do? but something on a much more personal level.  

God made us with minds specifically to mull things over, to use our free will and search our OWN souls for the answers as well as His.  That’s what is so personal, and I don’t see it as “picking and choosing.”  Or, for argument’s sake, how does anyone know that God is not guiding your mind to the best decision as your own person?

Post # 10
611 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@shortnsunny:  “God made us with minds specifically to mull things over, to use our free will and search our OWN souls for the answers as well as His.  That’s what is so personal, and I don’t see it as “picking and choosing.”  Or, for argument’s sake, how does anyone know that God is not guiding your mind to the best decision as your own person?”

This is a very thoughtful statement. I will say that, as an outsider, this kind of thoughtful questioning does not seem to be present in the public face of the Catholic church… the public face that I see says, “these are the rules, the rules are absolute, and you must not deviate from them.” I think that may be in part what gives rise to the “cafeteria Catholic” term… many religions seem to take a somewhat more fluid approach to faith and values, like what you describe, but the rigidity of Catholicism (again, my own perception) can sometimes force people to split their beliefs into teachngs that feel right to them and teachings that they reject.

Post # 12
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@simplifiedbride:  One of the priests at my church is pretty outspoken about being liberal. We have a gay member of our RCIA group, whom he wholeheartedly accepts– and not in the “love the sinner, hate the sin” kind of way, and he admitted to giving sacrament to non-Catholics at weddings and funerals. Additionally, nearly all of the influential Catholics in my life have been LGBT and very much Catholic.

Our priest said he heard some priests talking about not being allowed to marry and one said he agreed that they should, and that was all the more reason for him to become a priest, so he could try to change it from the inside!

In all of my religious searching, I never found a Christian church more tolerant and accepting than the Catholic Church.  (But maybe I’m just lucky and found a good church for me!)

EDIT: I don’t personally agree with the sacrament-giving, but just wanted to illustrate how liberal he is.

Post # 13
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Thinking though, one of the other churches in my same city recently fired a minister for being married to his same-gender partner.  We all found it very frustrating.

Post # 14
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Nope I don’t really care what you call me, it’s the tone. I am Catholic only because I was raised as such. I do not abide by many of the rules Catholics believe in. I believe in God, Mary, and the power of asking for forgiveness. That’s about it in all honesty.

Post # 15
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

The fact of the matter is the Cathoic church has outdated beliefs and it is impossible to not be a “cafeteria cathoic” I am marrying into a catholic family, and I went to those pre cana classes telling me about natural family planning. All these people talking about NFP have 7+ kids, and I just roll my eyes. I am sorry I do not want to live in complete poverty with seven kids. Another thing is my best friend is gay and I hate that the catholic church is unsupportive. 

I do appreciate some of the catholic tradtions and I do like that they support families. 

I am considering converting to the cathlic church, but it is going to take some serious soul searching. 

Post # 16
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

This is a really interesting thread for me mostly because I’m not actually Catholic (or born into any religion for that matter), but my husband is.  I have considered becoming Catholic  but haven’t been able to get past the fact that some of the church viewpoints I completely disagree with (I believe in birth control, marriage equality, I’m ok with cohabitation, etc.).  I’d say that my husband is a Cafeteria Catholic, which I think is normal for someone who was born into a particular religion.  You are taught about the religion from a young age and eventually decide what you believe and what you don’t. For me on the other hand, I think it’s hard to think about actively choosing to join a religion as an adult when there are a number of big issues that you completely disagree with.  There are a lot of things that I do agree with, and I think that it would be nice for our future children to grow up with parents that are unified in that respect.  I really like the presidential candidate analogy- I guess that gives me something to think about…


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