Post # 1
Do you get offended by “Catholics of Convenience”? OK, this is a term that I probably made up, but in a nutshell it means someone who claims to be religious, gives themselves the title of Catholic, will defend anything the Catholic Church teaches, but doesn’t actually live as a Catholic. Example: I married into a Catholic family even though I am agnostic. Fine, I can respect their religious beliefs and would never judge or argue with them for it. Anyway, my Mother-In-Law is divorced, my Father-In-Law is an alcoholic, my SIL has a child out of wedlock, they never go to church and, well… my husband married ME lol. However, my Father-In-Law holds a 14 year grudge against my Brother-In-Law for not baptizing my niece and my nephew’s baptism certificate has the wrong last name on it because the family wanted to hide (lie to the priest about) the fact that my SIL never married (or even dated) the father of her child. I find this kind of offensive for some reason and I’m not even religious. There’s tons of these people out there and I’m sure you’ve encountered them as well. What are your thoughts?
Post # 3
A little. But I try not to be bothered by it. I think it just makes me sad that they aren’t getting all the spiritual benefits from actually being a practicing Catholic. Also it makes me sad that other people will make their judgements on the whole faith based on the actions of these not so practicing Catholics. Spreads a lot of misconceptions about our faith.
ETA: I also remind myself that the church is “a hospital for sinners not a country club for saints” So I hold out hope that these people will go back to practicing what they preach.
Post # 4
As a Christian this really bothers me too! There are so many people who claim to be Christians but have no idea what they’re taking about, they just say that because they go to church at Christmas and Easter and live a good life God will let them into heaven. Then when they do something stupid the media goes crazy and all Christians are labelled as bad.
Post # 5
These people are called Cafeteria Catholics sometimes – it’s a big buffet, where they pick and choose what they like about Jesus and the Church and leave the rest.
It definitely annoys me. But once upon a time I used to be one of them! Then I had a conversion experience and got serious about my faith.
So I try to remember to pray for these people, be grateful that they at least care a liiiiittle bit about God. They could be one prayer away from turning their lives around!
Post # 6
I’ve heard the term “C&E Catholics.” As in Christmas and Easter haha. But yes, that would bother me as well. The general hypocrisy and cherry-picking of the Bible from many religious people is pretty bad.
However, I am not Catholic nor religious at all.
Post # 7
@MrsAKSkier: Yes, it’s the cherry picking. I think some of the moral teachings from the bible are very relevant and positive (treat others as you would like to be treated, don’t lie, cheat, or steal, etc…) but the rituals not so much. Therefore I don’t label myself as this or that.
Post # 8
I was raised catholic but no longer practice any kind of religion. But from teachings growing up I was led to believe that going to church was not the only way to have a relationship with God and to practice your faith.
I was also led to believe that it is unchristain to judge others but life has taught me that the most Christain people are normally the ones doing the judging.
So I guess I am saying who cares? And why would anyone else get upset by how someone else practices their faith?
Post # 9
I am a ” lax” catholic. As in , I call myself catholic but I have some serious faith issues that are between me, God and the church. Part of my problem is the labeling of the ” true” Catholics and the ” true” Christians.
Each persons faith and relationship with god is unique to them, so cut the judgment.
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@Aquaria: I guess I’m partially a ‘Convenient Catholic’ (High holidays, and when Mum makes me feel guilty in the inimitable way Catholic Mothers have), but that’s personal to me and I certainly don’t leap on the moral high horse against everyone else because I happened to be christened in the ‘right’ church. And there are also parts of church teaching I disagree with (probably most notable for me personally is contraception and abortion. Also I eat meat on Fridays, because sausages are great). But I still consider myself a Catholic. And I’ve been raised to believe that everyone’s personal faith is their own and not to start spewing vitriol if someone doesn’t live exactly the way I do. “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and all that jazz.
Post # 11
Yep, and it bothors me deeply on these boards that women who are only C&E catholics, or catholics of convinence who have no concern for church teachings (eg, living together before marriage, contraception, missing mass frequently) demand church weddings.
I think that while it does turn off some it would be good for the church to “buck up” and make it clear in pre-cana that this stuff is not acceptible faith behivor for a Catholic. I think that would prevent divorce and alot of the misunderstandings about Catholics. There are many paths to God and I believe that the clearest, most fufulling one is in the Catholic church, but that the truth gained in other religions can be beneficial to the path to heaven…its just harder that way.
Post # 12
I am Catholic and my faith is a personal matter between God and I.
I do not pass judgement what other people believe or do since it is none of my business.
Post # 13
Personally I consider Catholicism to be a culture as much as a religion – if you were raised in it, it can be difficult to let it go completely, and besides, why should someone have to give up a huge part of her background because her own views happen to have evolved beyond the teachings of the church? Catholic doctrine has changed a fair amount over the centuries and I have no doubt in my mind that it will continue to change in the future as more and more Catholics adopt socially progressive views.
All that said, I would prefer not to marry in the Catholic Church because while I do respect a church’s right to refuse to marry same-sex couples, I object to their crusade to make it illegal for anyone of any faith or non-faith to do so in a civil ceremony. We might have to do it to avoid major family drama, but if that is the case I am hoping to do a civil wedding first then have a convalidation later.
Post # 14
I’m confused by the “will defend anything the church teaches” part. I don’t know ANYONE who would do that, who also claims to be catholic but doesn’t practice. Most “non practicing” Catholics I know are the first to jump out and criticize the churchs teaching on gay marriage, women priests, abortion, etc.
Post # 14
Aquaria: The baptism certificate thing doesn’t make sense. Even though I was married, when it came to naming the parents’ of the child, I had to use my maiden name. I asked why this was and apparently it had to do with how they keep record track of the sacramental records. Moreover, you can’t hide that you haven’t been married because to get married outside of the Catholic Church is considered invalid anyway. Whatever effort they made to hid it from the priest seems silly and ineffective.
That being said, Catholic morality is so strict that your moral standards have to be higher than what you are capable of living out. The key is to be repentant and to acknowledge your need for sacramental grace. As such, the better Catholics are the ones who are addicted to sins, but go to Mass and confession regularly. The bad Catholics would be counted as those who mght even been seen as upstanding people in the community who volunteer a lot, but don’t see the need to go to confession. Of course, ideally, a person would get to the point of volunteering a lot and overall practicing the virtues fairly well WHILE continually progressing on the road to scantification by receiving the sacraments regularly and going to confession regularly.
The point is, though, that we’re all in the same boat. We are all sinners. If we weren’t, we’d have no need for the Church or for Christ’s sacrifice.
Post # 15
Agnostic who was raised Catholic and married a Lutheran… to each his own is my motto. My mother was what I would call a “non-practicing” Catholic, as in never really went to Church and didn’t really follow Catholic doctrine (birth control, etc…), but claimed to have faith. My extended family is much more the “practicing Catholics” as in go to church, give $ and time to causes, believe in *most* Catholic teachings…
My husbands family is much the same, (what I would consider “non-practicing Lutherans”…don’t go to Church etc…) but I can’t say this really bothers me that this is their stance. If it works for them then it works for them.
Where I get annoyed is when someone questions my non-believer stance and they don’t practice their own faith. Frankly, its not my business how you or anyone else choose to live their lives within or without faith and I’m fine with however you choose to practice that. If you leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. Simple as that.