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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Crowded Catholic Cafeteria

Cafeteria Catholic

I'm sure you've probably heard the term before. You know how a cafeteria works, you grab your tray and go through the line picking up only what you'd like.

It's hard for me to see the 'cafeteria Catholics' who think they have the right to decide which teachings of the Church they're going to accept and which they're going to reject. It's especially hard in today's secular and overly sexual world where those who are 'Catholic' vocally disagree with the Church's stance on controversial issues like birth control, premarital sex, cohabitation, abortion, divorce and remarriage. This shouldn't come as big news to you, but the Catholic Church is not a democracy, and thank the Lord for that!

JPII, like always, says it best:
“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.” - Pope JPII

Today's cafeteria Catholics are not the first to refuse the teachings of Christ:

Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." -John 6:60-69

The Catholic Church says that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ. He stands "in Persona Christi" in the Person of Christ for us here on earth.
In the ecclesial service of the ordained minister, it is Christ himself who is present to his Church as Head of his Body, Shepherd of his flock, high priest of the redemptive sacrifice, Teacher of Truth. This is what the Church means by saying that the priest, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, acts in persona Christi Capitis:
It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. Now the minister, by reason of the sacerdotal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in the power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtute ac persona ipsius Christi).
Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1548)
Much like those early disciples rejected the Truth that Jesus was teaching, today's cafeteria Catholics are rejecting what His Church is teaching through the Pope.

I know that there have been times in my past that I've doubted and questioned and tested my limits with the Church's teachings much like the disciples in The Bread of Life Discourse, but I have come to believe like the disciples, that Christ has the words of eternal life.

What Christ says goes. Since the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, what the Pope says goes.

We're not running a buffet here. You can't just go in and get what you want. We are at the wedding feast, and even if it were onions (which I hate) that the Lord were serving me I wouldn't be refusing them. So why do some refuse His Truth today, even if that Truth means eating onions?

Here's what I've learned since starting this blog:

It's not easy to have opinions that go against what some of my friends and family believe and practice. Sometimes people that I love may not agree with what I have to say, or might be offended, but I know:
"be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." - 1 Corinthians 15:58
When I die and God willing go to Heaven and meet Him at the gates and He asks me, "Why didn't you stand up for Me and My Church? Why didn't you let them know that you disagreed with them because it was bad for them, goes against My teachings, My Truth and My Church?"

I sure don't want to have to answer that question with, "because I didn't want to offend anyone" or "it was just too hard."


Katy said...

WOW Great post!

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