Cafeteria Catholic is a phrase that has been with us since the end of Vatican II and the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Missae; choosing what to believe and what not to believe based on our own private judgment. It represented a radical change within Catholicism that described a new Catholic Culture which swept the world and has now thoroughly gripped most Catholics without having the least concern that they might not be Catholics in good standing while they disagree with moral and ethical laws and rightful duties that Catholics are charged with under penalty of grave sin or even excommunication in some instances. This attitude is seen from the lowest layman in the pews all the way to the Princes of the Church, its theologians, liturgists and perhaps even to the Pope himself.
A more apt understanding of this old saying might well be rephrased by saying that most Novus Ordo Catholics believe that we can be Catholic whilst refusing to believe Her teachings, can live a hedonistic lifestyle, skip Confession, disregard Holy days of Obligation (and the Sunday Obligation to attend Mass); all with complete complacency. They receive Holy Communion, hold heretical opinions concerning defined Teachings and still are regarded as good and loyal Catholic. And why not? We have enough prelates on record who publicly disagree with Church Teachings and they, after all, are our Shepherds; raised to their ranks to lead us, to protect the sheep and to safely lead their souls, under their spiritual care, to Heaven. If they can question the Teachings of the Fatih then I guess that all Catholics have the same freedom to do the same.
We have watched as our prelates have endorsed views that were denounced by previous popes and councils which has now become common fare for our ‘discernment’ or taught as Catholic Truth: Communism, Marxism and Socialism, once condemned by the Church has become so prevalent that over 50% of the millennials would rather live in a socialist country that in a democracy. Likewise, homosexuality and homosexual unions are now accepted by the majority of those who call themselves Catholics; the Real Presence in the Eucharist is seen as a mere change of significance (a mere remembering of Christ’s passion and death) in the substance of the bread and wine and nothing more; an opposition to an all male priesthood; a new focus on the congregation during Mass than on Christ; a push to forego personal holiness in prayer to a type of Christian Humanism as the highest form of perfecting ones spiritual life. Loving God has been put in the backseat while loving neighbor (for the love of God) is front and center . . . and not so much for the love of God but for humanitarian reasons of liberty, equality and fraternity . . . a return to the cry of the Protestant Freemasons from the French Revolution. Never mind that the French Revolution led to the persecution of the Church and Europe has never recovered from their hatred of the Catholic Faith. The Vendee episode was a Catholic genocide that followed this ideology and it is still seething below the surface even now. But never mind.
It seems that Catholics would rather find a false ecumenism with the world which would like to destroy the Catholic Faith or at least fully convert them into just another sect of Protestantism. And the Novus Ordo and our false ecumenism has done a great deal to bring us closer to this protestant goal. Our dialogues with other faiths has done nothing but take from Catholicism without any quid pro quo. Give and take did not occur . . . only give. And we seem to be OK with our new protestant faith. Forget the martyrs who gave their lives for the faith and forget our fathers and grandfathers who would be appalled at the Church today, scarcely recognizing Her and wondering what ever happened to the Roman Catholic Church, Her Truths and a remarkable Catholic culture that has all but disappeared entirely.
And added to this, we now have caved to the world’s idea of marriage, divorce, remarriage, contraception et al. No, the Teachings cannot change but our support for how we deal with these things has fundamentally changed . . . in effect, denying their Truth. Marriage and divorce in the Catholic Church is about the same as it is for everyone else in the world . . . pretty dismal. The size of Catholic families has fallen in a similar way which demonstrates how contraception laws are being violated constantly. One wonders how the Church is going to revive itself in the midst of such chaos.
Can we ever recover if we have priest fighting against priest, bishop against bishop and cardinal against cardinal? And when the Vicar of Christ has decided to allow adulterers to have their cake and eat it too, we wonder if there is any chance for a Catholic revival during our lifetimes . . . or if Christ Himself must return to cleanse the swamp and set His Church aright once again.
God have mercy on our souls for we have sinned and decided that we cannot curb our appetites and therefore You, Dearest Christ, surely will have mercy on us no matter if we even make an attempt to live up to Your Commandments. Martin Luther has won. Today’s Novus Ordo Church is one of his greatest achievements. No wonder so many of our prelates are celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolution. But Christ will have the last Victory and may He, indeed, have mercy for our disobedience and our rebellious spirit.