A Cafeteria Catholic, or Catholic in name only, is someone who claims to be a member of the Catholic church and yet picks and chooses doctrine to believe and what not to believe. A Catholic is supposed to believe in the entire teachings of their faith, all the bible liturgy and all church mandates. In particular, those terms are often used to refer to a self-identified Catholic who rejects the bishops' teachings on abortion.

Catholic Democrats are most often associated with Cafeteria Catholics because their party ideology believes in abortion as a right and gay marriage. This is in direct opposition to what Catholics are taught. By no means is it exclusive to Democrats. Catholic Republicans that believe in the necessity of capital punishment are also considered Cafeteria Catholics. Though, the Church teaches that the guilty put to death in no way equals the innocent death of children in the womb, an intrinsic Evil. Other examples of the pick-and-choose include Catholics who deny there is a Hell or state that Moses did not part the Red Sea or that Mary was not Immaculate. By Canon law, a Catholic believing other than what the Church teaches is guilty of heresy and should not take Holy Communion. Most Cafeteria Catholics ignore this and take Communion anyway, a Mortal Sin. The Church believes that such a person is separated from the Holy Spirit, even without direct excommunication from Church authorities.



See also

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