Thursday, August 29, 2013

An On-line Conversation With a Cafeteria Catholic

Charles’, the Cafeteria Catholic, began:
The Roman Catholic Church is undergoing its greatest reform. Women will become priests. Priests will be allowed to marry. Homosexuals will be married sacramentally. Children will be conceived through artificial insemination. Masturbation will be recognized as a natural and healthy phenomena. It will all come to its greatest culmination under a female Pope. By what great awareness has this fallen upon me? The common sense that comes with being rational and a reasoning human being. The Church in all its greatness was most aware of its fallibility, and incorporated a well-known doctrine into the institution.

Nathan replies:
So now Charles knows the future.
Well, certain things that are defined as doctrine (ie. the Truth as the revealed Word of God) will not and cannot ever change because God does not change.

Here's what the church teaches:

1- Women cannot become priest just like men cannot become mothers and this will never change.

2- Many Roman Catholic priests are married even today. The church generally chooses men who have made a vow of celibacy for the priesthood but that practice can change any day. It is not a doctrine revealed by God.

3- Men with homosexual tendencies can be married sacramentally even today but can only marry women. The opposite is true for women as well because that's how God designed the male and female counterparts. They are complimentary of each other, no such complimentarity exists between two men or two women.

4- Children are already conceived through artificial insemination but that doesn't make it right. For example, 3 to 10 times more children die from the rejection of the embryo by the lab techs then there are successful artificial inseminations. These children deserve to live but died because the parents were willing to allow the deaths of so many for the life of the one.

5- Wasting ones seed (ie masturbation) has always been seen as wrong even from Biblical times (Gen 38:9-10).

Ones "common sense" can be terribly misguided especially when ones conscience is ill-informed.
To have a good conscience is to have it align with church doctrine because we KNOW that Church doctrines are always true sincethe church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

Charles answered:
I'm afraid that I cannot go there or would ever wish to. I have children watching and listening to me, especially a gay son. I teach that God is a most loving God and far more understanding than the Catholic Church teaches at the moment. But with patience and perseverance reason will win out. Those who think, keep hope alive, and education shall lead the way.
Having blind faith, is no excuse, for not thinking.

Here a lurker (a third-party) chimes in:
What many Catholics and most non Catholics fail to understand is that the Catholic Church welcomes homosexuals or divorced into the church. They ask no more from homosexuals than they do from single Catholics. The urge to have sex with someone is not wrong but doing so outside of marriage is the wrong part. I struggle with the logic of some of the Catholic teachings but I understand them.

Nathan replies:
Very well put [lurker]. Thanks for the clarification.

Charles then said:
The two of you are not aware that my wife's first husband tried to kill her, while high on cocaine. It was at my advice that she extricate herself from the threat of being assaulted and perhaps killed the next time. Did she know when she was a bride that 5 years later under the influence of cocaine that her sacramental partner, blessed by God, would try to kill her? No. But, isn't it reasonable to recognize that if a person tries to kill you, that perhaps they don't love you, and that in fact, staying married to that man, is not sanctioned by God? Something to contemplate.

Nathan answers:
A statement from the USCCB states this in regards to spousal abuse:

Finally, we emphasize that no person is expected to stay in an abusive marriage. Some abused women believe that church teaching on the permanence of marriage requires them to stay in an abusive relationship. They may hesitate to seek a separation or divorce. They may fear that they cannot re-marry in the Church. Violence and abuse, not divorce, break up a marriage. We encourage abused persons who have divorced to investigate the possibility of seeking an annulment. An annulment, which determines that the marriage bond is not valid, can frequently open the door to healing.
The document can be found here:

I hope this helps.

Charles answers:
Thank you Nathan. I did not know that such a socially aware document existed. I do commend our American Bishops for their pastoral understanding in this area.

Finally, Nathan replies:
You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help.

God Bless


  1. Charles seems to have many misconceptions about what the Catholic Church teaches, as well as the Church's place in the world. The Church is not the bulwark of the world's "reason", it is the bulwark of Truth--God's Truth. The Church is to be the light of Christ in the world and to brink others to Christ. If the Church compromised and bought into the "accepted" social norms, we'd be no better than a feel-good social club. His notions that the Church "will change" just makes the rest of us (also thinking, reasonable) Catholics look ridiculous. I wish he would not claim to be Catholic, because he really is not.


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