How Cafeteria Catholics Think
Interesting article on the National Review Online. The idea of the article is that the polls saying the Catholics were more and more inclined to disobey their bishops in matter of homosexuality ended when the controversy on the HHS mandate. As the author eloquently puts it:
[Cafeteria Catholics ] do not take kindly to being bullied by bishops, but — and here’s the shock to the Obamaites — they also don’t much like it when bishops are bullied by someone else. Nobody likes a bully, and Obama showed himself to be one in this controversy.
Leaving aside for a moment I don’t think the US bishops bullied anyone, and if they did they did it with the Truth, which can never be “bullying”, I would add my own personal interpretation to the matter.
In my eyes, something slightly different appeared. If you ask me, a cafeteria Catholic is more like a dormant orthodox Catholic, who is so poorly instructed – by his own clergy – that he thinks it natural to be allowed to question Catholic teaching; when he is properly informed about it, that is.
The Cafeteria Catholic thinks so, because this is the world he sees everywhere around him, and he was never taught to stop and reflect Christianity doesn’t work that way.
At some point, though, this will end. At some point, the bishops will stand and will tell them what is what, in no uncertain term. At this point many dormant Catholics will become real ones, because few organisations have power over their own followers as the Catholic church, when the clergy only does the work properly.
I have no doubt whatever that, if the effort continues unabated, at least 10% of those (soi-disant) Catholics who would have voted for B. O. will ditch him on this matter only. This might, alone, be fatal to him. More importantly, I think that 10 or 15 years of continuous hammering about these themes will cause the Church to gain an extremely strong support among Catholics about all main moral issues, as young people become voters and old hippies fill the graves.
The Jesuits re-conquered Poland to Catholicism in one generation, and made such a thorough work of it that the consequences are felt to this day.
The Church is an extremely powerful aircraft carrier. If the people in charge want to use it.