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A bunch of those "Catholics" aren't really Catholic

Every time I see one of these headlines about the split Catholic vote I want to scream! Inevitably, the article will go on to distinguish the results in terms of practicing and non-practicing Catholics.

The survey found that both Catholics (73 percent) and non-Catholics (71 percent) agreed that America needs a "moral makeover." Non-practicing Catholics — defined as those who attend church less than twice a month — were more likely to support abortion rights and same-sex marriage than the American population at large.

Here is the deal: if you don’t attend Mass and you reject the teachings of the Church, YOU ARE NOT CATHOLIC. Your dear grandmother may be Catholic. Your dear mother may be Catholic. But Catholicism is not an ethnicity. You don’t inherit it. Maybe at one time you were Catholic. You went to Mass. You received the Sacraments. But now you have rejected it. How dare you claim that your voice is part of the Catholic voice! Calling yourself a Jedi would be as accurate as calling yourself a Catholic.

I know that some may say, “Wow. That’s a bit harsh.” Maybe it is. But I can’t believe that we are doing anyone any good by allowing people to delude themselves and think they are really Catholic when they have rejected the Church. It makes all the teachings of the Church seem optional. They are not optional. To be Catholic means to accept the Church is who she says she is: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Christ and protected by the Holy Spirit from error in matters of faith and morals.

If you have wandered away from the Church and want to come home, I will support you every step of the way. The Church is waiting to receive you with open arms. I want you to come home. I want you to share in the grace and blessings of the Catholic Church. I want to walk with you on this journey of faith. No judgment. No condemnation.

On the other hand, if you have walked away from the Church and want to keep on walking away, I will pray for you. But don’t think you can take that Catholic identity with you. It is time to either fish or cut bait. Don’t cheapen the word Catholic by using it as a cultural label. Catholicism is not just a label. It is a way of life. It is a very specific faith. It is tough. Make a choice. Are you going to be Catholic or not?


Denise said…
I would love to talk to you about this some more...I have some questions that Catholic friends have asked of me and I'm not sure how to respond...perhaps you might have some insight. Could I email you directly with these?

Catholic Mom said…
Denise--Feel free to email me. We still haven't gotten together for Mass and coffee so why don't we try to do that soon?
Anonymous said…
You certainly have spent a lot of time lately concerning yourself with who is and who isn't a (good) Catholic. Why do you suppose that is? Are you feeling particularly holier than thou or is there some other reason?
Catholic Mom said…
Anon 6:34

I am actually trying to make the point that the results of surveys like this are meaningless if it includes as Catholic people who do not participate in the sacramental life of the Church and who do not believe in the Church teachings. My great grandmother was Pentecostal. I never attend a Pentecostal church. I don't know much about the Pentecostal church. Is it meaningful to include my views in a survey of Pentecostals? Some people are very attached to the Catholic label but want nothing to do with the Catholic faith. Catholic is not a cultural label. It is a very specific Faith. There is no holier-than-thou about this at all. Just facts.

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