CAFETERIA CATHOLICS AND THE MORAL POLITICAL SCORE CARD
Patricia Sitkin of Linden, California wrote a recent letter to the National Catholic Reporter about an article by Stafford Betty, "Why Catholics are heading for the exits" which I had commented about a short time ago. (https://paulluverajournalonline.com/weblog/2008/10/why-catholics-are-abandoning-ship.html( Sitkin makes a point worth noting. She notes that traditionalist Catholics disparagingly refer to those us who are critical of Church polices as "cafeteria Catholics" or as she says "salad bar Catholics." These conservatives think it is an all or nothing situation with regard to the Church in spite of a history of theological debate, doctrinal revisions and changes of position on moral issues. However, she argues, the shoe is on the other foot. She refers to the "doctrinal regression from the New Testament to the Old." by Church leaders. With regard to selective choosing She says:
"…it was the men of power in Rome who browsed through the scriptural and post-scriptural salad bar to serve up a doctrinal dish that would make Vatican II go away."
She says they plucked out two lines from the Book of Leviticus and an excerpt or two from St Paul as well as the 4th Century Augustine in this process of selective documentation for moral stands about matters. She notes some of the bishops endorsed a man who seeks war over one who would seek peace as our president while more eager to protect a stem cell in a petri dish than human life.
On the political/moral scene, it looks like the score card shows California approving Proposition 8, defining marriage as between a man and woman while overturning a recent court decision legalizing gay marriage. The vote was 52 percent to 48 percent. Similar proposals were approved in Arizona (57% to 43%) and Florida (62% to 38%) California rejected (52% to 47%) a requirement of parental notification 48 hours before a minor abortion. South Dakota rejected a ban on abortion (55% to 45%). Michigan passed a law approving embryonic stem cell research (53% to 47%) The institutional church was involved in all of these measures.