Confessions Of A Cafeteria Catholic


Boston College philosophy professor Peter Kreeft has written Confessions of a Cafeteria Catholic in response to a letter by a Catholic who feels that the Catholic Church needs to change its teachings to be more in line with modern culture. So Kreeft has written an apologetics book defending Catholic moral principles, showing how the Church’s teachings reflect Divine Law, which is eternal and therefore doesn’t need updating.

Here's Kreeft explaining why the Catholic Church doesn’t allow divorce and remarriage:

Let’s take a typical instance. Nearly all people, including Protestant Christians, criticize the Church for being rigid, unbending, cruel, and impersonal for not allowing divorce. But the reason she says this is because Jesus said it, quite clearly, in the Gospels. Why did He say that? Because he is love incarnate, and he wants us to be deeply, truly happy, and divorce is one of the most profound causes of unhappiness in human life. The data – the scientific data – show very strongly and clearly that children are more traumatized by their parents’ divorce than by a parent’s death. The Church forbids divorce, not because she is less compassionate and less kind than all other Christian denominations which do, but because she is kinder and more compassionate. And divorce not only harms children, it harms society in harming society’s most important, most loving, and most happiness-generating institution, marriage. Allowing divorce talks half of the drama and romance out of marriage. It cuts asunder what God has put together. For marriage was God’s invention, not man’s. This is very clear in Genesis and in the sayings of Jesus.

And here is Kreeft explaining why the Catholic Church stands by its teachings:

When the Church labels some human acts good and helpful to the flourishing of human nature, that is not unjust nor is it bullying; it is just the truth. In fact, it means that the Church loves you, because one of the most important things love does is that it refuses to lie; love tells the truth to all the person who are loved, even if they don’t like it and even if the teacher is hated in return for his love.

The term “Cafeteria Catholic” refers to Catholics who pick and choose among which Catholic moral principles they will accept, and they likely are a significant minority of Catholics. All Catholics, whether traditional Catholics or Cafeteria Catholics, would benefit greatly from reading this well-written defense that shows that Catholic doctrines are true, beautiful and good.

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