US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Cafeteria Catholicism for uber-conservatives?

Bryan Cones | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

News yesterday that the Vatican has given the schismatic Society of St. Pius X a "doctrinal preamble" to sign as a condition for further restoration of communion raises the obvious quesiton: What's on the list? Catholics of all political stripe would like to know. The Vatican is, perhaps not surprisingly, withholding the text of the preamble.

The SSPX basically rejects the legitimacy of the Second Vatican Council and the papal magisterium since; nonetheless, the Vatican has made astonishing overtures to them, expanding permission for use of the pre-Vatican II liturgies and lifting the excommunication of four bishops ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, despite the fact that one of them, Richard Williamson, is an unrepentant denier of the Holocaust. The SSPX has received these overtures coolly to say the least.

Interesting too that Catholics who would like to see more open discussion of mandatory priestly celibacy, communion for the divorced and remarried, and other pastoral reforms can't even get a conversation going, while, according to the Catholic News Service story, the SSPX is likely being offered a "personal prelature" with their own bishop, the same set-up as Opus Dei.

At any rate, I think this is another example of the reality that all Catholics, no matter their spot on the spectrum, deserve the label "cafeteria Catholic" from time to time. Maybe that's what really makes us Catholic after all.