“Cafeteria Catholic” is an Oxymoron

Richard Salbato 3-23-07

I have had some experiences lately that have inspired this Newsletter.  The first was a kind and holy woman who wrote me wondering why I bother to write against false apparitions and new religious movements, since I ought to just pray and take care of those close to me and forget about everything else.  She even implied that good comes out of these false apparitions since people become holy and pray more.

The next inspiration came when I attended the funeral of my good aunt.  She was a good Catholic but one of her sons is a Protestant and no one has a problem with this. Of course, I was let to talk with him about his faith, and to my surprise my Catholic relatives agreed with his beliefs on things like “Rapture” and “Millennialism” without knowing that these things are contrary to our faith. 

Not only that, but one of my very sweet Catholic relatives teaches Catholic Catechism to young children and had just attended the Cardinal Mahoney Educational Conference and found nothing wrong with it.  This conference featured speakers that promote woman priests, homosexual priests, and pluralistic faith - all Catholic heresies. 

Now, I have very carefully studied the 96 volumes of the Early Church Fathers and the first 11 Ecumenical Councils. What I learned most of all is that they were very firm in that faith (what we believe) must be Catholic.  This comes from the real Lord’s prayer (His last prayer to the Father before His death) where He prays:

“The words that you gave me, I have given to them, and they have accepted them. … keep them in your name which you have given me, that they may be one as we are one. … I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of this world as I am not of this world. … Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth.  As you have sent me into the world, so I send them into the world.  And for them do I sanctify myself that they also may be sanctified in truth. And that not for them only do I pray but for them also who through their word shall believe in me, that they may be one.” (John 17)

The word, Catholic,    means that we are universally one in truth and truth in matters of faith is very important.  Pluralists believe that everyone has a God given right to whatsoever faith he wants.  That is not what Christ said.  He said that the world would hate the truth and that truth is very important.  Protestants believe in “fundamentalism” that there are some fundamental principles in the bible and that the rest of the bible does not matter.  That is not what Christ said. He said that the word, Christ is the word of God, is truth and must be believed, not part of it ---- all of it. 

For 1000 years there was only one Christian religion, universal or Catholic.  Yes! There were heresies even then but the Ecumenical Councils were called to correct those errors and the world accepted the truths of these councils.  If truth was not important, why did they even bother to have these universal councils?  

Peter Kreeft said, "If you want to invent your own religion, do not be a Catholic. If you want to teach the Church rather than let the Church teach you, there are plenty of other churches for you, churches that welcome theologies without miracles, moralities without absolutes, and liturgies without adoration. Please do not be a Catholic unless you believe the Church's claim to speak in these areas in the name of Jesus Christ."

"There is no such thing as a 'cafeteria Catholic'. Catholics do not pick and choose among the Church's doctrines and laws; we receive them gratefully from God, we 'eat all the food Mother puts on our plate'".

"A 'cafeteria Catholic' or a half Catholic or a 95 percent Catholic is a contradiction in terms. If the Catholic Church does not have the divine authority and infallibility she claims, then she is not half right or 95 percent right, but the most arrogant and blasphemous of all churches...It must be either/or, as with Christ Himself...The only honest reason to be a Christian is because you believe Christ's claim to be God incarnate. The only honest reason to be a Catholic is because you believe the Church's claim to be the divinely authorized Body of this Christ."  Catholic Christianity (pp. 104-105)

The Three Monkeys


What I want to talk about is the Catholics who do not know what the Church teaches and do not want to know.  They do not even know what they do not know.  Some will say that they were taught this or that by some priest but never checked it out to see if what he taught was the truth of the Catholic faith and as I have showed truth is very important.  As Pope Benedict XVI has said, “There can be no unity between truth and error. 


If we do not investigate, if we do not study, if we do not question, how do we know the truth?


Those who do not want to investigate truth remind me of the Chinese Three Monkeys - I do not want to see the truth, I do not want to hear the truth, I do not want to talk about the truth, because I am happy in my ignorance. 


Let me give one example of Protestant vs. Catholic ignorance and you tell me if it is unimportant.  Protestants believe that someday they (who are not Catholic) will be raptured up to Heaven before a coming chastisement of the world so that they will not be harmed and then return to this world with Christ to live happily with Christ for a 1000 years.  Now where do they get this idea and what does the Catholic Church teach?


This comes from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 the twinkling of an eye and from Apocalypse 20:4 and they lived with Christ a thousand years.  When Christ says that in those days half the world will disappear in the twinkling of an eye (Matt. 24:39-51) it is not as the Protestants say but 180% the opposite  of that they say. Those disappearing just before Christ’s second coming will be cast into Hell because as Christ says in Mark 13:24-27 He will then take those who are left up with Him to the Heavens.  Again in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 Saint Paul says, “Then, we who are alive, who are left, will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ in the air and will always be with the Lord. “  Here we see that in Christ’s Second Coming he will not set His foot on this earth but will appear in the sky and draw the saved left to Himself, body and soul, but those in Purgatory will go first.  So you see that by believing in the Protestant idea of rapture, you then believe that good is bad and bad is good, because those going to hell will be those taken first and those left will be going to Heaven.   


Why then do so many Catholics accept the Protestant thinking?  Because they do not investigate the truth!  Why do some Catholics think they can take birth control pills and remain Catholic?  Because they do not want to know the truth! Why do some Catholics think they can vote for pro-abortion candidates and think they can still go to communion?  Because they want to write their own laws instead of God’s laws! 


Some Catholics will say that a priest told me or the bishop accepts this or that and so it is not my sin. That is not true.  It is very easy to know what the Church teaches because it is WRITTEN LAW and through the internet you have access to this law at the flick of a single finger. 


Investigations Protect and Condemn


My own investigations into the truth have exposed historical condemnations of orders and people who were innocent and in fact very holy people. One example of this is The Knights Templar.  The King of France accused them of satanic worship, money usury and being anti-Catholic.  The Masons also attacked the reputation of the good Knights by adopting their name and style and then claiming that they were always Masons.  Not true and history has condemned them without proof.  My own investigation shows them to be the greatest of all Catholic orders and the saintliest of all priests.  They founded banks and hospitals but never charged money for either. 


 Again the Jesuits were condemned by history but in large part were innocent, although some fell into heresy in political matters.  This, however, does not mean that the order was bad, and in fact, it was and is one of the best in the world.   Except for the doctrine of the faith, which everyone should know and believe, everything else should be questioned and investigated before we accept it: this includes so-called science, what teachers teach, what priests say, and what bishops order.  In doing this we protect the innocent, expose the false, and promote the truth.


One good example of accepting error is what Cardinal Mahoney just said on National TV about Immigration. Catholic Churches are harboring and protecting Illegal Immigrants.  Although the Vatican advocates more liberal laws on Immigration, it does not advocate breaking the law.  We, as Catholics, have an obligation to obey all civil laws in all things except sin.  Civil disobedience can only be justified when laws go against the laws of God. 


When people violate legitimate laws they are sinning and in this case the Cardinal is sinning and advocating sin and should be jailed.  By the same reasoning, however, those who live under Cardinal Mahoney’s authority must obey him in all Catholic matters, except for sin and for those things where he violates the higher authority, Rome. 


If you are one or more of the three monkeys, you will not know if the Cardinal has authority or not.


The Society of Apostolic Life and the House of the Oratory


Now let me give a good example of the failure to investigate claims by even priests and bishops.  In Kalamazoo, Michigan is a Catholic religious community called the Saint Philip Neri House run by Father Robert A. Sirico.  Father Sirico is a very charismatic preacher and has a great personality.  He lectures and teaches gaining a large following day by day.  He has his bishop’s approval and blessing. 


Robert A. Sirico started out in Seattle where he set up a cult called the Jesus People and joined their male commune known as Joshua’s House. By the age of 19 he was a Pentecostal preacher and established his own “church” known for its “miraculous faith healings.” 


In 1972, he established a satellite of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Church (UFMCC) founded by homosexual activist Rev. Troy Perry, which teaches that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a sickness and that “homosexual relationships should be celebrated and affirmed.”   


In 1975 Rev. Robert Sirico, a minister of the homosexual Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, and a former Catholic, performed the first same-sex “marriage” in the United States.


In 1976, while still a UFMCC minister, the Los Angeles Gay Community Center headed by Sirico sponsored a nude homosexual sadomasochistic slave auction at a bathhouse where forty people were arrested.  Capt. Jack Wilson of the Los Angeles Vice Squad said “The tasks were sexually oriented. You could rent paddles there to keep your slave in line.  You can put them in leather harnesses fashioned in a bizarre manner for restraint.  It is a humiliating experience.”


Sirico was also quoted in the Pasadena Star-News as stating “I’ve bought people at slave auctions…”  Yet despite these two scandalous events, in 1989 Sirico was ordained a priest of the Paulist Order.  A year after his ordination, Sirico became the President of the newly created Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids.  Sirico has the backing of Bishop James Murray of the Diocese of Kalamazoo.


For more Sirico information see:



Now if you just met the charming Father Sirico and listened to his speeches on economics or moral theology without investigating him, what would you think?  Considering the above, do you think that investigating and questioning is good or bad?  


Co-Founder of the Catholic University of Central America


Now let us suppose that you met the Theologian and co-founder of the University of America, Jon Sobrino?  He has authored many books with Imprimaturs and his books have been making the rounds of the worlds seminaries.  Would you be impressed with his degrees and books or would you check him out against the teachings of the Church to see if he teaches correctly?  What happens if you do not know what the Church teaches?  Would you, like so many seminarians, just accept what he says as truth?  The fact is that Sobrino is a heretic, denying the divinity of Christ and supporting the condemned “liberation theology”.


But he is not the only Theologian working in the universities today that is in heresy.  Professor Daniel Maguire publishes and teaches heresy in Catholic Universities.  His views on abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception are not those of the Catholic Church.  But the three monkeys would never know this and would just accept him as speaking for the Church.


A Traditionalist is an Oxymoron


People today who call themselves Traditionalists with a capital “C” are in fact material heretics with a capital “H”.  Now, I support Catholic traditionalists who long for a return of the Tridentine Mass and a stop to the abuse of the liturgy, but as a real traditionalist I hold to the greatest of all Catholic traditions and that is the authority of the Holy Father and that where he is the Catholic Church is and where he is not the Catholic Church is not. 


In the past I have supported most of the traditionalists like Michael Davies and Gerry Matatics, (see  Gerry Matatics Is Not a Sedivicantist  ), because they  never went so far as to deny the authority of Vatican Two or the true presence of Christ in the Novus Ordo.  Although I do not think I was wrong in supporting Gerry Matatics at the time, things have changed.  Today there is no question that Gerry Matatics has left the Church and has become an ipso facto Heretic, denying the existence and authority of the Holy Father.  People like Father Gruner and the St. Pius X Society have denied the same thing the Orthodox did in 1054, the authority of the Pope of Rome.  They, in fact, ask us to listen to them instead of the Holy Father, making themselves out to be the teachers of the Church instead of students of the Church.


Are You A Catholic?


Being Catholic is a faith and sacramental thing.  We accept what the Church teaches and we partake in its sacramental life.  We do not teach the Church, the Church teaches us.  We do not give out sacraments, the Church gives us sacraments.  Are you a Catholic if you do not even want to know what the Church teaches?  Are you Catholic if you do not accept its teachings?


Investigations, like I do, are easy.  I just compare what I see or read to what I know is truth because truth cannot contradict truth.  That is true of science, which I do a lot of, and it is true of Christ’s teachings.  Starting with the bible, I established that there is only on Church founded by Christ and this Church is without theological or moral error and that it is headed by  the Vicar of Christ on Earth and all other religions are in error.  When I investigate a bishop, a priest, a nun or a seer, I compare them to the truth of Christ and His Church.


I do not sit back and say that truth does not matter because Christ is the truth and truth matters.  The fact that 90% of Catholics practice illegal birth control against Church teachings will be the downfall of many western countries and maybe the end of the Church in western societies, but the Church will not end because it cannot end. No democratic majority can make error into truth. In fact, truth has always been in the minority.


If you are a Catholic and your son wants to become a priest, what seminary do you trust?  What convent can you trust? What Catholic School can you trust?  Investigation is not a lack of faith; it is just being careful, careful with your soul and the souls of those around you.   Check things out first and do not substitute tolerance or acceptance for truth.


Rick Salbato 3-23-07


 Reference to Sirico: 

Read the entire story below.

Randy Engel, author,

The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church

[www.riteofsodomy.com; Randy.Engel@riteofsodomy.com, 1-724 327-7379.