The First Lady of California Maria Shriver in a recent interview cited in the same answer how she considers herself to be a “Catholic in good standing” and how she differs with the Catholic Church on many critical issues, including the sanctity of life and the the sanctity of marriage.   She goes on to describe herself as a cafeteria catholic, saying “I find that I don’t spend a lot of time trying to square my own daily life with the institutional ‘Church.’ I pick and choose.”

How does Shriver articulate her differences with ‘the institutional Church’ Holy Mother Church?  She says “I don’t believe in, you know, that if someone’s divorced they shouldn’t get Communion. I don’t believe that people who are gay shouldn’t be accepted into the Church. There are a lot of things like that.”

These statements in fact misrepresent the Catholic teachings on these issues.  With regard to divorce, the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks only of remarriage with respect to withholding communion citing a direct quote from Jesus Christ himself on the issue.

1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.  

1665 The remarriage of persons divorced from a living, lawful spouse contravenes the plan and law of God as taught by Christ. They are not separated from the Church, but they cannot receive Eucharistic communion. They will lead Christian lives especially by educating their children in the faith.

As far as homosexuals being welcome in the church, the Catechism actually calls them to Christ, but condemns homosexual acts as “contrary to natural law.”

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Only Shriver knows whether she is aware of the Church’s teaching on these issue or has deliberately distorted them.  Perhaps her catechism was missing a few pages.

Shriver doesn’t even bring up abortion, on which she is completely out of touch with the Church’s teaching until the interviewer brings it up.

I don’t mean to attack Shriver personally.  She is a very visible representation of millions of Catholics who don’t understand the teachings of the Church, but are willing to disagree with them in order to be politically correct or popular.  In the Mass I attended last week, the priest discussed the problem of cafeteria Catholics and this interview citing that to be Catholic means to follow 100% of the teachings of Holy Mother Church, and insisted that the cafeteria must be closed.

Remember that when it counts most, it doesn’t really matter whether we consider ourselves in good standing, but rather how we stand with God.

Here is the video of Shriver’s interview, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment. Login »