Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Monday, June 2, 2014

A La Carte or Cafeteria?

I've never thought to comment on it, but I think it's funny how the term for Catholics who pick and choose what Magisterial teachings they'll accept is (or, rather, used to be) different in Ireland than it is in America.

In Ireland, when I was growing up, the term "a la carte Catholic" was common. The term was used in this report by the Irish Independent in 2013, and also in this report by The Journal.ie on the same subject.

But I seem to hear the term 'cafeteria Catholic' a lot more these days-- although, come to think of it, I can't actually remember any Irish or English person using it. Still, I wouldn't be surprised, despite those recent headlines, if it has yielded to the American term in the same way that 'Help the Halloween Party' has yielded to 'Trick or Treat'.

A la carte or cafeteria? I have to admit I prefer cafeteria. It has a more down-to-earth atmosphere than the French term. Also, you can then use the hilarious line: "The cafeteria is CLOSED, buster!".

(Although I'm not sure I want fidelity to Church teaching to be symbolized by a closed cafeteria. In my dreams, the cafeteria is always open, and I have a big plate of spaghetti bolognese and a Coke in front of me.)

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