The only Good Catholic is a Lapsed Catholic. That’s what the Democrats believe. That’s what they preach. That’s what they demonstrate. And this has been going on for a very, very long time. It’s just now center stage for the first time in a heat of a presidential election. So many Catholics (otherwise clueless on political matters) are just now seeing it for the first time. I’ve been saying it for years.
I defined the terms “Lapsed Catholic” and “Practicing Catholic” in a previous essay here. Basically, there are only two kinds of Catholics. Those who are “lapsed” are those who don’t believe, and/or practice, all of what the Catholic Church teaches. They think they’re entitled to “pick and choose” what they want to believe about the Catholic Faith, having Catholicism on THEIR terms. They think that their Catholic baptism entitles them to do whatever they want. They’ll go around saying things like “once a Catholic, always a Catholic,” and insist that nothing could ever possibly separate them from the Church. They’ll call themselves “devout Catholics” or “ardent Catholics” (whatever that means), while simultaneously telling Church leaders they’re wrong about this belief or that, and insist that “the Church must change to get with the times.” Some people call them “Cafeteria Catholics,” while others call them “Fake Catholics,” but the proper term is “Lapsed Catholics” because they are experiencing a lapse of faith in the Church and its teachings.
It seems these people are only critical of one particular type of person — a Practicing Catholic. Truth be told, they hate Practicing Catholics, who actually believe ALL of what the Church teaches and try to put it into practice in their lives to the best of their ability. These Practicing Catholics are a pariah to Lapsed Catholics, because they make them look bad, and they expose their lack of faith for what it really is — weakness.
You see, a strong person, who disagrees with what the Catholic Church teaches, will leave the Catholic Church entirely. Maybe he’ll become an Episcopalian, or a Methodist or something, but he won’t continue to insist on identifying himself as a “Catholic” while demanding that the Church change to accommodate his lack of faith.
I know this because I converted to Catholicism from Evangelicalism, with a brief stop in Anglicanism. Once my beliefs changed, and I no longer subscribed to Evangelical tenets, I didn’t stay put and demand that everyone else (including my denomination) change to accommodate me. No. I was strong enough to be honest with myself and everyone else. I packed up my things and left my Evangelical church, stopping over in an Anglican church for a while, before joining the Catholic Church. You see, that’s called spiritual strength. It’s about having the courage to put your self-identification where your faith is. I haven’t seen much of that kind of strength or courage among Lapsed Catholics. Rather than admitting the truth, that they’re not really Catholic anymore, they insist on continuing to identify as “Catholics,” as a sign of weakness.
Why do they do this? Who knows? I suppose it’s different for everyone. Some might be afraid of what their parents would say. Some might be afraid of losing some kind of religious “perk.” Some just like pulling the “Catholic card” because it makes them feel good. Some might think of the Church in terms of ethnic identity. Still others, like Lapsed Catholics in politics, keep the “Catholic” label because it gets them votes. Let’s face it, politicians like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durban have been spiritual Episcopalians for decades, because they obviously don’t believe what the Catholic Church really teaches on moral issues like abortion and same-sex “marriage.” Yet they know there are a whole lot more Catholic voters, than Episcopalian voters, out there. So maybe they keep the “Catholic” label to tap into those Catholic votes? The sad part about it is that there are just enough Lapsed Catholics out there, who agree with them on these things, to keep them in office.
Here’s the painful truth that Lapsed Catholics can’t handle. Official Catholic teaching leaves no room for the support of abortion, which is exactly the so-called “pro-choice” position of the Democratic Party. One simply cannot be “pro-choice” (as the Democrats define it) and remain a Practicing Catholic. Once a Catholic goes into the voting booth, and pulls the lever for a “pro-choice” candidate, said Catholic immediately goes from practicing to lapsed, and is in need of confession and repentance to be restored to a practicing state. There are no exceptions to this, no extenuating circumstances, and no way around it. This has been made crystal clear by Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and even Pope Francis.
So now, after decades of this Lapsed Catholic nonsense playing out in the US Federal Government, we have finally reached the point where the Democratic Party is saying, in no uncertain terms, that Practicing Catholics are no longer qualified to serve in public office. This is because their practice of Catholic teaching disqualifies them. Just have a look at the news cycle to see for yourself. This ugliness reared its head back in 2017, then quickly went into hiding, only to resurface again in 2020 when President Donald Trump announced he would pick a replacement for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Among his top choices were Practicing Catholic women. The Democrats then went insane with the most anti-Catholic vitriol we haven’t heard since the 1928 presidential election between Al Smith and Herbert Hoover. In less than 100 years, the Democratic Party has gone from nominating Practicing Catholics to attacking them for their Catholicism.
Why should this surprise us?
When you look at the Democratic Party, and all the Lapsed Catholics holding positions therein, it’s no wonder why they would despise Practicing Catholics so much. They don’t know any! Some of them have never even met one! The only Catholics they know are Lapsed Catholics. So they assume all Catholics must be lapsed. And if they ever happen to run across anyone who might be practicing the Catholic Faith, as they’re supposed to, they just assume they must be some kind of radical, extremist, Catholic freak of nature.
What this amounts to is a form of religious bigotry.
Let me make this perfectly clear. Catholics are a religious minority in the United States, and Practicing Catholics are an even smaller religious minority in this nation. When we examine the history of the United States, religious bigotry against Catholics is nothing new. In the past, such anti-Catholic bigotry was fueled by Protestant Fundamentalism, Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan. Today, it’s fueled by Marxist Liberalism, Militant Feminism and the LGBT Agenda. The motives may be different, but the net effect is the same. In centuries past, Catholics didn’t run for public office because Americans wouldn’t trust them with public office. In the past, the only good Catholic was a Lapsed Catholic, meaning one who was willing to renounce the faith, at least in private if not in public. Are we about to go back to those days? If the Democrats get their way, we most certainly will.
When we take a good, hard look at the current Democratic Party, we’ll see many Catholics littering the landscape within it. But when we examine the faith of those Catholics, we’ll quickly see they’re all lapsed in one way or another. They’ve effectively renounced the Church’s teachings against abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage,” or socialism, etc. I explored this in a previous essay, explaining why the 2020 Democratic ticket for president, and vice president, should be offensive to any Catholic — both practicing and lapsed.
Why? By that I mean, why would a major political party in the United States embrace an extreme anti-Catholic bigotry, nominating only Lapsed Catholics who have effectively renounced their faith (like Joe Biden), and non-Catholics who have expressed strong anti-Catholic prejudice (like Kamala Harris)? I think the answer is in the bigotry itself. They hate the Catholic Church and what it stands for. This is why practicing Catholics are the untouchables (the lowest caste), as far as they’re concerned. They can’t support a Catholic unless said Catholic is working against the Church in some way, meaning that Catholic is lapsed. Likewise, they show no inhibition about nominating a non-Catholic who displays profound anti-Catholic prejudice. Both types of candidates are working toward the same end, each in their own way, which is to undermine the Catholic Church and its influence on society.
Why do they hate the Catholic Church and what it stands for? It’s Marxism. Over the last fifty years the Democratic Party has been slouching toward Marxism incrementally in one election after another. The problem is, Marxism is anti-Catholic. Even a novice student of history knows that. Then there’s the feminist angle. Feminism is pro-abortion to the extreme, and over the last half-century (just like slavery was in the first half of the 1800s) abortion has become the “sacrament” of the Democratic Party. They will defend it at all cost. The Catholic Church is militantly anti-abortion. So, the Catholic Church must be opposed on feminist grounds. Finally, there’s the LGBT Agenda, which seeks to undermine the traditional family. The Catholic Church seeks to uphold and defend the traditional family. Therefore, the Catholic Church must be opposed on LGBT grounds. The Democratic Party has embraced these three movements (Marxism, feminism, LGBT Agenda) over the last half century. All three movements are militantly anti-Catholic, each for their own reasons, so it was only a matter of time before that would rub off on the Democratic Party itself. Let’s face it, if you’re a Practicing Catholic, who really believes what the Church teaches, there is no longer a place for you in the Democratic Party, and you’re certainly not welcome there anymore, in spite of whatever they might say to convince you otherwise. The proof is in their actions, not their words.
Will the Democrats impose a religious test on Catholics seeking public office? It would appear they already have — within their own party. Practicing Catholics need not apply. If you want the backing of the Democratic Party, you must be willing to renounce certain aspects of Church teaching. Otherwise, you’re not welcome in the party, and you most certainly won’t be backed for political office or judicial nomination. As far as the DNC is concerned: the only good Catholic is a Lapsed Catholic. If they receive any more political power than they already have, we can be certain they will apply this same religious test to government institutions. It’s already happened once before, during the 1800s. It can, and will, happen again if we let the Democrats keep political power, or increase it. This wouldn’t be the first time in history Lapsed Catholics have sided with the Church’s enemies and voted to make anti-Catholicism the law of the land. If it could happen in Europe and Latin America, it can happen here too.
Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.