Believing what you like is a form of religious relativism. This relativism in religion is the essential creed of Protestantism. Protestants believe all church organizations are provisional. They are “man made institutions” and therefore you simply choose the one you like best or the one which “works for you.” An increasing number of Catholics operate the same way. They choose the items of church belief and practice they like best, and reject what they don’t like.
St Benedict named four types of monks, and these he called the “gyrovagues”. He writes in the Rule,
“They are never stable throughout their own lives, but wanderers through diverse regions, receiving hospitality in the monastic cells of others…Always roving and never settling, they follow their own wills, enslaved by the attractions of gluttony.
Ha! Gluttony. No wonder we call them “Cafeteria Catholics”. Like obese buffet pigs they sniff out what “what works for them” and like obese buffet pigs, they usually end up getting cheap and nasty food which tastes good, but gives them spiritual indigestion afterward, and will eventually lead to a spiritual heart attack.
This cafeteria Catholicism Benedict links with gluttony because they are driven by pleasure. The cafeteria Catholics go on choosing what they like, never realizing that in doing so they are undermining the very Catholicism they profess. In fact Cafeteria Catholicism doesn’t work because before too long it will cease to be Catholicism altogether. If you think something is true because just because you believe it, and you believe it because you have chosen to believe it you’re living in Never Never Land.
The whole genius of Catholicism is that it is solid and real. It is based on the life, teaching, passion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ–a real historical figure who was God in human form. He founded the Catholic Church by giving his apostles his own divine authority on earth. That Catholic Church is a real, historical institution. It has laws and property and prelates and priests and people. Each element of the Catholic Church is part human and part divine. The Body of Christ is incarnate today in a real and solid way within the structures and teachings and people and sacraments of this church.
It is not fairyland. It is not a fantasy. It is not something that happens to be true if you happen to choose to believe in it. The Catholic Church does not exist because you clap your hands.
When Catholics fall into the ways of the world and pick and choose what elements of the church they think is true and reject other parts they really, in a profound way, cease to be Catholics because by doing so they are saying, “This is not a revealed religion. This is, after all, simply a man made rule of a man made institution. I can therefore do what I like.”
Catholics who so undermine the Catholic faith are the true cause of the rot at the core of Catholicism. What the Catholic Church needs now more than ever are good, solid, supernaturally inspired, joyful, dynamic and energetic Catholics. What we need are Catholics who are empowered by the supernatural vision of the Church of Christ alive in the world as an objective reality.
Not something that is exists only if you happen to believe in it.