Maria Shriver: Why I'm a 'Cafeteria Catholic'

'Good standing' Catholic opposes church positions on gays, divorce and choice

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 16, 2008 8:51 AM CST

(Newser) – California First Lady Maria Shriver likes the "compassion and justice of Jesus Christ" advanced by her Catholic religion, but can't abide the church's positions on gays, divorce and a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, she reveals in a Washington Post interview. "I'm a cafeteria Catholic," she declares, referring to her habit of following only Catholic teachings she believes in.

"I consider myself a Catholic in good standing," she added, even though "I don't spend a lot of time squaring my own daily life with the institutional church." A South Carolina priest last week triggered a political controversy when he threatened to deny communion to those who voted for Barack Obama because of the president-elect's stand on abortion. The priest was overruled by his superiors.

Maria Shriver acknowledges the crowd at The Women's Conference last month in Long Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Maria Shriver speaks to the crowd as hubby Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger looks on after they received the "Family Visionary Award" at a Habitat for Humanity ceremony in Beverly Hills last month.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver pose together after they were given the "Family Visionary Award" by Habitat for Humanity last month.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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