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.
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.
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.
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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