Sotomayor: She may be Catholic … but rest easy … she doesn’t attend Mass.

Well the mainstream media has finally caught on to what we at RVO have already blogged on twice. Once here and here … although I must admit both posts were to point out the absurdity of it all.

Now the AP has noticed … but don’t worry … Sotomayor isn’t one of those “church going Catholics.” (Emphasis mine). Much thanks to Ann Althouse for pointing this out.

But far from forming any unified bloc, the justices would represent the vast diversity of American Catholics, from weekly churchgoers to the occasional attendee.

Sotomayor, a parochial school graduate, has said nothing since her nomination about how she practices her faith.

The White House said: “She currently does not belong to a particular parish or church, but she attends church with family and friends for important occasions.”

That would make her what religion experts call a “cultural Catholic,” someone who identifies with Catholicism and its traditions but is not active in the church.

More than half of U.S. Catholics rarely or never attend Mass, and they tend to have more liberal views than frequent churchgoers on abortion, gay marriage and other issues.

On the high court, Sotomayor would join a group of regular Mass attendees: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“Cultural Catholic”? I have been Catholic all my life and I didn’t know we had two kinds, “cultural” and what … “actual”? I must say I am baffled. But it does explain a lot when I read polls that say half of all Catholics are pro choice or 50% of Catholics voted for Obama, despite his past stance on not just abortion but also late term abortion … real late.

But I have to ask, unlike Judaism, Catholicism is not defined by heritage. How does one call themselves Catholic if 1. you never attend mass and 2. Do not believe in Church dogma much less doctrine (please don’t ask me to explain the difference and if you consider yourself Catholic and don’t know the difference, I rest my case). Quite simply you are not. You can call yourself a rose all you want … but if you are a daisy … that’s what you are.

As for Catholics on the Supreme Court, I wonder why Americans are not saying something about the fact that soon they will make up 6 of the 9. Is that diversity? I am Catholic and I am not so sure this is a good idea … or for that matter … that it even makes a difference.

Maybe that’s what Bill Press meant when he said this:


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Jim Vicevich

Jim is a veteran broadcaster and conservative/libertarian blogger with more than 25 years experience in TV and radio. Jim's was the long-term host of The Jim Vicevich Show on WTIC 1080 in Hartford from 2004 through 2019. Prior to radio, Jim worked as a business and financial reporter for NBC30 - the NBC owned TV station in Hartford - and as business editor at WFSB-TV in Hartford for 14 years while earning six Emmy nominations and three Telly Awards.


  1. skepticalcynic on June 2, 2009 at 4:42 am


    I guess she can join the crowd.  But this "cultural catholic" thing comes in degrees.

    How many of Jims listeners think of themselves as "real" catholics but also support the death penalty?  Sorry, that ain't catholic.  How about divorce?  Think divorce is ok? Well catholic divorce keeps pace with the national average, I guess thats one sacrament that we really don't HAVE to follow, right?  It's just to hard I guess.

    Catholic beliefs are at odds with conservative viewpoints many many times.  Thats why it so tough to be a practicing (AND NOT JUST GOING TO MASS) Catholic.  I've got family members that go to church EVERY SINGLE WEEK but try to justify war, the death penalty, cheating on taxes, and racism to me. I drives me crazy.

    They are called the 10 commandments, not the 10 suggestions.

    • skepticalcynic on June 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

      Oh and contrary to the post, if you are baptized, you ARE A CATHOLIC,  probably not a good one, but one nonetheless.

  2. Dimsdale on June 2, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    If Sotomayor is a "cultural Catholic," then what is Pelosi, the AntiChrist?  (my vote is yes).

    • BEA on June 4, 2009 at 2:51 am

      Dims…you crack me up!!

  3. Dimsdale on June 3, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Then there is the reverse explanation for Obama: he went to "church" for 20 years, but he isn't a KoolAid drinking black supremacist.

    • rush on June 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm

      Dims,your the best.

  4. homosapiens on June 3, 2009 at 5:37 am

    I wonder who the religion experts are who coined coined the phrase "cultural Catholic". In Protestantism, we are much more inclusive of those who are not active. We refer to them as "Chreasters" – the people who show up only for Christmas and Easter (you know, the only really "important occasions").

  5. BEA on June 4, 2009 at 4:32 am

    "I could go stand in my garage all day and it won't make me a car."  Joyce Meyer

    "cultural catholic"…I was one…I was raised in a Catholic home but it wasn't in my heart.   


    Today…I consider myself a Christian (try my best, but fail often).   I think my relationship with Jesus influences my decisions.

    People are influenced by whatever they deem the greatest influence on their lives (Christ, Allah, head of their church, themselves, their heritage/gender, society, the depth of belief in their country/constitution, etc.).    

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