By Joe Turek, for Quora, who is former Catholic, left after learning the truth. Updated Nov 14, 2021 · Author has 2.2K answers and 640.6K answer views
No. I am ex-catholic. The Catholic organization does not fit into the definition of a cult. I am not in the least trying to defend the Catholic Organization but facts are facts. There are criteria that define a group as a cult and the catholic org does not have enough to qualify it as a cult. This is probably the only nice thing you will see me say about the catholic org. I left it for the truth.
Catholics can quit when they want and many millions have quit and now attend other denominations. The very nature of a cult makes it very difficult to leave the cult. Those that try to leave actual cults find it very difficult to leave for a number of reasons. When I quit I just stopped going and eventually attended another denomination. No one called or contacted me. When I saw some church members out and about they would wave and say hi. No shunning.
There is no system of discipline where a person is shunned or punished for breaking the rules, what ever they may be. I understand that a catholic could do something to compromise their standing in the church but it usually has to be pretty severe. I never got in trouble nor have I ever known or heard of someone that got in trouble.
Members are not micromanaged to follow the rules and laws. Catholics pretty much do what they want. Many are very devote and many aren’t. Cult members generally spy on each other and report improper behavior and rules broken.
Catholics are not told to only associate with catholics. In cults, members are strongly encouraged and maybe even required to only associate with other cult members. The cult doesn’t want it’s members to have friends outside the cult. This is a way to control members. If they are being shunned or temporarily kicked out they have no other friends. Cult members have to abide by the rules and shun the disassociated member. I’ve attended a couple of large catholic churches. There was virtually no social activity within the church membership. People didn’t get to know one another. So you made friends elsewhere.
Requiring members to constantly recruit new members is generally done in most or all cults. This is definitely not Catholic.
Cults usually want all of your free time spent on cult activities, what ever they may be. Catholics, if they are active, attend church an hour a week.
There may be some things in the Catholic Church that might be defined as cult in nature like “we are the only ones doing it right” but as a whole it is not a cult. The fact that catholics can quit when they want or just stop going to church on Sunday is enough not to consider it a cult. Many catholics only go to church on Christmas, Easter, baptism, 1st communion, confirmation, marriages and funerals.
When You think about it, most active catholics spend an hour at church on Sunday. None of the catholic churches I’ve attended had anything going on before mass started. People walk in, you can’t really talk in the sanctuary, sit through an hour mass then leave. So thats one hour a week. That not enough time to develop a cult. Many catholics don’t go to church and consider themselves catholic. They might even donate something on Christmas and Easter, the 2 times a year they might attend.
Cults also don’t have 1.2 billion people in them. Cults generally are exclusive. Thats what makes them a cult. They are fringe organizations. Not the biggest one in the world.