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How To Formally Leave The Catholc Church


Guest Franziska_VonKarma
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Guest Franziska_VonKarma

Hello all, I'm so glad to have found you all!

 

I am a refugee from a Catholic upbringing. I am now Agnostic Atheist (ie I don't know, I don't care.) My only other sibling, my younger brother, has become quite a sheep for the church... his choice.

But for me, I'd like to leave- for good.

 

My name is (for purposes of this board) Franziska Anne VonKarma. Now, I like the "Franziska" and the "VonKarma" but I'd like to change my middle name at some point. I originally was going to change it legally, figuring that "Franziska Whatever VonKarma" would no longer be within the church record, and I would like them to destroy my baptismal and confirmation records as a final, decisive step. (I didn't really want to be confirmed, but at 12 I thought I "had to"... now I realize there IS another choice! I CAN SAY NO!) And I want to say NO formally.

 

How do I go about this? I'm currently living in Japan, so any name changing and such must be done when I get back, though I'm sure letters can be sent from here much easier (and cost the church postage to get it over here)

 

Anyone here actually bother with doing this? If so, how?

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Welcome aboard Franziska. We're glad you found us too!

 

One of your options is to get excommunicated. ie, instead of leaving THEY THROW YOU OUT!

 

according to this article, it is difficult, but possible.

 

You will need to write a letter to your current parish. It should include the necessary information to meet all of the criteria for deserving to be excommunicated. You may also present this to your birth parish, if this is convenient.

 

The Church's criteria for meriting excommunication

 

The church is patronizing to atheists. They can easily recognize another superstition, but, being unfamiliar with rationality, they have difficulty accepting the decision to renounce all mumbo jumbo. They have, however, officially established these criteria for judging all cases of excommunication: You must ACT. Mere thought is not enough. You should be able to cite memberships in freethought and humanist groups. You should be able to cite actions you have taken, such as, letters written, demonstrations attended, meetings attended, magazine subscriptions, etc. As well as negative actions, like not attending church, not giving them any money, time or thought for years. You must be PERSISTENT. This must take place over a long period of time. If at first you don't succeed...Cite long commitment, and keep trying and keep writing. You must be CONTUMACIOUS. As in: I am firm, you are contumacious, he is pig-headed. Do not waver or indicate any hesitation. It is not necessary to be impolite, but do not be unclear in your condemnation of Catholicism in order to avoid offence. You must be AWARE that this involves excommunication. For them, ignorance of canon law is an excuse. State in your letter that you are aware of this, that you know what the consequences are and that this is what you wish to happen. You have to BE A ROMAN CATHOLIC. Obviously. In your letter, make them aware of this by telling them the parish where you were baptised and the date.

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I had my name legally changed because I didn't like the Christian meaning. It really wasn't that hard and was definitely worth it.

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By taking such measures, you are giving the Catholic church more power as an authority than they deserve. So they have your name on their list...so what? Just stop going and stop giving them your money. Encourage others to do the same. Without the money they receive from believers, they will dry up and blow away. If it makes you feel any better, you could fill out and hang up a de-baptism certificate.

 

http://www.secularism.org.uk/debaptism.html

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Franziska_VonKarma:

 

I did leave the Catholic Church formally. It requires a letter to the Archbishop of your diocese stating the reason for the request, (easiest is stating you have become an ordained minister in another faith - quick to do on the Internet), - or you could follow the advice given in StewartP's post.

 

I did not find that I had to be persistant. In my case I simply wrote a letter requesting excommunication and my reasons. I received a confirmatory letter from the Archbishop's personal assistant stating that my request was granted, but I would have to send a second letter to have my name removed from the Baptismal Record. (The response took about a week.)

 

DigitalQuirk makes a valid point about formal excommunication being uneccessary to erode the Church's power.

 

That said, I can understand the need to inform the Church that you are severing every connection with them. If nothing else, the Church claims you as a member until your name is expunged. These numbers can be used to give the Church "clout" in the public arena.

 

I'm pretty sure that a rash of requsests for excommunication would keep the Church hierarchy up nights worrying. Fair payback for what they've done to me.

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I agree that it isn't necessary to formally request excommunication to erode Big Momma Church's power, but it can be cathartic for the individual. If it makes you happy, then go for it. The though that I can be stricken wholly from the Church's records is appealing, and maybe I'll give it a whirl someday, when I have the time to do so.

 

And yes, over time this can perhaps send a message to the Church. If they receive enough requests for excommunication - not just seeing attendance drop, but actual requests to be removed - who knows how it can mess with their heads?

 

It's a comforting sign of the times, where you can request excommunication from an organization that, in earlier times, would've had your life ruined or perhaps exterminated for it.

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Guest Franziska_VonKarma
By taking such measures, you are giving the Catholic church more power as an authority than they deserve. So they have your name on their list...so what? Just stop going and stop giving them your money. Encourage others to do the same. Without the money they receive from believers, they will dry up and blow away. If it makes you feel any better, you could fill out and hang up a de-baptism certificate.

 

http://www.secularism.org.uk/debaptism.html

 

 

They do not get my time and money any more... I am happy to say I am a full atheist.

I was not just baptized, my shame in that I was confirmed.... I was supposed to "make the choice" at 13. At 13 I didn't want to be but I did because I saw no other alternative. If I knew then what I knew now I would have said no. Now it is too late. I want to erase that, somehow. Baptism means nothing, my parents did that. At 13, I was just a stupid kid... I mean, I also liked the Spice Girls, for dog's sake! How could I have been the judge of taste back then?

But just as how I threw away my Spice Girls CD, I want to somehow undo the confirmation. A formal rejection would help.

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They do not get my time and money any more... I am happy to say I am a full atheist.

I was not just baptized, my shame in that I was confirmed.... I was supposed to "make the choice" at 13. At 13 I didn't want to be but I did because I saw no other alternative. If I knew then what I knew now I would have said no. Now it is too late. I want to erase that, somehow. Baptism means nothing, my parents did that. At 13, I was just a stupid kid... I mean, I also liked the Spice Girls, for dog's sake! How could I have been the judge of taste back then?

But just as how I threw away my Spice Girls CD, I want to somehow undo the confirmation. A formal rejection would help.

 

I don't know what part of the world you live in, but where I come from, it is illegal to form a contract with anyone under the age of 18, and such contracts are unenforcable, null, and void. I don't see your confirmation being any different. As far as I'm concerned, I don't think you have anything to prove because, as you said, you were just a kid. I wouldn't let it bother you; we all made mistakes as children. Except in this case; you didn't make a mistake, you were mislead. You shouldn't feel responsible for something they did.

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Well I am not Catholic, but like others have said I don't think you shoud feel too bad that you were confirmed in the church as a child.

 

I was water baptised six years ago as a adult... thought I was ready to go on and serve jesus and become a dedicated xtian.. never did happen though and never did have that euphoric experience afterwards.

 

I never did offically join to become a church member however, my mom and sister did several years ago.

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