I have come to the conclusion that I have very few options in what I can and cannot do in dealing with the Roman Catholic Church. So I am going to work on the things I can do. First and foremost, I need to make sure that the boys in Rome are not counting me among the faithful.
It seems that the Roman Catholic Church counts you as a member if you have been baptized. As I was dunked into the batismal fount of the holy mother church as an infant (without my consent) I am still on the rolls for counting purposes. It is a good scheme, claim big numbers of members because most who leave never bother to tell the church to pack sand. Take a look at church attendance today and see how many people are sitting in the pews, that would be a significantly smaller number.
I am sure that my contribution to the statistics is still going strong in the ledgers of the Diocese of Brooklyn, even though I have not resided in Brooklyn since I was 12. My time in the Diocese of Scranton, the offending diocese that supported Robert J. Gibson and left me and others vulnerable to attack, does not factor in. It seems that the only way I can terminate my association with the RCC is to go through the process of “Defection”. I am going to officially quit. Reduce the worldwide population of Roman Catholics by 1. Not a big dent in the hugely inflated number of American Catholics, but an important removal for my own personal growth.
I would prefer to be excommunicated. It would be pretty wild to be in the same club as Galileo Galilei! But, I digress…
There are large numbers of lapsed Catholics who have left the RCC for other faiths. Some decided the Sunday Morning Magic Show was nothing more than (incense) smoke and mirrors that came with an inedible snack and a requirement to sit through a ridiculous monologue, that wasn’t funny, about life from a man who generally knew very little about life (or was living a double life). Others like me, were subjected to horrible violations compounded by an uncaring, co-conspirator of an institution that was only focused on minimizing scandal, silencing those calling for justice and keeping the money rolling in to support the opulent lifestyles of the Bishops who condoned the sexual crimes committed by subordinates.
Defection seems to be the answer. In order to “defect” you must submit your stated intention to leave the church to the diocese in which you were initially baptised. In May I requested a duplicate copy of my batismal certificate from the church where that event took place. I have researched the process and I am going to fire off the letter to the fiefdom of Bishop “Nicky the Don” DiMarzio in Brooklyn and let them know I am done with all of it.
I am fully aware that this leaves me out of having a Catholic funeral, no last rites, no sacraments of any kind from the church. But seeing as this church has already denied me protection from predators, been an impediment to justice and cannot seem to tell the truth about the sexual crime crisis within it’s doors, I do not see the loss of sacraments as a downside. On the rare occasions where I have been in a church over the last few years, I stay respectfully silent and I do not approach the altar for any reason. Really, I am not doing anything different from what I was doing already. I am just formalizing the process. It is an active form of leaving, not a passive form.
This blog post will serve as a notice that I am done with the Catholic Church officially. I make this decision of my own free will without any undo influence from any other source. I do not want any kind of RCC intervention in any aspect of my life and eventual death. I do not want last rites, an RCC funeral mass, any kind of prayer service or burial in a Catholic cemetery. I want no indication in my life or death that I was, in any way, a practicing Catholic. I don’t know any other way to make a more public pronouncement.
I will let you know how this works out. At least I will let you know the kind of response I get. I am hoping this service will be free of charge!
5 thoughts on “Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica”
I want you to know how much I love you. I am so laughing about “you hope it doesn’t cost you any money”to PUBLICALLY EXIT THE RCC! I am going to do the same thing. God gave you the best thing to do in the cencus area of RCC. I love it and God & you too!.
Lets get up front on this one. L & P “g”
I will post a template and the process very soon. I am glad someone out there is laughing.
Hey Michael, Thanks for reminding me I have something on my to-do list that needs checking off. When Andrew Madden formally defected from the RCC last year I was also disgusted at being used in their numbers game. The #1 rule for any non-profit is to never remove anyone from the mailing list. I think formal defection is the best way for those of us who don’t want to be counted in their inflated membership numbers to send a message. I will also make it official.
The website I found with a template is called “count me out”.
I think I also got good info from wikipedia. I’m sure you already know this because your post includes the facts and processes needed to defect officially. Let us know how it goes.
Regarding your previous posts about SNAP, I personally have mixed feelings. Without rehashing things ad nauseum I probably fall close to the Greg Bullough camp. But, I am positive everyone’s opinions are valid and worth hearing, especially yours. ( After all, you are Off Your Knees) The most positive SNAP experience I have had is attending the conventions and meeting so many other survivors. I really enjoyed meeting you in Virginia and having dinner that night. I like the fact the survivor community is a rag-tag band of wounded warriors instead of a group of lemmings. Keep up the good work.
Good luck. I wouldn’t count on them not sending you a bill.
I was laughing at times, too. It’s good to keep a sense of humor through all of this craziness.
[…] Actis formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica. This is an action item for the Diocese of Scranton. I want out. I want my name off the rolls. I want the Diocese of Scranton to coordinate with the Diocese of Brooklyn and make the break with me permanent and official. I am no longer a Catholic and I want official acknowledgement in a document signed by the Bishop himself. You should also do this pro bono. (So much Latin! My Jesuit education is showing again.) I am not going to pay an indulgence for this service. I have a spot on the wall where my diploma from the University of Scranton currently hangs that may be available soon. […]