How does one get out of the Catholic Church?

On April 19, 2010, in Religion, by sduford

I was too young to think for myself when I was baptized into the Catholic Church and I wasn’t asked for my opinion either. Now I despise this ignominious organization and I want out. Unfortunately the Church doesn’t let anybody leave voluntarily.

In their infinite arrogance they say that when you are baptized into the Church your soul is “marked” for eternity. The only way to get out is apparently to get excommunicated. But what the heck does one have to do to get excommunicated when apparently even child rape doesn’t do it? I shudder at the thought…

Some of my friends ask: why bother? Well, it is a matter of principle. I do not want to be counted as one of the “sheep” of a flock tended by hypocritical men in robes. I do not want my name to be on the registry of this repressive cult. I do not want to be tacitly associated with the Church-sponsored genocide in Africa. I want my protest against the current Pope and his decades long protection of child-rapists to be heard loud and clear.

I’ve been looking into how to do this and here is some of what I found:

Understand that there is no secular legal method for leaving the catholic church, but within the Catholic church a person can be forced out, usually by acting in a way that is contrary to church belief or goes against the code of canon law. Excommunication is the formal way the Catholic church punishes a member. The member is excluded from church worship services and can’t receive the sacraments.

Also found this article on WikiAnswers:

How do you get kicked out of the Catholic Church?

Being “kicked out” of the Catholic Church is impossible. Once you are baptized you become Catholic and one of the effects of baptism is to place an eternal mark on the soul that forever identifies that soul as a member of Christ’s Church, whether in heaven or hell. You can, however, become a “dead member” of the Church. To become a dead member is fairly simple, you can sin and remain unrepentant, thereby depriving yourself of the sacraments by joining another religion or practicing nothing at all, or you can commit an act that will incur excommunication, in which case, the Church Itself will no longer make the sacraments available to you.

The Church, due to spiritual, political or disciplinary circumstances, can pronounce a sentence of excommunication on someone that has shown severe disregard for God, His laws, His Church or Its members. There are certain sins or transgressions considered so heinous, however, that the sinner can incur an automatic excommunication, without the Church having to review and declare it. An automatic excommunication is attached to those sins that are so heinous the soul must have premeditated the deed and maliciously decided to go through with it despite the blatant obviousness of its evil. Automatic excommunication is incurred by heresy, schism (usurping legitimate Church authority), apostasy (denouncing the Faith by a member of the Faith), desecration of the Blessed Sacrament, violence against the person of the pope, involvement in an abortion, ordaining bishops without a papal mandate, absolution of a illicit sexual partner (for priests only, trying to cover their tracks), breaking the seal of confession or being a participant in any of the above. Someone who incurs an automatic excommunication must reveal their sin to a confessor who may require them to confess to a bishop, as some sins are so serious they must be put to a bishop first.

Interesting tidbit, they list: “desecration of the Blessed Sacrament” as worthy of excommunication. Does that mean that if I were to take a communion wafer and spit and step on it I would be excommunicated? Is this really worst in the Church’s eyes than child rape? However, according to this, the only result of excommunication is that you can no longer receive the “sacrament”, they probably still wouldn’t take my name off their books…

Seems like a lost cause, my “soul” is really doomed to be associated forever with the cult that steals from the poor and lives in a $150B gold palace.

 

7 Responses to How does one get out of the Catholic Church?

  1. Maria Rugiero says:

    I know people who have left. They wrote a letter and mailed it to their local church stating they are no longer a member.

  2. Pat says:

    But why would you do such a thing? Where will you poor and lonely soul go when you die?

    lol

    “excommunication is incurred by … , involvement in an abortion, …” -> does this include assisting and/or walking with and/or encouraging someone going for an abortion?

    What happens when members join a competitor’s religion? Do they keep the seniority, long-service pay, bonuses and promotion?

    So, anyone can get in, but no one can get rid of it, like a deadly virus or cancer.

  3. sduford says:

    Hi Maria, in that sense I have left too, but officially the Church still counts you as one of them!

  4. Allan says:

    Fabulous. Finally, somone who sees the Catholic church as I do!…I was not only Baptized, Christened and then forced to Catholic school. Just barely got out of becoming an alter boy. Whew! Anyway, great piece on trying to find a way out of the “business”. I got out early and never looked back. Since, I have seen too many horrors in the name of religion that have created the majority of conflicts in the world. Religion was invented for the great unwashed and those that need definitive answers to life or death. Best to accept it for what it is. You live and you die. What’s important is what you DO and LIVE by in between. It’s time for us to honor mother Earth and nature for what it continues to give us, not some ideal that no one can relate to anymore.

    PS: thanks for the lead on the kitchen cabinets. Very happy with the work so far!

  5. sduford says:

    Hi Allan, always nice to meet like-minded people! Where are you building?

  6. Allan says:

    Azueros beach front. Hopefully we can connect the next time I am in Panama. Wolfgang has my coordinates.

  7. sduford says:

    Ah yes, I remember you now. Please do get in touch. I love the Azuero peninsula.

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