To The Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church, I’m Leaving You

I have finaly made a decision on my religion. Its something I have been mulling over for a long time. Even before I came out. Recently I read Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and it made perfect sense to me. So now I consider myself a Bright.

So why leave the Church?
Well I didnt have a choice in the first place whether or not to join the Church. Now I am not doubting that Jesus Christ existed, theres historical proof and he was a good man. BUT in my humble opinion, he is not the Son of God. I am not writing this to offend any believers. If you do belive, I think you are doing the right thing for you, but I no longer belive so why stay a member of the church? I always had a slightly different take on things from the church, from as long as I can remember I never believed in Hell. That has developed into not believing in a personal god who listens to my prayers.

Since I came to Germany, my religion has been under the microscope, not just by my host family, but the moment I say I’m Irish I am asked Protestant or Catholic? As if that matters!

How to leave the Church
Some websites give misleading advice on how to leave the Catholic Church. One website says

Just ex-communicate yourself and stop attending church rituals. No need for formal declaration.

Now I have never heard of someone ex-communicating themselves. Ex-communication is a punishment from the church, so you can’t do it yourself. Its actual as easy as writing to your local bishop as requesting to excercise your right to Defect (yes DEFECT!) under Vatican II. You need to supply some other information such as place of baptism, your parents names, godparents names, and of course the date you were baptised (Date of Birth might help also!). You may getter letter saying this is a bad thing etc etc, but just reply by saying you know what you are doing.

I found some stuff about Defection by Formal Act (Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica) on the vatican website no less, and it is quite interesting.

Here is some of an article (link below)

1. For the abandonment of the Catholic Church to be validly configured as a true actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia so that the exceptions foreseen in the previously mentioned canons would apply, it is necessary that there concretely be:

a) the internal decision to leave the Catholic Church;
b) the realization and external manifestation of that decision; and
c) the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

2. The substance of the act of the will must be the rupture of those bonds of communion – faith, sacraments, and pastoral governance – that permit the Faithful to receive the life of grace within the Church. This means that the formal act of defection must have more than a juridical-administrative character (the removal of one’s name from a Church membership registry maintained by the government in order to produce certain civil consequences), but be configured as a true separation from the constitutive elements of the life of the Church: it supposes, therefore, an act of apostasy, heresy or schism

Full article

Also, I am not leaving the church just cause I am Gay, that has actually not figured much in my decision to leave the Church.

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

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