How And Why To Defect From The Catholic Church

If the Catholic Church baptized you and you have neither personally defected nor been formally excommunicated, they still count you in their numbers when they quantify the scope of their influence by citing how many Catholics there are.  If you do not want them considering you Catholic, here’s what you should do:

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Marcin

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  • Agatha J.

    When I was 17, I actually got interested in doing exactly this. I wanted to somehow formally defect from the Catholic Church. At the time, I was still attending religious classes that a priest taught- so I took the opportunity of asking him how one reverses baptism and leaves the Church.

    He bellowed at me that baptism is irreversible and leave a permanent spot on one’s soul.

    I tried another tactic and asked him “Well, what if someone, for example, is offended by the Catholic Church’s views on women and women not being allowed to be priests?”

    He launched into an enormous diatribe about how pro-women the Church is.

    I tried again and asked “What is someone is offended by the Church’s stance on gays?”

    And he launched into an endless defense of the Church’s policy on gays.

    I wanted to scream “That-wasn’t-what-I-was- asking!”

    You couldn’t get a straight answer outta him. Like speaking to a brick wall.

  • Agatha J.

    *Meant to write “and leaves a permanent spot…”

    What an idiot that guy was. I tried explaining to him that I wanted to know how you formally reverse your membership about five or six times and he just didn’t get it.

    The most he offered was that “Sometimes people write into us and ask us to take them off the baptismal rolls. Sometimes people come in to me and ask me to take their names off the lists- but you can NEVER erase baptism in the eyes of GOD! NEVER!”.

    Now, having watched this video, I finally, at long last, understand what that was all about.

    It’s amazing that they think baptism can never be erased. Isn’t it enough for them that they own you throughout life? No, they have to own you for all eternity, too. Even if you don a headscarf and become a super devout, every-Friday-to-mosque-going Muslim till your dying day, you are a Catholic in their eyes.

  • Michelle

    In the video it was mentioned that a date and place of baptism should go into the letter of defection. Problem: I have no idea when or where I was baptized, and the only person who might have that information is in a nursing home suffering from Alzheimer’s. So…what are my next steps given this set of circumstances?

  • Kristy

    You only really need to add the name of the Diocese that you were baptist in, not the parish or the priest. If you aren’t sure where that was, try to figure out where you lived at the time that you think you may have been baptized. Also add your mom, dads, and godparents info…. go to http://www.countmeout.ie wed stie all the forms are there… or you can draft your own based on their tempt plate.


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