Karolina Sygula lives in Toronto and wants the Catholic Church to stop counting her as one of its members… but they refuse to take her off the books:
It would be easy to blame various child-abuse scandals within the Church for her decision to leave, but if that were the case, she explained, her inclination would be to stay to work for change.
“But the fact that I don’t believe in God clearly is in contravention to the official policy of the Church and I can’t work within the Church to change that.”
She explains that she really never should’ve been on the List to begin with:
The article documents her futile efforts… it just goes to show that the Church is always going to be overestimating its membership count since there’s no real way to get out of the system.
… this quest to end her relationship with the Church began, she said, 20 years ago at the time of her confirmation in a church in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga.
“They gave me a questionnaire to fill out and in it I actually wrote, ‘I’m an atheist and my parents are making me do this.’ They went ahead and did it anyway. Surely there must be some technicality that undoes the sacrament of confirmation when you say you don’t believe in God.”
According to the article, even if she were excommunicated, she’d still be considered a Catholic.
Father Frank Morrisey, an expert in Church law at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, said when you cut through canon law the explanation is really quite simple.
“As far as the Church is concerned: once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”
That could be an opportunity… can you imagine someone standing in front of a church (that they belong to no matter what they believe) with signs reading:
“I support abortion! And I’m a member of Catholic Church!”
“I support same-sex marriage! And I’m a member of Catholic Church!”
“Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t speak for me! And I’m a member of Catholic Church!”
Keep doing that until they finally revoke your membership 🙂
(Thanks to J B for the link!)