Co-host of the Naked Diner Podcast Jack Matirko recently sent the Catholic Church a letter officially stating he is no longer a member. Jack was baptized a Catholic. He hasn’t been a practicing member of the *universal church for a while. And most lapsed Catholics are happy with simply drifting away into the Sea of Faithlessness and the Great Lake of Rationality without trying to officially leave. You see, even if a lapsed Catholic no longer considers themselves Catholic the Church still does.
It’s a public relations campaign. Just as McDonald’s likes to boast it serves up billions of McBurgers, the Catholic Church loves to squawk how it spoon feeds a billion people what amounts to spiritual McCrap.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal
Like all of us, Jack is disgusted by the recent grand jury report coming out of Pennsylvania depicting decades long sex abuse committed by priests and the subsequent coverup by the Church. CNN gives an overview of the faith-based horrors:
At times, the lengthy catalog of clergy sexual abuses in the report is difficult to read. As the grand jurors note, priests and other Catholic leaders victimized boys and girls, teens and pre-pubescent children.Some victims were plied with alcohol and groped or molested, the report says. Others were orally, vaginally or anally raped, according to the grand jurors.“But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.”Among the more egregious cases, the grand jury reports that:• In the Greensburg diocese, a priest impregnated a 17-year-old, forged a pastor’s signature on a marriage certificate and divorced the girl months later. According to the grand jury, the priest was allowed to stay in ministry by finding a “benevolent bishop.”• Another priest in Greensburg groomed middle-school students for sex, according to the grand jury, by telling them that Mary had to “bite off the cord” and “lick” Jesus clean after the Nativity.
The sex abuse scandal in Pennsylvania hit close to home for Jack. One of the priest-abusers baptized him. Not only that, the priestly rapist officiated at his father’s funeral.
That was the straw that broke that camel’s back. Jack wanted to be out of the Church.
If you’re an atheist-lapsed Catholic and want to officially leave, well, my friend, that’s difficult to do. Jack writes:
In 2009, as the church schemed to triage their substantial loss of membership in Ireland, it did away with the Formal Act of Defection. For most, or at least many, this didn’t matter much. The Vatican still allowed for conversion, but did away with a method for those leaving the faith without adopting another religion, so there was no mechanism to be removed from their register, and thus counted as one of them. This left those of us who identified as an Atheist with no way to stand up and say: “I demand you not count me as one of your own.”
Satan To The Rescue
The Satanic Temple is a religion and at the same time godless. Members don’t believe in Yahweh and view Satan as a metaphor. Jack is an active member, and we’ve had many Satanists as guests on the Naked Diner Podcast.
Here’s an excerpt of his letter stating he no longer wants the Catholic Church to consider him one of their own:
While I understand the church no longer has a formal method for defection by those with no supernatural beliefs, it is also my understanding that such a defection is still possible if one leaves the Catholic faith for another Religion. As such I, M. John Matirko, do hereby give formal notice of my defection from the Roman Catholic Church. I want it to be known that I no longer wish to be regarded as a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
I do this as a member in good standing of The Satanic Temple and a practicing Satanist. As a member of The Satanic Temple I cannot in good conscience continue to allow my name, no matter how nominal, to be counted as one of your professed membership. Non Serviam.
Do you think they’ll write him back?
Perhaps there’ll be a parting gift?
You shouldn’t join the The Satanic Temple just to leave the Church. But I’ve heard they have cookies, and their Seven Tenets are pretty awesome.
*Christians love to talk about how arrogant atheists are because we don’t buy into their faith. Yet the Catholic Church dubs itself universal. That seems pretty cheeky to me.
Andrew Hall is the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Besides writing a blog, co-hosting the Naked Diner, he wrote two books, Vampires, Lovers, and Other Strangers and God’s Diary: January 2017 Andrew is reading through the Bible and making videos about his journey on YouTube. He is a talented stand-up comedian. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.