Cut yourself free from the Catholic Church

WE have just learned of the existence of the Count Me Out website – a source of information for those considering leaving the Roman Catholic Church.


The site says that:

For many who no longer practise, remaining “lapsed” is not sufficient; a clean break is needed.

In 3 simple steps this site produces all the documentation you need to leave the RCC.

Why might someone wish to take this action?

If you were baptised as a Catholic you are still counted among the congregation of the church, regardless of what beliefs you currently hold. Here are some reasons why you may wish to leave:

• You no longer subscribe to the Catholic ethos, or are a ‘lapsed’ Catholic and you

• Do not wish to be counted as a member;

• Are appalled by the revelations concerning clerical abuse and wish to formally leave the church as a symbolic action;

• Do not approve of the close relationship between the church and the Irish state and wish to contribute to its dismantling.

• You wish to join another faith/religion.

The site points out:

The Catholic Church has been rocked by countless scandals involving physical, sexual and emotional abuse of mostly young children. This has been most recently documented in the Ryan Report which stated that children lived in “a climate of fear” and that “sexual abuse was endemic in boys institutions”. The public reaction to the report was one of shock and outrage. Formally defecting from the Catholic Church is one way of letting church authorities know how you feel about these scandals.

It adds:

Ireland has long been regarded as a traditionally Catholic country. As such, the state has afforded the Catholic church a role in the provision of a range of key social services. For example, 98% of primary schools are funded by the state and yet are managed by the local Catholic bishop. Many hospitals are funded by the state and run by the Catholic Church. The institutions where the abuse documented in the Ryan Report occurred were all run by Catholic orders.

In modern Ireland, do we really want to maintain this close relationship between the church and state? Formally defecting from the Catholic Church sends an unambiguous message that you no longer wish to be counted in a statistic used to justify the church’s role in the state’s social services.

Some may argue that simply being a “lapsed” Catholic (ie not going to mass, not praying etc.) is enough of a step. There are others that feel this does not go far enough for them, it does not provide the emotional satisfaction they require. Formally defecting from the Catholic church is the best means possible to make a decisive break with the church.

At the time of my posting this item, 3,790 people had completed a Document of Defection.

Hat Tip: David B

10 responses to “Cut yourself free from the Catholic Church”

  1. This is an excellent way to let them know how you feel and also hopefully get yourself off their statistics. Anyone who is no longer wants to be known as a catholic should do this. I’ve just linked this on my blog to help spread the word 🙂

  2. H. Davids says:

    Under the circumstances it would be laudable if the Irish Government ordered the church to check on everyone it ever baptised and ask if people would still like to be a member of an organisation that any decent human being would call ‘criminal’ with all the stuff that came out lately.

  3. Bubblecar says:

    I’m almost tempted to become a Catholic, just so I can leave the Church.

  4. MrGronk says:

    I read somewhere in Wikipedia that quite a few disillusioned Irish people are making a point of joining the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. While they’re merely trading one superstition for another, this would really grate with the RCC – perhaps more so than choosing atheism -given the way catholicism has always equated itself with Irish identity.
    Can any Irish readers enlighten me further?

  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  6. Kurbster says:

    Now the real dilemma here is should I even waste a stamp mailing this form.

    To be truthfully honest, I rather go out with a bang and be excommunicated instead

  7. anon says:

    This seems to be for Ireland residents – anyway this works for the rest of the world?

  8. Datan0de says:

    It’s a pity that the form only supports Ireland. As a Catholic-turned-atheist in the US I’d love to see a site like this that supports former Catholics around the world. I realize that just doing the translation into various languages would be a major endeavor, but I see a lot of value in this.

  9. Ed-words (usa) says:

    Wouldn’t screaming “F— Jesus” in the middle of Midnight Mass

    accomplish the same thing?

    X-Catho holic

  10. David B says:

    My understanding is that the method of leaving the RCC they suggest is part of the canon law of the church, and as such should apply world wide.

    I think I read something on their site about this, and if I weren’t in such a rush tonight I’d seek it out now.

    David B