(Note: part of this was originally posted as a comment here.)
I am even more disgusted with the Roman Catholic Church than ever! Why? Because of this:
This is a website based in Ireland telling people how to leave the Church. However……
Suspension of the Defection Process
In April of this year, the Catholic Church modified the Code of Canon Law to remove all references to the act of formal defection, the process used by those who wish to formally renounce their membership of the Church.
Since then, the Catholic Church in Ireland has been reflecting on the implications of this change for those who wish to leave the Catholic Church. Despite our requests for clarification, the Church have yet to reach a firm position on how or whether they will continue to accept requests for the annotation of the baptismal register.
In recent weeks we have been contacted by an increasing number of people whose defections have not been processed, due to the limbo created by this canon law amendment.
Because of this uncertainty, we have taken the decision to suspend the creation of declarations of defection via CountMeOut.ie from today (12th October 2010).
In response to this, the Church in Ireland released the following statement to RTE News:
The Holy See confirmed at the end of August that it was introducing changes to Canon Law and as a result it will no longer be possible to formally defect from the Catholic Church. This will not alter the fact that many people can defect from the Church, and continue to do so, albeit not through a formal process. This is a change that will affect the Church throughout the world. The Archdiocese of Dublin plans to maintain a register to note the expressed desire of those who wish to defect. Details will be communicated to those involved in the process when they are finalised. Last year 229 people formally defected from the Church through the Archdiocese of Dublin. 312 have done so, so far this year.
Look, you do not need permission of the Catholic Church to leave it. To even bother to go through any “”Declaration of Defection” process is to acknowledge the authority of the Church over you.
If you were baptised as a Catholic you are still counted among the congregation of the church, regardless of what beliefs you currently hold.
Which is of course a grievous lie! And you can publicly and loudly condemn the Church for this.
Go here to send messages of condemnation:
Now, for those who do wish to abandon Catholicism but don’t wish to submit to the Church’s hoop jumping, there are alternatives. By joining another religious body, you make your rejection of Catholicism beyond dispute.
Ex-Catholics who are still Christian: Join a Protestant church. Protestants are growing as a strong minority in Latin American countries and have always been common in Europe, where the Protestant movement began. Start here: http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf/ The Lutherans seem to be the closest in nature to Catholicism, which makes sense when you consider that they were the first to break away and were conservative compared to the Protestant movements that arose later.
Ex-Catholics who are no longer Christian but still believe in the God of the Jewish Bible : Join a Jewish Synagogue. Most Jewish groups make it difficult to join, so you may have to spend a long time convincing the rabbi that you are sincere and willing to follow the Jewish rituals and standards. The Reform Jews seem to be the ones most likely to fit you, since they are not as dogmatic and stuck in the past as others. http://urj.org/ http://www.wupj.org/index.asp
Ex-Catholics who are theists and believe that prophets came after Jesus: Join an Islamic community or a Bahai comunity. Not just any Islamic or Bahai community, but ones that allow you to think for yourself. Look here: http://www.liberalislam.net/ or here: http://www.unitarianbahai.org/
Ex-Catholics that are deist or non-theist: The best option for you is to join a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church, since deists and non-theists are welcome there. http://www.uua.org/ There is even a ministry for those who do not live near a UU church: http://clf.uua.org/ Once you are established as a UU, you can freely explore other options without having to ever leave that congregation. There are even UU Christians, UU Jews, UU Pagans and UU Buddhists that have their own groups within the Unitarian Universalist Association.
The important thing is that you identify as anything other than Catholic and that if you have children they not be raised Catholic. If enough people around the world do this, the power and influence of the Roman Catholic Church will be broken.