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Posted by: BestBBQ ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 07:18PM

The Vatican has made it virtually impossible for a member to formally resign.

http://friendlyatheist.com/2010/10/23/the-vatican-blocks-the-exit/

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 07:22PM

So, send the letter, and you are out anyway according to US law.It doesn't matter whether they process it or not. At any rate, the Catholics aren't going to bother you if you quit going like the Mormons do. That takes away a lot of the reason for formally resigning. If you don't consider yourself a Catholic or Mormon or whatever, then you aren't one.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 07:28PM

“Omnium in Mentem” Simon Says So There!

I'm telling y'all, Mormons are amateurs compared to Catholics.

The comments on that thread were interesting. In case anyone still has the impression Mormons are unique or that atheists come from having been Mormon the comments should give some insight.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 07:37PM

I was baptized in the Cathlic Church as a baby, but my mother never took me to a Catholic service. Since I was never Confirmed, I don't think I was ever a full-fledged member.

You can get yourself excommunicated, if you make it clear that you're an atheist, but they don't undo baptisms, as they say it's an historical event and you can't undo history.

I'll live with the fact that I was never a full-fledged member anyway.

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Posted by: helemon ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 09:30PM


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Posted by: Primus ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 09:56PM

"Oh, you think you resigned...not so fast!"

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Posted by: exCatholic lass ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 10:38PM

I sometimes lurk on this site because my roommate is addicted to it and introduced me. I was born into a big Catholic family, went to Catholic K-12, Catholic university. Left as an adult. While I cannot speak for what goes on in Ireland, in the US this type of thing would be really reeeeeeaching into the extreme fringe, actively seeking conflict. Formal resignation is completely unheard of, and unnecessary. You just stop attending and that's a wrap. No one will ever contact you to cajole you back. Catholics can attend/contribute as little as they desire with no repercussions.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 10:55PM

In some countries the Catholic Church gets subsidies according to how many Catholics they claim. Not being able to get off the "count" basically puts money in the Church's pocket. Not cool. Your baptism is the gift that keeps on giving. I'm glad at least in the USA religion doesn't get money that way.

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Posted by: Leah ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:12PM

In Europe there is a church tax but you do not have to pay it if you declare yourself inactive to the tax office.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:20PM

Good to know.

I'll have to read up on this since now I have even more questions.

What keeps everyone from just declaring themselves inactive and saving themselves from being taxed? Then they could give directly to their church if they felt inclined- and wouldn't have to give the amount the government decides. I need to get out more!

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Posted by: Cecily ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 05:33AM

dagny Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good to know.
>
> I'll have to read up on this since now I have even
> more questions.
>
> What keeps everyone from just declaring themselves
> inactive and saving themselves from being taxed?
> Then they could give directly to their church if
> they felt inclined- and wouldn't have to give the
> amount the government decides. I need to get out
> more!


Off the top of my head, I only know about this thing in Germany, where you get taxed if you belong to the RCC or the German Lutheran church- depending on your income. For one thing, I'm told that both churches provide things like nurseries, hospitals, old people's homes etc. All of these things are available to non-members as well, but both churches can still claim something like 70% membership, out of the total population, which by no stretch of the imagination means that people are particularly religious.

From what friends and family tell me it's very much about the social services the churches provide, plus, you can only have a religious wedding ceremony if you're a paying member. Quite a lot of people do the civil one (the legal one) and the religious one on the same day, but getting married in one of those old churches is quite nice.

Another thing is - I know, touchy topic- abortion. According to German laws a woman needs to visit a family advice centre and get a receipt that even after looking at all alternatives, she could see no other choice, to get an abortion. Family advice centres are supposed to steer women towards going through with their pregnancies. When that law came into force, almost all such centres were run by the two churches- the RCC refuses handing out the receipts, the Lutheran church will do it, but one doesn't need to go to such a centre on the basis of confession. Anyone can go, regardless of confession.

So, I suppose quite a lot of social issues are dealt with by the churches, and it's about history, tradition and welfare. At least that's what I gathered from friends and family. Hope this helps somewhat.

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Posted by: Heidi GWOTR ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 10:21AM


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Posted by: Cecily ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 10:35AM

Probably not...sorry.

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Posted by: A noun mouse ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 10:51PM

Actually, the Catholic Church, consisting of more than a billion people, doesn't require formal resignation. They don't follow you, harass you, or "visit" you. They definitely don't love bomb you. If you should send a letter of resignation, it has no more formal effect than sending it to yourself. They don't care.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:02PM

I've never been Catholic, but many people in my life were once upon a time Catholic. They were born Catholic, raised Catholic, went to catechism class Catholic, often educated Catholic (through high school or though college), married Catholic, lived Catholic, and raised their families Catholic...and one day they just stopped BEING Catholic.

I know of one widowed mother (her birth family and family of marriage with unbroken histories of deeply observant Catholicism for at least a couple of centuries), and her adult son, who one day--in Mass, while the priest was speaking--just looked at each other, in silent agreement, and then walked out of the church in the midst of the service. They never went back, and they received not a single phone call, piece of mail, or visit from anyone ever again. The only "contact" they had with the Church was when the widowed mother died and the son went to the cemetery his father was buried in so he could have his mother buried there, since this was her wish. The (Catholic) people at the (Catholic) cemetery asked when services would be held, etc. and he said: "There won't be any services. Just bury her." And that was the end of that. No one asked questions (even though this was HIGHLY irregular because Catholics are most generally buried with services), and no one asked a single question more, or contacted him afterwards (other than to complete the regular legal paperwork which is required by state law when someone is buried in a cemetery).

I know many other people who have been lifelong Catholics who just never went to church again, and they never heard a single word from anyone. Or any institution either--except one person's Catholic high school, who wrote to him, decades after he had graduated, asking him to pay for a new roof for the school, which he declined, and they never contacted him again.

Catholics just "walk away."

End of story. Or, at least, it was the end of all the used-to-Catholic stories where I know the people personally.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:12PM

Tevai Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've never been Catholic, but many people in my
> life were once upon a time Catholic. They were
> born Catholic, raised Catholic, went to catechism
> class Catholic, often educated Catholic (through
> high school or though college), married Catholic,
> lived Catholic, and raised their families
> Catholic...and one day they just stopped BEING
> Catholic.
>
> I know of one widowed mother (her birth family and
> family of marriage with unbroken histories of
> deeply observant Catholicism for at least a couple
> of centuries), and her adult son, who one day--in
> Mass, while the priest was speaking--just looked
> at each other, in silent agreement, and then
> walked out of the church in the midst of the
> service. They never went back, and they received
> not a single phone call, piece of mail, or visit
> from anyone ever again. The only "contact" they
> had with the Church was when the widowed mother
> died and the son went to the cemetery his father
> was buried in so he could have his mother buried
> there, since this was her wish. The (Catholic)
> people at the (Catholic) cemetery asked when
> services would be held, etc. and he said: "There
> won't be any services. Just bury her." And that
> was the end of that. No one asked questions (even
> though this was HIGHLY irregular because Catholics
> are most generally buried with services), and no
> one asked a single question more, or contacted him
> afterwards (other than to complete the regular
> legal paperwork which is required by state law
> when someone is buried in a cemetery).
>
> I know many other people who have been lifelong
> Catholics who just never went to church again, and
> they never heard a single word from anyone. Or
> any institution either--except one person's
> Catholic high school, who wrote to him, decades
> after he had graduated, asking him to pay for a
> new roof for the school, which he declined, and
> they never contacted him again.
>
> Catholics just "walk away."
>
> End of story. Or, at least, it was the end of all
> the used-to-Catholic stories where I know the
> people personally.

That has been my experience with Catholics and with many other churches. If you want to leave, you do it and that is it. Most congregations only count you as a mamber if you actually show up to mass occasionally. Nobody bothers you and if you don't go, you aren't counted in the numbers.Why resign? Most wouldn't even think of it since not going basically amounts to the same thing..

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Posted by: DebbiePA ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:11PM

In the Catholic church, and many main-stream protestant churches, you can attend for years on end without ever having to join or be baptized unless that is something YOU want.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:18PM

I think some posters don't get the differences between the Morg hanging on to every member whether they believe, actually show up or even are still alive and other churches which do not bother you if you stop attending and only count people who show up to services occasionally as members.The reason the Morgs's numbers are so inflated is because they count everyone who is baptized whether they have ever actually been in the church and leave them on the rolls until they are 110 years old.Other churches do not do this.

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Posted by: packleader5 ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:22PM

I think the point here is that both the Catholic church and Mormon church do not remove people from their numbers. Now, I know how the Mormon church works with that---My husband is an ExMo, and we've had to send certified letters saying we sold our souls to the devil himself to get "taken off" the list---and even that is not complete, because our now adult children who were born to his Mormon marriage to his ex-wife, now deceased--even our kids get harassed on a regular basis, even though they live in three different states (and no one is in Utah). The kids stopped attending church when their mom died---at the ripe age of 4, 5, and 6. They are now 21, 23, and 24 and they get contacted regularly--- THAT doesn't happen in the Catholic church...

BUT---when the Mormon or Catholic, or probably every church, says things like, "We're up to 8 gazillion members," I wonder how many of those members have left the church, but are still being counted on the rosters? I grew up Lutheran--switched to Methodist as an adult---but in both churches, when you give up your membership in one church, you are taken off their "count." In fact, in the Lutheran church, it used to be that if you didn't take Communion at least once a year, you'd be taken off the rosters. I don't know if they still track that or not.

So--it's interesting--how they keep that "roster" thing going and who does all that record keeping?

And why? I mean, maybe I'm not understanding it---but does God really care how many Mormons, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, Muslims, there are? I think He probably has bigger things to worry about.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:30PM

packleader5 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think the point here is that both the Catholic
> church and Mormon church do not remove people from
> their numbers. Now, I know how the Mormon church
> works with that---My husband is an ExMo, and we've
> had to send certified letters saying we sold our
> souls to the devil himself to get "taken off" the
> list---and even that is not complete, because our
> now adult children who were born to his Mormon
> marriage to his ex-wife, now deceased--even our
> kids get harassed on a regular basis, even though
> they live in three different states (and no one is
> in Utah). The kids stopped attending church when
> their mom died---at the ripe age of 4, 5, and 6.
> They are now 21, 23, and 24 and they get contacted
> regularly--- THAT doesn't happen in the Catholic
> church...
>
> BUT---when the Mormon or Catholic, or probably
> every church, says things like, "We're up to 8
> gazillion members," I wonder how many of those
> members have left the church, but are still being
> counted on the rosters? I grew up
> Lutheran--switched to Methodist as an adult---but
> in both churches, when you give up your membership
> in one church, you are taken off their "count."
> In fact, in the Lutheran church, it used to be
> that if you didn't take Communion at least once a
> year, you'd be taken off the rosters. I don't
> know if they still track that or not.
>
> So--it's interesting--how they keep that "roster"
> thing going and who does all that record keeping?
>
>
> And why? I mean, maybe I'm not understanding
> it---but does God really care how many Mormons,
> Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists,
> Muslims, there are? I think He probably has
> bigger things to worry about.

According to an article I read in Newsweek or Time years ago, Catholics take you off the rolls if you haven't attended for a year. This was in an article about how the Morg inflated its numbers and they were comparing the Morg to other churches.I can't verify it but that is what I read. At any rate I don't know any dead Catholics who are kept on the rolls until their 110th birthday. That is what the Morg does unless someone officially notifies them that a person has died.Now if a poll is taken asking people their religion, some inactives, in any church, could declare themselves a member, but it doesn't necessarily follow that they are on church rosters.My dad was an inactive Catholic. He was never contacted or harrassed and was never on the local parish roster even though he had been baptized. However if yo uasked him his religion, he would,say 'Catholic"/

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: October 24, 2010 11:27PM

When I went through months of headache trying to resign from the LDS Church, my mother asked me why I was putting myself through that. She said, "When I left the Catholic Church, I simply walked away."

I said, "Well, Mom, that's because the Catholic Church won't keep you on a ward list, no matter where you go, for the rest of your life. They won't phone you and track you down, trying to bring you back.

They won't send Visiting Teachers, Home Teachers and maybe even try to give you a calling to get you involved again."

My mother said, "That sounds more like a cult." I said, "Bingo! It is. It is a cult." That's the first time I'd ever thought of the Church in that way, but that's when the light bulb went off for me as to the difference between the LDS Church and other mainstream churches.

I have friends who still have Home and Visiting Teachers contacting them regularly, even though they haven't been to church since 1962 or '63 and have no intention of ever going back again.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 01:26AM

The power of the Catholic church resides in it's banking and corporate interests. The religious part of the church is no longer where their power is anymore but they do make money from it so they keep that going.

The LDS Church is morphing in that direction as well. They seem to be focusing on the corporate side of things more and more.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 08:52AM

The Catholic Church doesn't come to your door, mail unwanted church materials, or expect money from non-believing non-participants. So as I see it, resignation is automatic for whenever a former Catholic chooses.

Sounds better than the mormon resigantion process.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: October 25, 2010 10:00AM

Cheryl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Catholic Church doesn't come to your door,
> mail unwanted church materials, or expect money
> from non-believing non-participants. So as I see
> it, resignation is automatic for whenever a former
> Catholic chooses.
>
> Sounds better than the mormon resigantion process.

Those are very good points, Cheryl.

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