Have any of you gotten your Debaptismal Certificate? I saw it on the FFRF website and I love it. The certificate reads:
Do they also have a "deconfirmation certificate"?
I actually excommunicated myself from the Catholic Church. There's a website from Ireland that provided the formal paperwork for defection from the Roman Catholic Church. I used it, sent it off to the diocese where I was baptized, and the bishop actually wrote me back confirming that I had been removed from the rolls. Apparently, since the massive pederast child rape scandal happened in Ireland, and other parts of Europe, the Catholic Church has changed canon law making it harder to get "officially" out. I got mine off under the wire before they changed the process. I strongly suspect they were getting inundated with formal defection requests and hit the panic button.
The website I listed here no longer provides the form, since the church is not processing it at this time. Nevertheless, I've taken the liberty of posting it here for any ex-Catholics that might want to give it a try. If you do try this, make sure you send it the diocese where you were baptized, And, make sure you write a separate cover letter explaining you know what you are doing and why you want it done.
Declaration of Defection from the Roman Catholic Church
(Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica)
I, , 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 further declare that I am aware of the consequences of this act regarding the reception of the sacraments of the Church, including the sacraments of the Eucharist, marriage and the sick and also with regard to burial.
I undertake to make this decision known to my next of kin and to ensure that they are aware of these circumstances in the case of my being incapacitated.
I acknowledge that I make this declaration under solemn oath, being of sound mind and body, and in the presence of a witness who can testify as to the validity of this document.
Date of Signature:
Declarant’s Personal Information
Date of Birth:
Date of Baptism:
Diocese of Birth:
Father of Declarant:
Mother of Declarant (including maiden name):
Not having been raised Christian, I always wondered what would stop someone from receiving sacraments or communion if they wanted to on their word alone, without any proof? Not that I want to do it, but just curious. If you sit in church and watch what they do, you could easily pass yourself off, couldn't you? So those documents, including baptismal certificates don't really mean anything, do they?
There is no real way to know if someone is "allowed" to go to communion during mass. There was an incident, years ago, at the school my sons attended. It was a Byzantine Catholic school and there was an Indian family with children enrolled, their oldest being in eighth grade. This family was Hindu. During the eighth grade graduation mass, the boy did go to communion and from what I heard, his teacher nearly fainted! Egads!! How could he?!?!?
Now I think about it, what was the big deal?? To most of the world, it's a piece of dry, tasteless bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth, almost impossible to remove. Think Styrofoam. I do remember practically having to treat the host like it was this delicate, fragile thing, barely to be touched by mere human hands. And the controversy when we (they!!) could take the host in our hand - the opposite of our dominant hand with the dominant hand cupped underneath, then use our dominant hand to stick it in our mouths. Sacrilegious!!!!
Good question about whether certificates of sacraments are worth anything. My guess is that they are only worth anything except to the person who was given the sacraments (and eventually important to hand down to family members). Many times, that is the only proof of the date of a given sacrament. One has to share dates of prior sacraments in order to receive the next. It's all so stupid and completely ridiculous now that I can look from the outside in...
Yeah, you can pass yourself off as one, sit in church, go up and eat the cracker, and if you know the right incantations to say at the right time, along with the correct magic symbols (sign of the cross), you probably can get away with it. The "consequences" (other than your own personal knowledge that you were dishonest by misleading others into thinking you are one of them), would be the same as having sex out of wedlock, or using a condom. You "sinned."
As to the documents meaning anything, I can't speak for other religions, such as the various sects of protestantism, judaism, mormonism, islam, etc. However, the Catholic Church very often will use its considerable weight, power and influence to affect social policy in various countries, including the US. One of the ways they do this is to tout their membership numbers to make others believe how large a population they have influence over. And, based upon those numbers, why elected or other officials should "play ball" with them. The numbers come from, in no small part from, the baptismal certificates they have registered with their respective dioceses world wide. Even if you convert to another religion, or quit the church altogether, they will still use that initial registration - (baptismal certificate registered when the person is just a day or two old) - as evidence (false or otherwise) that you are a member their church. The only way for an individual to make the Catholic Church stop using he/she as a statistical member number is to formally leave the church. Ergo, the name of the Irish website "Count Me Out."
If they weren't being dishonest about using me as a statistic, then I really wouldn't give a shit, and wouldn't have bothered. Now, at least I know I have done something on a personal level to try and weaken that medieval monolith, even if only by one.
Thanks for your clarification. I would never want to pass myself off as one of them, but I guess people who are really concerned about fitting in might.
Just FYI, there is no documentation in Judaism. If I say I'm a Jew, and name my parents with their Hebrew names, no one would question me. There is, however, documentation of a marriage, which protects the woman's rights. And also documentation of a divorce, so that the parties are free to marry again if they want to.
Those documents don't mean anything to me, but if I'm honest, govt. documents don't either, except insofar as they give you benefits, like spousal deductions on taxes, health insurance, etc. I really think a person's identity and commitments are private, and no business of either religion or government!
Towards the end of my religious beliefs, I still went to communion, even though I was divorced. I never really took the time to ask is I was 'permitted' to take communion and didn't really care. I didn't consider it a sin, since I didn't believe. I knew no harm would come from that act. The last few times I went to mass with my boyfriend, I didn't bother to go to communion. It meant nothing to me. Now, I will not step foot in a church, unless it is a wedding or funeral.
These were very entertaining to watch over the summer at Lake Hypatia.