I finally got around to it. I just sent off my official request for defection from the Catholic Church. I have been a lapsed Catholic since about puberty, but it has gotten to the point that the mere thought of my name on their rosters seemed offensive to me. Given their actions on child sexual abuse, their positions on contraception, women, gays, etc. etc. etc, I felt the need to put as much distance as I could be me and the Pope.
There is a formal process for defecting and you can read about it here. I just filled out a form and sent it via certified mail to Cardinal George in Chicago. I included the following letter (some personal information changed for posting here)
21 May 2010
To: Cardinal Francis George
From: Mike Burns
Subject: Defection from the Catholic Church
I write to you today request that my name be formally removed from the official roll of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). I do this with a clear head and with the full understanding of its implications (as perceived by the RCC).
What motivates me to this action is the final and full recognition that the RCC, at its highest levels, is more concerned with the power structure it maintains than the congregants that it purports to serve. Most recently, the Irish abuse revelations, the Wisconsin abuse revelations, the RCC’s position on contraception in Africa, the demand of clergy celibacy, the status of women, and the status of homosexuals (to name but a few) make it clear that I cannot allow myself to be, even informally, associated with the RCC.
The Wisconsin abuse revelation brings involvement to the very highest level of your organization. The teachings that condoms make the AIDS epidemic worse can only be described as primitive, dangerous, ignorant and evil.
I have been a lapsed Catholic for over thirty years now and recognize that there is no compelling reason to believe in any supernatural actor (creator) at work in our universe. I further believe that religion is an abysmal basis for a moral/ethical framework. I actively educate interested parties to the facts of science and the history of religion in a conscious effort to dissuade others from adopting a theistic worldview.
I have informed my family that I no longer wish to be associated with the RCC at any level.
I have enclosed a self-addressed, stamped envelope which I request be returned to me with documentation/acknowledgement that my formal defection has been affected and that I no longer appear on the RCC register. Pertinent information for the request is:
Full Name: Michael Burns
Diocese of Baptism: Chicago
Parish of Baptism: Mount Carmel, Melrose Park, Illinois
Date of Baptism: Unknown
It should be noted that I will be documenting these communications and efforts publicly on my blog site. Staff may contact me at FVThinker@gmail.com or [phone number] if necessary.
I also included a document to be returned to me in a self-addressed, stamped envelope. It read:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF DEFECTION FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH FOR MICHAEL BURNS
This document is for the purpose of documenting the formal defection of Michael Burns. It may be substituted with a document of your choosing as long as the substituted document contains at least the same information below.
I (printed name) _______________________________ can verify that Michael Burns, baptized in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Melrose Park, Illinois has been formally removed from the registers of the Roman Catholic Church.
_____________________________________________________ Title/Position/Role within the Roman Catholic Church: