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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:02 pm
by Lyzandra Daria
'De-baptism' in Belgium in wake of child abuse scandal ... db3b96.241

BRUSSELS — The child abuse scandals rocking Belgium's powerful Catholic Church are also shaking the faith of followers, with more and more people asking to be struck off baptism registers -- a global movement known as "de-baptism".

"When you don't agree with an organisation that you never chose to join in the first place, the healthiest thing to do is to leave," Damien Spleeters told AFP.

In this mainly Catholic country of 10 million people, the 24-year-old is among a growing crowd exasperated by church policy on issues such as AIDS, and angered by revelations last year of massive child abuse by priests and lay workers.

After reports in April that the Bishop of Bruges had sexually abused his own nephew for 13 years, starting when the boy was five, a church-backed commission in September issued graphic testimony of nearly 500 cases of child abuse by priests and lay workers, including 13 victims who committed suicide.

Spleeters last year wrote to the bishop overseeing the parish where his parents had him christened as a baby to announce he no longer wanted the church "to speak in his name" so was requesting to be struck off the baptism register.

"Whilst we deplore your decision," replied Abbot Jean-Pierre Lorette, "the Catholic Church respects each individual's freedom and will not hold back against their will those who wish to leave it."

Spleeters, the priest added, was in consequence "logically" excommunicated.

In an interview, the young Brussels resident said "I don't consider myself an atheist" but explained he turned to de-baptism due to growing irritation with the Catholic hierarchy.

The move was not uncommon, said Daniel Leclerq of the group "Friends of Secular Morality".

"Pope Benedict XVI's statements against condoms, the appointment of a conservative -- Andre-Joseph Leonard -- to head the Belgian church in early 2010, and the child abuse revelations have led to a hike in de-baptisms," Leclerq said.

While national statistics are unavailable on the number of people seeking to quit the church, Friends of Secular Morality, which is active in four of Belgium's 10 provinces, said it has been helping increasing numbers to de-baptise.

"In 2010, we worked on 1,700 cases compared to 380 in 2009 and only 66 in 2008", Leclerq said.

The church itself played down the phenomenon.

"The percentage is tiny compared to the size of Belgium's Catholic community," said Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for the country's bishops. "It's only understandable that people will come into conflict with an institution, but one incident can't topple the entire institution."

The church says a large proportion of Belgians remain faithful: in 2008, 64 percent of the population was baptised, 26 percent held church weddings and 65 percent had religious funerals. The figures show little change from previous years.

But an opinion poll last week showed only eight percent of Belgians had confidence in the institution compared to 28 percent in October 2009.

In practise, de-baptism consists in writing to the church where the christening took place. The name is not actually struck off but noted on the baptismal registry, meaning that those who decide to leave cannot be married in the church or expect a Catholic funeral.

The trend has gained a substantial following worldwide with atheist groups and secular societies backing online de-baptism for people who see churches as being increasingly out of tune with modern life.

But in Belgium the chord struck hard amid last year's child abuse scandals, the latest country after the United States, Ireland and Germany to face fallout over paedophilia priests.

While the church has apologised for the abuses and admitted "inadequate" handling of the cases, victims complain it has not proposed compensation.

Last month, Archbishop Leonard, the Catholic primate who is a conservative close to Pope Benedict XVI, drew further fire on telling a parliamentary inquiry that compensation was a decision for the courts to take.

Civil authorities should decide whether an institution must pay damages when its leaders "are not personally implicated in the crimes," he said.

"They have become masters in sweeping the dirt under the carpet," said Spleeters.
I especially like the 'one incident'. Is one pedophile priest molesting one child one time considered one incident?
If so, hundreds (or thousands) of pedophile priests molesting (potentially) dozens (or hundreds) of children multiple times each over potentially decades is much more than 'one incident'. Lieing about it and covering up the pedophilia should be counted as multiple incidents as well (accessory after the fact).

PS: I'm all for de-baptism. Babies were never permitted the choice. The next step is de-confirmation...which again happens before a child reaches the age of majority/adult status. Contracts with minors aren't binding in any court of law (that I am aware of). Children can't be sued (specifically) and can't get loans either.

Children can, however, be coerced and even terrorized into believing that all sorts of painful and horrible things will happen to them if they don't 'believe' and 'have faith' in a specific superstition. They also can be duped into believing that there is a supernatural anthropomorphic being that will give them unconditional love...when they are dead...if they just follow the right instructions, genuflect at the right time, practice seudo-canabalism, and behave in a manner that conforms to give 10% of your annual income to the superstition of choice.

Re: De-baptism

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:33 pm
by Lyzandra Daria
Debaptism accelerates as revulsion at Church abuse heightens

A record number of Austrians turned their back on the Catholic Church in 2010 according to the Church’s own news agency Kathpress. It said the abuse scandals were the main motivation for the rise in people jumping from the Catholic ship.

The number of Catholics who left the Church in Austria increased to 87,400, up 39 per cent compared to 2009 figures. “The main reason is the considerable rise of secessions after the Church abuse cases became public, with numbers reaching a record since 1945,” the agency said.

Amid a wave of revelations about mostly sexual abuse by clergy across Europe, more than 1,000 people contacted Austrian help lines last year to report cases. Prosecutors have been notified of some 100 cases so far, and around the same number have received compensation from the Church.

The Church claims there are 5.5 million Catholics in Austria – that is, 5.5 million people who were baptised as babies and are still claimed as “Catholics”.

Meanwhile, in Belgium, the organisation Friends of Secular Morality, which assists people in resigning from the church, says that it has helped 1,700 people leave during 2010, compared with 380 during 2009.See a report about it here.


There seems to be a growing trend of people choosing to disassociate themselves from an organization that has condoned anti-social behavior and practices. That's what should happen. People should leave/disassociate themselves from groups and organizations that run afoul of the laws and social norms. don't ever look back. Open the flood-gates for people who are choosing not to be associated with a patently criminal organization or enterprise, IMO.

PS: Fraud is illegal in most countries. IMO, organized religion is nothing more that fraud...preying upon the superstitions of the ignorant.

Re: De-baptism

PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:09 am
by Lyzandra Daria
and now France is heard from...sue the RCC

Off The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France ... c=fb&cc=fp

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier's parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

LeBouvier says this rural area is still conservative and very Catholic, but nothing like it used to be. Back then, he says, you couldn't even get credit at the bakery if you didn't go to mass every Sunday.

LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he'd become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn't believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized.

"They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church," he says.

That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls "criminal." Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn't possible, he took the church to court.

Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending.

"One can't be de-baptized," says Rev. Robert Kaslyn, dean of the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

Kaslyn says baptism changes one permanently before the church and God.

"One could refuse the grace offered by God, the grace offered by the sacrament, refuse to participate," he says, "but we would believe the individual has still been marked for God through the sacrament, and that individual at any point could return to the church."

French law states that citizens have the right to leave organizations if they wish. Loup Desmond, who has followed the case for the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, says he thinks it could set a legal precedent and open the way for more demands for de-baptism.

"If the justice confirms that the name Rene LeBouvier has to disappear from the books, if it is confirmed, it can be a kind of jurisprudence in France," he says.

Up to now, observers say the de-baptism trend has been marginal, but it's growing. In neighboring Belgium, the Brussels Federation of Friends of Secular Morality reports that 2,000 people asked to be de-baptized in 2010. The newspaper Le Monde estimated that about 1,000 French people a year ask to have their baptisms annulled.

There is much anger across the continent by the recent pedophile scandals. In September, Germans marched to protest the pope's visit.

Christian Weisner, who is with the German branch of the grassroots movement We Are Church, says Europeans still want religion, and they want to believe, but it has become very difficult within the Catholic Church.

"It's the way that the Roman Catholic Church has not followed the new approach of democracy, the new approach of the women's issue," he says, "and there is really a big gap between the Roman Catholic Church and modern times."

Back at the church in Fleury, LeBouvier stands by his parents' grave. When asked if the case has ruined his chances of being buried in the family plot, he says he doesn't have to worry about that. He's donating his body to science.
That last one...about the RCC not being in step w/ funny. Where would anyone get the idea that the RCC is democratic. The RCC is against democracy and especially freedom of speech. The pope isn't 'elected'...if he was all registered Catholics would be able to vote for their leader...democratically. And don't try to tell me that the Cardinals elect the pope...they aren't elected to be Cardinal. There is nothing remotely democratic about the RCC.

IMO, the RCC is out of step like Islam is stuck in the 7th century. Given the right opportunity and the RCC will show it's true 'face'...and resort to threats and acts of terrorism, just like Islam.

Re: De-baptism

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:51 am
by Lyzandra Daria
I'm reminded that you can't 'shame' someone if you don't have the moral authority.

Catholic priest goes public with names of those leaving the church

A Catholic church minister in Tilburg is planning to publicly display the names and photographs of people who are officially leaving the church, the Brabants Dagblad reports.

The photos will be pinned up in the doorway of the parish church, and, says father Harm Schilder, 'will allow the congregation to pray for them and perhaps convince them to stay'.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of people leaving the Catholic church since the pope condemned gay marriage last month.

The minister hit the headlines several years ago after he was banned from ringing the bells of his church at 07.15 every weekday morning.

He had argued the right to call the faithful to prayer is part of the right to freedom of religion. ... lic_wi.php

The Dutch seem to know when it's time to get off the sinking ship of the Roman Catholic Church. Watch out or, before you know it, people will be posting the pictures of people who are still card carrying Catholics. And...then accusing the parents of child abuse for subjecting their children to pedophile priests they should have known about. The parishioners ARE the employers of the priests despite the fact that the priests take an oath of obedience to the Pope and are appointed to their assignments by the Bishop.