“I no longer wanted to be counted among them”… They were rebaptized

“I no longer wanted to be counted among them. Rémi Duval, thirty years old who now lives in London, was baptized in the lute, like many French people. Non-practicing but not inherently anti-clerical, it made him “neither hot nor cold” to belong “passively” to the great community of the catholics Until one day in 2013 before a report fora demonstration for all. “One bishop explained that most French people supported the movement since 70% were baptized,” he recalls. This shortcut was the last point that caused the clams to spill. For him and for many others afterwards. With his companion at the time, Rémi inquired “personally” about a possible way to formally leave the circle. They find that under privacy law and under the right to be forgotten, it is possible to deny someone’s baptism, to make someone apostate. It is theoretically enough to write this to the diocese of his baptismal church.

Despite the legal battle of a resident of Caen, it is not possible to be completely erased from the baptismal register. But the diocese must indicate in front of the name of the apostate the mention: “Relinquish his baptism with the letter of XX/XX/XXXX”.

“Unsubscribe from the club”

Rémi and his ex have even considerably democratized this meaningful approach by creating Apostasyforall.pr, an online “disbursement” letter generator. The request is written in advance, you can note various obvious reasons or justify yourself in a more personal way.

Nearly ten years later, the creator of the site hasn’t touched a comma even if he thinks the site deserves a refresh. It is difficult to say how much this momentary indignation caused effective apostasy. The church does not give figures anyway. But for Sylvain, 42 and baptized “according to tradition” by unbelieving parents, who has been struggling with an internal debate for several years, the site has been a “revelation! “: “We [pouvait] “Unsubscribe” in the easiest way in the club world, he says humorously. No one had ever told me about it. “I think I ticked all the boxes!” he continues. In a few minutes, I had sesame so that I could position myself in relation to my personal values. And too bad if his mother was shocked.

Because of attitudes on homosexuality

The abandonment to which our Internet users testify is an often long journey, which ends for a number of reasons given at the bottom. First, because baptism takes place, as Francis says, “at an age incompatible with any reflection.” Alain doubts that, in just three days, we can give “his consent”. Then, very often, because of the Church’s social attitudes about wearing condoms and then about homosexuality, the catalyst of which was the Manif pour Tous. “I’m gay, so I don’t want a homophobic religion to count me among its members,” underlines Isabelle, 36. “I don’t recognize myself in this church that leaves some people aside,” says Philippe.

Others have more philosophical reasons, related to their reflection on religion, which lead them to be atheists or at least agnostics. “I did an act of apostasy a few years ago because I don’t believe in God and I consider different religions to be sects… which of course have succeeded, but sects all the same! says Georges-Etienne. Thierry also wanted to “officially leave the big sect”, aged 35, recalling the “priest’s lie” at his grandfather’s funeral when he was 12.

Barbarism and sexual scandals

Others evoke the place of women in the institution or the obligation of celibacy for priests. And finally there is one reason that outweighs all the others and serves as the trigger for the “redemption” of those who had already ranked enough: sexual scandals in the church. Rémi Duval lets his site live and rarely consults the statistics. But he makes a clear observation: “Visit peaks are systematically linked to current events. Eight hundred links on March 19, 2019 when Pope Francis rejected the cardinal’s resignation Barbarian for example, about 800 visits even on October 5, 2021, the day of publication Report saved on sexual abuse in the Church. “Until then, I was content to define myself personally as an atheist, however after another pedocriminal scandal within the Church and the retrograde or dangerous positions held by the Pope at the time, I realized that if I didn’t consider myself Catholic. , I have always been counted as such in the parish registers”, testifies Zoé, who sums up many other testimonies. She opened up in her apostasy letter, hoping it would make the institution “react.” Another Sylvain, 38 years old, began to think very seriously about apostasy during the Manif pour Tous. But he actually sent his letter “in the days following” the Pope’s rejection of Cardinal Barbarian’s resignation. “It was too much for me,” he says.

Many testify to experiencing a “sense of freedom” after the process and enjoy the certainty that their death will not be followed by a mass. Let them not rejoice too soon alike. A reader kindly reminds them that baptism “is a sacrament, a bit like a moral contract one would make with God” and that “a baptized person remains absolutely baptized for life.” “You can be baptized and condemn the abuses of the church, it is not incompatible”, he emphasizes. Mickaël, 43, finds this approach “useless and pointless”, considering that apostates really have time to waste. He also has a point for genealogy buffs, who would be very upset without their precious – and complete – parish registers, which are rigorously kept.

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