Church defection website shuts ‘due to change in canon law’

Countmeout.ie says Vatican has not responded to requests asking how someone can leave church

Founder of website says church leaders have failed to respond to  written requests asking how someone can defect from the church.

Founder of website says church leaders have failed to respond to written requests asking how someone can defect from the church.

 

A website which sought to provide advice on how people could formally leave the Catholic Church is shutting down.

Countmeout.ie was based on a declaration of defection statement which could be sent to one’s local parish and resulted in an annotation to the baptismal register confirming that the person had defected.

However, in a statement today Paul Dunbar, who runs countmeout.ie, said in late 2010 the church changed canon law to effectively remove this option for someone wishing to defect.

Mr Dunbar said since then church leaders in Ireland and the Vatican had failed to respond to numerous written requests asking how someone could now formally leave the church.

“The Archdiocese of Dublin has proposed to set up a register of those who have expressed a wish to defect but have stipulated that this will have no consequence in Canon law, rendering it effectively meaningless to the church.”

Mr Dunbar said the “failure of the church to allow people to exercise their religious freedom is contrary to the most basic understanding of human rights and religious expression” and deeply regrettable.

Countmeout.ie was set up in 2009 and approximately 12,000 copies of its online form to defect have been downloaded.

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