Catholics wonder how to leave the Church

A lot of Roman Catholics are fed up with being associated with an organization that covers up sex crimes against children.

Getting off the Catholic roll: it’s too slow to be provocative and hope they’ll excommunicate you.

  • I suggest placing an announcement in the paper, the way people used to when they got divorced, that you are no longer a Catholic and will not be held responsible for their crimes, either moral or legal.
  • Also, write to your census bureau, telling them to change your religion to NONE as you no longer with to be associated with the church.
  • Then write to the parish where you were baptized and demand that they add a note to their register and their files that you refuse to be counted as a Catholic any more. Follow up in a month and ask them to check your file and see if there are any annotations. If not, make a fuss. Repeat weekly until they tell you it’s done. Then ask to see a certified copy. Repeat until they are so sick of you they add the note. If it takes too long, start calling the diocese and the archdiocese regularly to complain that they’re not doing it fast enough. Ask them to address the problem in their governance meetings and let you know how procedures are being changed.
  • Write to your most recent parish and tell them to take you off their membership list and remove you from all mailing lists. Explain that you refuse to be part of a criminal organization. Again, follow up to ensure that it’s done.
  • The principle here is to cost them enough in wages dealing with your polite but firm request that it becomes cheaper to comply. If enough people phone them every week — a dozen, a hundred? — maybe they’ll get the picture and create a streamlined procedure. Remember to phone back every year or so to make sure that you haven’t crept back onto their membership roll.
  • Finally protect the future. Look for any place in your government or educational or child welfare system where a church is consulted and express your opinion that they are not suitable advisers. Ask when and how they can be removed from those positions. Work towards it.
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Toronto churches: Holy Name

church-Holy-Name-Toronto-Danforth3, originally uploaded by monado.

This Roman Catholic church is in my neighbourhood, on a famous strip of restaurants and shops on Danforth Avenue, just east of the Don Valley. There’s a busker sitting in front of the church, playing a guitar.

Church at Manitouwang


This church is near the lakeshore and a small, antique lighthouse.

Contra dancing – Eastminster Church


This is part of “Spring Thaw,” an annual weekend-long contra-dance festival. It was at Eastminster Church in Toronto. I believe that the quilts in the background are being raffled or auctioned, but I’m not sure.

See Toronto Country Dancers for location and times.

THIS POST WAS made later and BACKDATED to the date when the picture was taken.

Contra dancing – St. Barnabas Church

Contra dancing in Toronto:


This is a good social time and light exercise, with live music.

THIS POST WAS made later and BACKDATED to the date when the picture was taken.

Contra dancing – Holy Trinity Church

Contra dancing in Toronto:

This is an all-ages form of country dancing.

THIS POST WAS made later and BACKDATED to the date when the picture was taken.

Toronto churches: St. Chrysostom Greek church

Greek church, formerly St. Chrysostom, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada