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  #1  
Old Feb 5, '12, 9:14 pm
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IggyAntiochus IggyAntiochus is offline
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Default French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Using the law to deny that a historical event occurred. Another example of the government and the law and unbelievers not understanding theology enough even to oppose it:

Quote:
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. . . .

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.
http://www.npr.org/2012/01/29/146046...ce?sc=fb&cc=fp
  #2  
Old Feb 5, '12, 9:22 pm
Bezant Bezant is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

I've heard of another bizarre case like that, where a Jewish man wanted to become a non-Jew. Both cases sound counter-intuitive, to say the least. Aren't you implicitly affirming the legitimacy of the "organisation/system" you're trying to leave for good? Whatever happened to doing what you fancy anyway? Or is this gentleman's suit really an attempt to embarrass or harass the Church?
  #3  
Old Feb 5, '12, 9:33 pm
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Nine_Two Nine_Two is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

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Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
I've heard of another bizarre case like that, where a Jewish man wanted to become a non-Jew. Both cases sound counter-intuitive, to say the least. Aren't you implicitly affirming the legitimacy of the "organisation/system" you're trying to leave for good? Whatever happened to doing what you fancy anyway? Or is this gentleman's suit really an attempt to embarrass or harass the Church?
I agree. If you believe an organization to be bunk, why would you care if they keep a note of your initiation on record? Why should that even matter? If they note you've renounced membership, you've renounced membership.
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  #4  
Old Feb 5, '12, 9:38 pm
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IggyAntiochus IggyAntiochus is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bezant View Post
I've heard of another bizarre case like that, where a Jewish man wanted to become a non-Jew. Both cases sound counter-intuitive, to say the least. Aren't you implicitly affirming the legitimacy of the "organisation/system" you're trying to leave for good? Whatever happened to doing what you fancy anyway? Or is this gentleman's suit really an attempt to embarrass or harass the Church?
My guess is definitely with the latter, especially on the harassment end, given the current attitude of the French toward religion in general.

You can change your name, you can change your appearance, you can burn off your fingerprints, you can steal the identity of someone else. You can never change your status as one of the baptized, any more than you can be unborn from the womb of your mother. It is more indelible than your DNA.

The state wants to reverse the irreversible and change the immutable because its lust for power, even over the Spirit of God, is unquenchable.
  #5  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:00 pm
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hn160 hn160 is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

De-baptism is only a piece of paper, one can not undo a baptism, one can only walk away from their baptism, once baptized, it always remains.
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  #6  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:12 pm
Godfollower Godfollower is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

I've tried to find the court ruling on the web, but I've failed. Anyone else?

The problem with this article is that it seems to be another case of "religion" reporters not knowing the religion they're reporting about. Okay, so French law says you're allowed to leave any organization you want to leave. Great; so does U.S. law. As far as I know, that's the law in every democratic country: if you want to quit an organization, you can.

I don't know of any democratic country whose laws grant the right to force an organization to lie about whether you once were a member. If you once joined, that organization gets to maintain a record saying that you joined. And it can note that you've left. Why should you be allowed to force it to lie about your being a member in the first place?

It would've been nice if the reporter had bothered to explore that issue.

Furthermore, the articles I've read on this issue don't address the next issue: what does annulment of a baptism (as if there could be such a thing) have to do with the right to leave an organization? One record shows a ceremony was performed. Another shows that a member of the organization left. Whether or not he was baptised, he was (and apparently no longer is) a member of the Church. Neither event has anything to do with the other.

It would've been nice if the reporter had bothered to explore that issue.

The article doesn't even bother to address the religious and truth issues it should've raised. If a Jew wants a record of his circumcision "annulled," could the state issue such an order? What, now everyone has to pretend that he isn't circumcised? Do the nurses have to pretend to move the foreskin when catheterizing him? The whole issue of pretending that a religious ceremony didn't take place is preposterous.

It would've been nice if the reporter had bothered to explore that issue.

Now, mind you, it seems to me that the Catholic Church could have a decree of nullity for the baptismal process if it wanted to. Suppose a baptism took place with rubbing alcohol instead of water, and the person administering the supposed sacrament thought it was an audition for a play, not the real thing. Clearly such a "baptism" would be invalid under Church law. I suppose the Church could establish a process for formally declaring that the baptism never took place -- issuing a decree of nullity, as it were. But that wouldn't be the same thing as a 71-year-old man saying "I've changed my mind." A decree of nullity says that the ceremony never validly occurred (as when two people go through the Sacrament of Matrimony intending to get divorced a year later); it doesn't say "Well, it happened, but I'm sad that it did, so we're all going to pretend that it didn't."

It would've been nice if the reporter had bothered to explore that issue.

All in all, bad reporting all around.

My guess is that the French courts either already did rule correctly (and the reporters are getting it wrong) or will fix the mistake in the future once they hear the case. Sorry, M. LeBouvier; if you were baptised, then you were baptised. Leave the Church if you want to, but you don't get to pretend that you were never a member.
  #7  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:28 pm
seeker57 seeker57 is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Some people in the included news story here have argued that baptism causes some actual change in the person.

If that were the case, wouldn't inflicting it on underaged children be prohibited?

There was a reaction like those seen here to similar teachings in other churches.

The Mormon's had a ritual wherein they could baptize the dead into the LDS church, even though the dead person was not a Mormon or practiced another faith.

The Mormon practice caused quite a hubbub awhile back, mainly among relatives of people who didn't want their dead re-baptized. The dead obviously weren't complaining.

But, then again, neither can infants complain.

If someone, who has had this ritual performed on them in infancy later wants nothing to do with said church, why would the church not grant their disenrollment?

Do all Christians do this? Do Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc., all indoctrinate for life?

I find the entire practice somewhat baffling. We don't have such a ritual in my faith.

So, my question would be, if these people want to be de-baptized because they don't believe in the Catholic, or Baptist, or whatever church, is the only reason a church won't do this is because the person seeking severance might change his or her mind and later regret his de-baptism?

If that is the case, can't they just be baptized again?

What if the person gave up Catholicism for Islam? Would that person still be considered "one of the fold" even though he or she is practicing another, non-Christian faith?

Peace,

Seeker
  #8  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:41 pm
Godfollower Godfollower is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker57 View Post
Some people in the included news story here have argued that baptism causes some actual change in the person.

If that were the case, wouldn't inflicting it on underaged children be prohibited?

There was a reaction like those seen here to similar teachings in other churches.

The Mormon's had a ritual wherein they could baptize the dead into the LDS church, even though the dead person was not a Mormon or practiced another faith.

The Mormon practice caused quite a hubbub awhile back, mainly among relatives of people who didn't want their dead re-baptized. The dead obviously weren't complaining.

But, then again, neither can infants complain.

If someone, who has had this ritual performed on them in infancy later wants nothing to do with said church, why would the church not grant their disenrollment?

Do all Christians do this? Do Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc., all indoctrinate for life?

I find the entire practice somewhat baffling. We don't have such a ritual in my faith.

So, my question would be, if these people want to be de-baptized because they don't believe in the Catholic, or Baptist, or whatever church, is the only reason a church won't do this is because the person seeking severance might change his or her mind and later regret his de-baptism?

If that is the case, can't they just be baptized again?

What if the person gave up Catholicism for Islam? Would that person still be considered "one of the fold" even though he or she is practicing another, non-Christian faith?

Peace,

Seeker
Baptism is an indelible mark on your soul; it marks you as a new creation in God's Name. It forgives all previous sins, including original sin, and it adds you to Jesus' flock.

You can always quit the Catholic Church; in fact, it really isn't all that difficult. Just sending a letter can do it, and some actions automatically take you out of the Catholic Church.

But you were still, in fact, baptised. The Church can't run around pretending that you weren't baptised when you were, just because you don't like us anymore. That's preposterous.

Two years ago, Curt Warner was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a two-time All-American at Penn State. Now that there's a terrible sex-abuse scandal brewing at Penn State, can Warner demand that Penn State delete all references to him because he doesn't want to be associated with it? Can the Hall of Fame run around claiming he was never inducted in the first place, because they don't like Penn State?

He can quit the alumni association if he wants to, and he can say why. He can refuse to donate any more money to the school. He can ask that the Hall of Fame refer to his achievements "in college" rather than "at Penn State" if that's important to him.

But he can't run around claiming that he never went there. He did.

And M. LeBouvier can't claim he was never baptised. If he was baptised, then he was baptised. He can quit the Church if he wants to; but he can't claim he was never a member. It just doesn't make any sense.
  #9  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:47 pm
RebeccaJ RebeccaJ is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

The Catholic church doesn't maintain roles. If a person wants to leave all they have to do is leave. No one is tracking a "membership" record, which would include such information as where their current address is. The church doesnt know unless you tell them. There is not a central membership database.

Records of baptism are kept so the church has a record that you've been baptized. There is no such thing in Catholicism as an un-baptize rite. What would it be and who would perform it? There is also no such thing in Catholicism as re-baptism. Not even converts who have had a Christian baptism are baptized again.

Baptizing an infant isn't an infliction. Why would a Catholic parent not baptize their child into the faith in which they believe and follow? Boggles my mind, this train of thought.
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  #10  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:52 pm
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Nine_Two Nine_Two is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Quote:
Originally Posted by seeker57 View Post
What if the person gave up Catholicism for Islam? Would that person still be considered "one of the fold" even though he or she is practicing another, non-Christian faith?

Peace,

Seeker
One is not "one of the fold" by virtue of having been baptized. While it is the initiation ritual, it, no more than any initiation ritual, implies membership at a later point. One can denounce membership. One can leave the church and cease to have anything to do with it, ceasing to be a member of any sort.

But you can not go back and not be baptized, any more than you can go back and change any action you have been involved in in the past.
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  #11  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:55 pm
L piperatus L piperatus is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

Seeker - they are free to cancel their membership of the Catholic Church. Anyone is free to formally resign by a written letter saying that they no longer wish to be a member of the Catholic Church. The CC will respect that request and will update its records accordingly.

On the other hand, un-doing a validly performed baptism, confirmation, marriage, or an ordination to the priesthood, un-doing these things is not possible according to Catholic theology. It's as if the person came and asked you to undo the law of gravity - not that you don't want to do it, but that you can't do it. According to Catholic theology, performing these sacraments puts an indelible mark on the soul, and it's impossible to delete that indelible mark.

For example, you can't un-ordain a validly ordained priest even if he becomes the greatest pedophile and child abuser. You can prohibit him from performing his priestly faculties, but you can't undo the fact that he is still a priest and remains a priest forever. Again, it's not that you don't want to un-ordain that priest - it's that you can't un-ordain him, even if you wanted to. According to Catholic theology, the Catholic Church never received the ability to undo such sacraments as baptism, confirmation, marriage, priestly ordination.
  #12  
Old Feb 5, '12, 10:59 pm
cjmclark cjmclark is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

An incredible nonsense ruling by the French courts. They might as well have ruled that he was never born.

@seeker57, as far as infant baptism is concerned, these baptisms are performed with the understanding that the child is going to be raised in the Catholic faith. What he or she chooses to do with their lives afterward is up to them, but that Baptism is, for Catholics, an indelible change, the cleansing of original sin. It's not like the adult baptism practiced by some Protestant denominations that symbolizes the acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's personal lord and savior...this is a life-altering Sacrament that most Catholics could not imagine denying their child.
  #13  
Old Feb 6, '12, 12:55 am
Aquila Lucis Aquila Lucis is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

It seems like Mr. LeBouvier is trying to accomplish one of three things: 1) he's trying to get his name in the paper by embarassing and harassing the Church, 2) he's not really an athiest (or else he wouldn't recognize the power and effect of baptism one way or anotehr, and therefore wouldn't even desire un-baptism, would he?) or, 3) both.

This actually gives me some hope for the man and his misguided faith. As I said, he can't really be an atheist; if he truly believed that there is no God, then the idea of undoing something which he believes has no power would be absurd. But the fact of the matter is, Mr. LeBouvier must on some level recognize that there is power in baptism... otherwise, why would he be so scared of it?
  #14  
Old Feb 6, '12, 12:58 am
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willofgods willofgods is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

In other news, man sues clouds for raining on his parade.

This just in! Woman suing parents over being forced to have human DNA without her written consent!
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  #15  
Old Feb 6, '12, 4:21 am
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anodos anodos is offline
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Default Re: French Court Rules in Favor of De-baptism

I like the comparison of baptism to birth. Sometimes it would be nice to have never been born, but I can't decide to alter the fact that I existed. Even if I destroyed all records of myself and fed myself to something really big (not that I want to).

I don't see how baptism "forces" anyone to be a Catholic, except for the fact that they will always be someone who received some of the sacraments in the past, including one that the Catholics believe to be indelible. There are formal ways to leave the Church, but I think the easiest form of severance is to simply quit going, quit supporting. If someone has left the Catholic Church and rejected big stuff like the Incarnation and God, why would they care what Catholics say about a handful of water and the names of a non-God?
This is not an attempt to leave the Church, but an attempt to force the Church to leave what she believes.
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