age limits on defection?

A student wants to know, what is the youngest someone can formally defect from the Catholic Church?

Why don’t you have him ask the priest?

(a) This is not an appropriate topic for a junior high class.

(b) This is not an appropriate topic for a layperson to discuss with students. A priest should be consulted. Canon law makes no statement on age. It is for the bishop to review each case individually, interview the person, and make a decision regarding whether to accept or reject the request to place such a note in their sacramental records.

© It is especially not appropriate for a non-Catholic to be discussing such a topic with junior high students.

I have to ask. Are you attempting to convert a young Catholic to your Religion???

Kind of my own thoughts which is why I refused to even attempt an answer. I’m asking here for my own edification. I should have made that clear.

How on earth did such a topic come up? How to defect from the faith isn’t on any approved religious education curriculum that I know of!

Refer the child to their priest. This sort of topic can confuse and harm the faith of both the questioner and the other students.

I would not do that…ever.

Haven’t had many conversations with Lutheranteach, have you?

Although I strenuously object to LT teaching a Catholic religion class, that is the Catholic school priest’s decision, and LT is an intellectually honest person and would not do what you suggest.

It’s not appropriate for a lay *Catholic *to discuss such a topic with junior high students either.

Thanks, I will take you word on that.:thumbsup:


Why do you continue to try to influence young, vulnerable minds to leave the Catholic Church???

What if you are wrong???

What if Jesus wants these children to be Catholic???

"but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (MT 19:14)

We all must answer for our actions at our death, naked & alone, in front of Jesus, our Savior.

i would recommend you resign your position immediately& spend several years praying to St. Paul, who persecuted Catholics, for guidance in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Better safe than sorry, especially when eternity looms!!
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


Mark - there are two Lutheranteach’s here on CAF - this is the nice one that does try to “push” his own faith on other people. He teaches some parts of Lutheran theology as part of a comparative religion class.

Personally LT - because of your rather tenuous position I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I also wouldn’t touch it as a lay person.

The other answer I would give them would be when are old enough to move out of your house and pay your own bills because until then you are under their authority. :stuck_out_tongue:

Is defection still allowed? I know there used to be a process, but thought it had been discontinued.

That agrees with the latest I have heard.

I was going to mention this too but also though when it came to Junior High kids reminding them of the Honoring thy mother and father might work better.

One may send a notice of formal defection to one’s bishop and the bishop will investigate and consider the request. This has not changed. A notice will be placed in the baptismal record. This might still have legal implications in countries such as Germany which charge a tax based on church membership. Canonically, it no longer has an effect.

The motu proprio issued by Pope Benedict XVI last October changed canon law and removed the provision that those who defected by a formal act not be bound be canon law requirements for the form of marriage.

After reading this thread I have a question. I left the Catholic church many years ago. I never notified anyone in my former church that I was doing this. To the best of my knowledge when I joined the denomination i am now a part of, no one there sent any notification to them either. Now, reading the back and forth of this thread, it seems that there is some kind of formal process to go through? If so, since I have not done that, am I still considered a Catholic in the eyes of the Church? Thanks for any clarification you might provide.

By virtue of your baptism, you are Catholic and will be Catholic into eternity.

Leaving as you did, without formal defection, does not change that. Formal defection does not change that either.

Formal defection is merely a *canonical *status. One is always Catholic. One can return to the Church and sacraments via Confession.

So…am i to believe that the individual has no say in his or her status. I choose not to be Catholic. Therefore I am not Catholic. Not so?

Canonically, it no longer has an effect on marriage. There are still a few cases where it is relevant, such as Canon 316:

§1. A person who has publicly rejected the Catholic faith, has defected from ecclesiastical communion, or has been punished by an imposed or declared excommunication cannot be received validly into public associations.

I dont know if you are looking from the Church’s POV or legal stand point.

Having gone thru something similar with the LDS church, in a legal sense any person can “resign” their membership from any organization they have been a part of at any time. This includes religious organizations.

This has already gone thru the court system.

Again, I am only speaking legally here, not ecclesial…

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