Can a person "quit" Catholicism?

I know it sounds silly, but once you have been baptized in the Catholic Church, can you ever “quit” it?

I know one can convert to Judaism, but does the Church consider you not Catholic anymore?

What about if you decide to switch to the Episcopal, or Lutheran church?

What if you decide you are atheist?

Depending on the answers, I have follow up questions…

(P.S. I am not thinking of leaving the Church, I just have questions based on things I have read here and from other sources)

As I understand it (but I am by no means an expert) the Church would still consider you Catholic unless you are excommunicated. Losing one’s faith or having doubts in it I don’t believe are grounds for excomunication.

Baptism leaves an indellible mark on the soul. That can never be removed regardless of future choices. Can one leave the faith? Of course. But when that person decides to return to the faith then they pick up where they left off. If all of the Sacraments of Initiation were received then all one needs is Sacramental Confession and they can return to the Eucharist.

I don’t claim expertise either but as I understand it, even excommunicated Catholics are considered Catholic. They can not receive the Sacraments except for reconciliation. Nor could a known excommunicated Catholic serve in a parish capacity such as being a lector at Mass But they’re still considered Catholic.

I don’t understand how that is. However, since I’m not Catholic yet and have no intentions of becoming excommunicated after I am hopefully I’ll never need to understand the intricasies of it :slight_smile:

Teach, are you basically saying they of course can leave/quit the practice of the faith but are still considered Catholic, though perhaps non practicing? This is what a former bishop of mine once told me.

I know the term “excommunicated” can make the intricacies difficult to understand. I’m just going by what I’ve been told but I think it comes down to Teach’s explanation about the permanent indelible imprint on one’s soul.

One has received: the seal

in Baptism…

which cannot be rubbed off…

The National Secular Society in the UK offers “unbaptisements” I somehow however doubt that the Catholic Church recognises this. I wouldn’t recommend going on their website, it just makes me angry.

[quote= The National Secular Society (UK)]The growing amount of interest in the concept of de-baptism indicates that people are not just indifferent to religion – which has been the traditional British approach – but are actually becoming quite hostile to it."

  • Terry Sanderson. President, National Secular Society

Purchase your own Debaptism Certificate here

Please allow seven to ten days for delivery.

The certficate declares:
I ________ having been subjected to the Rite of Christian Baptism in infancy (before reaching an age of consent), hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out. In the name of human reason, I reject all its Creeds and all other such superstition in particular, the perfidious belief that any baby needs to be cleansed by Baptism of alleged ORIGINAL SIN, and the evil power of supposed demons. I wish to be excluded henceforth from enhanced claims of church membership numbers based on past baptismal statistics used, for example, for the purpose of securing legislative privilege.”
[/quote]

secularism.org.uk/debaptise-yourself.html

not possible…anymore than one can cease being human once one is conceived…

Well, yes, one can choose to leave the faith. But the sacramental seal of baptism is permanent and can never be removed. Once a person enters the Church they become a part ot the Body of Christ, adopted sons and daughters of God and partakers of the divine nature. This is a permanent regeneration of the soul and cannot be undone.

Now since we know that the Catholic Church is Christianity with the fullness of truth we do not disregard other Christian baptisms. So even if one were to be baptized a Methodist they are still a member of the Church. If they were to accept the Catholic faith, they would make a profession of faith and then proceed with the two remaining Sacraments of Initiation. So, in truth and fact, once you are baptized a Catholic you are always a Catholic whether you choose to leave or stay… God bless… teachccd :slight_smile:

Indeed. Just like it is not possible to cease being a priest, cease being married (unless, of course, death precedes one spouse).

It’s just not ontologically possible. :shrug:

Yep , as Bookcat said , the seal has been made and it is forever, so if you deny the Truth of Christ’s revelation and never repent of it…you will not be a happy camper , you know where:eek:
Peace, Carlan

I was less angered and more moved to pity.Maybe someonw should let them know that the Enlightenment has run its course, and virtually everyine understands that science cannot answer every question. More on topic, a piece of paper cannot change a metaphysical reality. The “Disbaptisement” would make sense if the Sacrament was simply a human ceremony of Church membership.

You are correct about the priesthood and baptism (and the same hods true for confirmation), but marriage is not eternal, though it is permanent. In other words, marriage does not imbue a character. The others do.

What I find funny about that is that people that buy into this way of thinking typically also consider themselves of superior intellect when compared to those with faith. But, wouldn’t it be more logical to not denounce the God (they supposedly don’t believe exists) in such a way “just in case” lol. Also, why even go through the process of such a “rebellion”? It seems that it would be done as an act of anti-faith but the act itself still shows that you believe enough in it that you’re trying to be cleared of it. I would think a true non believer would look at baptism as a bogus ritual that they took part in at infancy, have no memory of and is therefore irrelevant.

I suppose there are illogical extremists of all beliefs.

Just my $0.02 but as I’m not an expert on any faith I am curious as to what one of our “local” atheists might have to say on this. While we disagree in faith they seem to have much more brain power than the geniuses that thought this up and frankly if I were one of them this would probably make me angry.

I’m also curious if they charge for this… lol maybe it’s just a money making scheme.

That’s why I gave the disclaimer about death.

(unless, of course, death precedes one spouse).

It does sadden me as well as anger me. They are running a campaign against having chaplains in our NHS hospitals - as a nurse-in-training, I can see how important spiritual comfort and pastoral care by our Priests and Vicars is to my patients - they’re also available for the staff and relatives.

I think the phrase “doth protest too much” comes into play here. I think the whole concept of debaptisement is incredibly petty.

They do charge for the certificate of debaptisement and claim that they’ve sold over 100,000 of them. And I agree - if it really is a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo, why bother to go through a debaptisement? Why not just shrug it off? I also agree that it does seem that they are respecting baptism as a real thing by making a big show of proving to a God that doesn’t exist that they don’t believe in God… odd. My boyfriend and I discussed whether we would baptise any children we have, and he said no because he doesn’t believe in it. I said “Well, if you don’t believe it means anything then what’s the harm in having any children we have baptised?” and he actually said “Good point.” I think part of the reason my boyfriend is anti-baptisement is because his cousin hates the fact he was baptised and has mentioned it on several occasions.

Why? This line of thinking I will never understand. Presumably he’s an atheist on some level or has “issues” accepting faith or whatever… but even still why be angered by the fact that you took place in a ritual that if you don’t believe in, means nothing? Especially if it was when you were a baby. You might as well be angry about the way your Dr. cut your cord or having been circumsized at birth. In fact those things I would understand to a point as they physically change you but to you a baptism had absolutely no effect.

*I understand it means something but from the perspective of his cousin.

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