Renunciation of the RC Faith


#1

Having grown up “culturally Catholic” and gone through Catholic grammar school and received all of the initiatory Sacraments , I had rather been given the impression initially that the RCC was the “only way”. By my early teen years however, truth be told, my Catholicism , my Christianity let’s say, took on more and more the unhealthy form of a neurosis, as opposed to a truly spiritually beneficial relationship with the religion. I had , what a psychiatrist at the time had aptly termed, a “Crucifix-fixation”. I had to make the sign of the cross, to myself , not always outwardly, but in my head, over and over. I had to find the shape of the cross in everything, tiles at school for example, and repeat this internal “ritual” of the sign of the cross over and over again, to feel a sense of well-being or calm or “inner peace”. I had to say a certain made-up (but long and tedious) type of rote prayer every night before bed, on my knees, or I felt that something bad would be about to happen. The God I believed in as a boy was a tyrant, the same as the God of the militant Islamists and the radical extremist Jews. A solitary reclusive eccentric, murderously jealous of “competition”, a fierce bearded misogynistic desert despot, demanding kneeling and prostration, and bloody atonement. And then the idea that they gave us when we were young that this God was actually at one time both himself *and * his own “son”, and then proceeded to allow himself / “son” to be killed , on a Roman cross, so that the whole world would be “saved” (which clearly it has not been), was and is really just a totally incomprehensible mystery. I mean really when you type it out like that and see it in print it looks like something a patient in a psych ward might come up with. In any case it was something that I don’t think I ever truly “digested” or fully accepted either. And the “holy spirit” ?? I don’t know…as a boy, just a dove I think. That’s all they showed us at least. It seemed like nobody really knew. And indeed how could they?

Ironically I have found that , today, in my 30’s, the view of God which I finally ended up with resembles more than anything else the kind of view which might be held by some liberal-minded Reform Jews. That’s about the closest thing , at least in strictly “Judeo-Christian” terms, that I can find. I believe in *a * “God” (clearly there’s got to be something “behind” it all), but I think of It ( I dislike the traditional gender preference of “Him” ) as probably basically “impersonal”. Possibly indifferent to us. But One. Unique and abstract and beyond our wildest dreams, but One. Never having had any “children” or “mothers” or “spirits” or any of that.

I know however that I am no longer Christian, much less Roman Catholic, because I can now say openly to anyone who asks that I flat-out deny the divinity of the man upon whom all of the Christian mythology is based (whoever the real “Jesus” was). He was just an ancient Jewish holy man, in my estimation. And he would have, I believe, wanted Jews to remain thoroughly Jewish and pagans to … either convert to Judaism (perhaps) or just … continue on their way without molesting his fellow Jews any further. The Roman-led Church which I see today , however, the one that developed over the ages, I think would be seen as an abomination to that ancient Palestinian Jew, whoever he was. It certainly would not be “recognized” by him that’s for sure. Literally, it would be something alien and unrecognizable to the man. That is my deepest and truest conviction on the issue. I have discussed it (even only very recently) with two different priests from the very Church where I grew up and we have just gone around and around and they have told me that what it all boils down to is I either have to accept the actual divinity of Jesus Christ, on blind faith, or no longer bother even to go to Mass (not even just to sit and “ponder” , as I had been given to occasionally doing in past weeks) because I am not in truth any kind of Christian.

I recently signed my membership in a nearby Unitarian Universalist church, finding that their overall principles are nearly a perfect match for my own. I wonder am I (technically) considered still a RC ?? What can I do to ensure that I am not, in the event say of an accident or something unforeseen occurring , waked and funeraled by my survivors in a RC manner ?? Is “requesting excommunication” and receiving the appropriate documentation literally necessary, as some websites suggest , or ??


#2

[quote=TheBigQ]I wonder am I (technically) considered still a RC ?? What can I do to ensure that I am not, in the event say of an accident or something unforeseen occurring , waked and funeraled by my survivors in a RC manner ?? Is “requesting excommunication” and receiving the appropriate documentation literally necessary, as some websites suggest , or ??
[/quote]

Were you baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? If so, you will always be “technically” a member of the Church. However, what you decide to practice and you want your family to do for a funeral after you’re dead is your own business. Just state it in your will, I would think? Have fun.


#3

Even if you mention it in your will I think your nearest and dearest can do as they please after you die - and after all you may have a last-minute reversion (much stranger things have happened … ).

Why should it matter to you what happens to you after you die anyway? Surely the idea that the prayers and acts of the living can affect the dead in any way is awfully … ummm … Christian (in fact more Catholic than anything).

But seriously, you didn’t come here for advice on how to leave the Church, did you? Nor did you expect that we would seriously counsel you on how to do so even if it is possible. [Uncharitable text deleted]


#4

It’s ironic that you say you had a cross fixation when you’ve obviously been given a rather large cross to bear.

I would deeply question any psychiatrists opinion of your “condition” as a teen. You might consider that God was calling you to investigate the Catholic Church further. Maybe, He has something more meaningful for you and that’s why he made the inadequacies of your early education so prominant. Maybe, that’s why He called you to this website. Maybe, that’s why you posted such a long explanation of how you think you feel about it. You seem to be just screaming for someone to steer you back.

It’s kinda typical, or normal, for someone who thinks that they can’t believe the Catholic Church to run to a Unitarian Universalist church. Research it more carefully. They basically take Catholicism and dumb it up and make it easier for people to follow without having to sacrafice anything they desire in life.

I hope you take it seriously and research it. God is still calling you. That’s why you went looking for Him, and didn’t just denounce your belief in God like some do. In the end, if you decide to stay away from the Church, then God be with you. He obviously has a plan for you that I couldn’t know. He’ll show it to you, you just have to be looking.


#5

Will they not give out official papers of excommunication anymore however , to lay people who no longer wish to be considered members or supporters , even “technically” , just because as a helpless infant they were baptized into it ?? When as an adult they reject it?? One excommunication website I found stated that the RCC is reluctant to give such “documentation” of a renunciation, a “divorce” based on “irreconcilable differences” let’s say, because it likes to keep its numbers large. Even though many within those numbers, again the baptized, are either totally non-practicing or “lapsed” by now, or have flat out gone and joined other (non-Catholic) churches , or gone into non-Christian religions ( ex, Islam) in some cases. And yet, still, they all remain “technically” members just because as infants they were “baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”??

One would think the RCC might some day want to somehow conduct a “census” of sorts, a “housecleaning” if you will ( although I think they should probably avoid the term “Inquisition” or even the word Inquiry at all costs :cool: ) to see who amongst the “infants baptized” , let’s say, today as adults consider themselves still aligned with the Church, even if it is “In Name Only” , or “culturally” only, or what-have-you. But then if they did that, would they still be the largest Christian denomination?? It’s possible that they may not be, thus… I doubt anything of the sort, as logistically unfeasible as it (admittedly) would be, is ever going to happen.


#6

Okay, Lily’s third paragraph is becoming more and more obvious now… Not that it’s really a surprise.


#7

Maybe, that’s why He called you to this website

Actually, it has been much of what I have been reading on this website and on other Catholic websites I have found on the Net that has basically “solidified” my sense that it is definitely no longer possible for me to consider myself a Catholic, even a Christian. It’s *not all * posters, clearly, but there have been some here who have demonstrated exactly the kind of stern, unbending dogmatism and utter irrationality which I have always found most unlikeable about “true believers” in anything. It’s been those kinds of posters here, and my own theological conversations with my local priest(s), etc etc, which have convinced me of the inevitability of the finality of this personal “divorce” from the RCC. I had basically decided to give it “one last try” , so to speak, after nearly a decade away from the Church, away from religion in general, and that had started around the time Pope JP II died. I thought, this is my cultural heritage, after all, I might as well attempt to “re-embrace” it. Saying the Nicaean creed however, well, I could never make myself say it and feel that I believe in 95% of it honestly. That’s the key problem. It’s one of being honest. Anyone can continue schlepping over to the local church, out of inertia, or fear of real change, but is that really being honest, to oneself or to the Church, even to the priests and other parishioners?? Certainly to one’s family as well?? I think that would be like staying in a marriage which really essentially failed years ago , trying to “give it just one more try”, when you clearly know you don’t have any true heartfelt feelings for the other person anymore.


#8

[quote=TheBigQ]Maybe, that’s why He called you to this website

Actually, it has been much of what I have been reading on this website and on other Catholic websites I have found on the Net that has basically “solidified” my sense that it is definitely no longer possible for me to consider myself a Catholic, even a Christian. It’s *not all *posters, clearly, but there have been some here who have demonstrated exactly the kind of stern, unbending dogmatism and utter irrationality which I have always found most unlikeable about “true believers” in anything. It’s been those kinds of posters here, and my own theological conversations with my local priest(s), etc etc, which have convinced me of the inevitability of the finality of this personal “divorce” from the RCC…
[/quote]

And you’re stil posting here WHY??


#9

Surely the idea that the prayers and acts of the living can affect the dead in any way is awfully … ummm … Christian (in fact more Catholic than anything).

Well, after all, that was / is the culture and “atmosphere” in which I was raised for so long. No I don’t truly think that it matters or “affects” me once I’m dead (I’ll be non-existent and oblivious to it all anyway) whether they burn me up in an incinerator or bury me properly somewhere, or offer whatever kinds of prayers in whatever languages for my “soul” or for anything else about me , but… I do feel that one’s wake and funeral , the way in which one “goes out” (so to speak) are sort of like one’s last “statement” of sorts to the world, and therefore it is the ultimate, indeed the last chance , and maybe also sadly the first chance in some cases, that someone has to make something that has been so intimate and personal and deeply-felt known to those who were actually close to them in life beyond their very immediate family.


#10

And you’re stil posting here WHY??

Not sure exactly. Boredom?? Actual interest in some of the topics which are discussed?? Occasionally just amusement?? There are Muslims who post here, sometimes respectfully sometimes not so respectfully, so why can’t I ? The RCC is a deeply democratic institution, n’est ce-pas?? Therefore I would imagine it would hold true that any online message boards being held in its name would also adhere to those same deeply democratic principles.


#11

[quote=TheBigQ]I do feel that one’s wake and funeral , the way in which one “goes out” (so to speak) are sort of like one’s last “statement” of sorts to the world, and therefore it is the ultimate, indeed the last chance , and maybe also sadly the first chance in some cases, that someone has to make something that has been so intimate and personal and deeply-felt known to those who were actually close to them in life beyond their very immediate family.
[/quote]

Think of it this way… they will all just end up being non-existant in the end anyway. So nothing truly matters in the grand scheme of things, right?


#12

Think of it this way… they will all just end up being non-existant in the end anyway. So nothing truly matters in the grand scheme of things, right?

That’s an interesting angle on it actually exoflare. It’s very Zen for a devout RC. Admirable open-mindedness there !! :thumbsup:


#13

You don’t need papers to leave. Just join this church you are interested in. Many former Catholics do, and the action of joining another church outside the Catholic Church is a statement of renunciation itself.

It’s unfortunate that you have come to the conclusions about the Faith that you did. Your thoughts toward the Church, though well-intentioned, are disproportionate and skewed, with no real balance. I pray someday that you will find that balance, with good therapy, in order to someday see the righteousness and justice in the God that we believe in, through Jesus Christ.

Blessings to you.


#14

[quote=TheBigQ]Think of it this way… they will all just end up being non-existant in the end anyway. So nothing truly matters in the grand scheme of things, right?

That’s an interesting angle on it actually exoflare. It’s very Zen for a devout RC. Admirable open-mindedness there !! :thumbsup:
[/quote]


#15

[quote=TheBigQ] Admirable open-mindedness there !! :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Unlike my good self - just noticed that my earlier post had ‘uncharitable text deleted’ (whoops - first last and only time I can assure you).

IMHO it wasn’t much less charitable about you than you were about Christianity in your OP. Having said that I don’t wish to descend to anyone’s idea of uncharity.

So I apologise for what I wrote and thought which was uncharitable, even if you may never have gotten to read it. How’s that for Zen for you :thumbsup:


#16

[quote=TheBigQ]Think of it this way… they will all just end up being non-existant in the end anyway. So nothing truly matters in the grand scheme of things, right?

That’s an interesting angle on it actually exoflare. It’s very Zen for a devout RC. Admirable open-mindedness there !! :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Thank you! :smiley:


#17

[quote=TheBigQ]Having grown up “culturally Catholic” and gone through Catholic grammar school and received all of the initiatory Sacraments , I had rather been given the impression initially that the RCC was the “only way”. By my early teen years however, truth be told, my Catholicism , my Christianity let’s say, took on more and more the unhealthy form of a neurosis, as opposed to a truly spiritually beneficial relationship with the religion. I had , what a psychiatrist at the time had aptly termed, a “Crucifix-fixation”. I had to make the sign of the cross, to myself , not always outwardly, but in my head, over and over. I had to find the shape of the cross in everything, tiles at school for example, and repeat this internal “ritual” of the sign of the cross over and over again, to feel a sense of well-being or calm or “inner peace”. I had to say a certain made-up (but long and tedious) type of rote prayer every night before bed, on my knees, or I felt that something bad would be about to happen. The God I believed in as a boy was a tyrant, the same as the God of the militant Islamists and the radical extremist Jews. A solitary reclusive eccentric, murderously jealous of “competition”, a fierce bearded misogynistic desert despot, demanding kneeling and prostration, and bloody atonement. And then the idea that they gave us when we were young that this God was actually at one time both himself *and * his own “son”, and then proceeded to allow himself / “son” to be killed , on a Roman cross, so that the whole world would be “saved” (which clearly it has not been), was and is really just a totally incomprehensible mystery. I mean really when you type it out like that and see it in print it looks like something a patient in a psych ward might come up with. In any case it was something that I don’t think I ever truly “digested” or fully accepted either. And the “holy spirit” ?? I don’t know…as a boy, just a dove I think. That’s all they showed us at least. It seemed like nobody really knew. And indeed how could they?

Ironically I have found that , today, in my 30’s, the view of God which I finally ended up with resembles more than anything else the kind of view which might be held by some liberal-minded Reform Jews. That’s about the closest thing , at least in strictly “Judeo-Christian” terms, that I can find. I believe in *a * “God” (clearly there’s got to be something “behind” it all), but I think of It ( I dislike the traditional gender preference of “Him” ) as probably basically “impersonal”. Possibly indifferent to us. But One. Unique and abstract and beyond our wildest dreams, but One. Never having had any “children” or “mothers” or “spirits” or any of that.

I know however that I am no longer Christian, much less Roman Catholic, because I can now say openly to anyone who asks that I flat-out deny the divinity of the man upon whom all of the Christian mythology is based (whoever the real “Jesus” was). He was just an ancient Jewish holy man, in my estimation. And he would have, I believe, wanted Jews to remain thoroughly Jewish and pagans to … either convert to Judaism (perhaps) or just … continue on their way without molesting his fellow Jews any further. The Roman-led Church which I see today , however, the one that developed over the ages, I think would be seen as an abomination to that ancient Palestinian Jew, whoever he was. It certainly would not be “recognized” by him that’s for sure. Literally, it would be something alien and unrecognizable to the man. That is my deepest and truest conviction on the issue. I have discussed it (even only very recently) with two different priests from the very Church where I grew up and we have just gone around and around and they have told me that what it all boils down to is I either have to accept the actual divinity of Jesus Christ, on blind faith, or no longer bother even to go to Mass (not even just to sit and “ponder” , as I had been given to occasionally doing in past weeks) because I am not in truth any kind of Christian.

I recently signed my membership in a nearby Unitarian Universalist church, finding that their overall principles are nearly a perfect match for my own. I wonder am I (technically) considered still a RC ?? What can I do to ensure that I am not, in the event say of an accident or something unforeseen occurring , waked and funeraled by my survivors in a RC manner ?? Is “requesting excommunication” and receiving the appropriate documentation literally necessary, as some websites suggest , or ??
[/quote]

So what are you after? The Church doesnt give out those papers to individuals as far as I know, does it?
I dont think it does otherwise we would see them posted on anti-C webpages with the ex-C’s standing proudly in the picture holding the document up.


#18

When my children left my house, one by one, they set out on their own lives. Whatever they do, wherever they go, they remain my children. Nothing can change that fact. I didn’t force this fact on them. I reminded them, from time to time. My love for them does not waver. They have their own lives now. They all know who their daddy is.
May you come to terms with our Father. He does not waver. Renounce what you will. In the end, we are all one.


#19

Q:

All I can say is you haven’t really understood the faith you are leaving behinds. Read history, the CCC, lives of the early church and I guarantee that you’ll find much more of what you think you know.

Islam in a strict academic sense is an incomplete synthesis of the Judeo-Christian faith.

in XT.


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