The archdiocese of Dublin this afternoon in a press release stated that following the recent changes to canon law it will no longer be possible for individuals to formally defect from the church. However, it added that the Archdiocese intends to maintain a register to note the expressed desire of those who wish to defect.
The right to leave Catholicism has long been a fundamental right. (The official term in history for someone who left Catholicism, according to the Catholic Church, was a 'pervert'.)
Like just about everyone of my generation I went to school and college with, and work with, I am not a practising Catholic anymore. I honestly cannot name three people of my generation who are still Massgoers. I had never considered formally disengaging from Catholicism - though I have had some interest in the Church of Ireland and do know a couple of people who have left the Catholic Church to join it.
I find it appalling however that Pope Benedict XVI, having caused widespread offence by appearing to equate ordination of women with child sex abuse in terms of sanctions, not seems to have the attitude towards people who want to leave the Catholic Church of saving 'you can't. You are trapped. We will never let you leave'. So someone who may have been joined as a child to that religion, are to be debarred from as an adult leaving it.
Is it even legal under human rights to effectively trap someone in an organisation they themselves had no say in joining?
As a result of this change, organisations such as 'Count me out' that previously could enable people to leave the Catholic Church have had to stop their service as Rome sees membership of Catholicism as a type of prison from which there is no escape.
Sometimes I can only wonder what some of collective idiocy and stupidity exists in the Vatican, or are they trying to establish a world record for doing the greatest number of utterly stupid things in one year?