Well, this weekend is my nephews Baptism (which I refuse to attend on principal) and it reminded me of how I defected from the Catholic Church a few month ago. You see, I was raised Catholic and while I know that Baptism is a meaningless ceremony, I also disliked that having my name listed in the Baptismal records still counted me as a member. I was a statistical figure that, while I was no longer a believer, I was being counted in their totals that they use to secure power and influence. I know that many of you are thinking, "Who cares? It's all meaningless." and I felt the same at first. But eventually I had enough and wanted to make a stand.

While one can not get their Baptism annulled, you can officially defect from the church. This will gain you a note in the Baptismal record showing that you have left, and means you will no longer allow the church to pad their numbers with you still listed.

What you will need to know is where you were Baptized, when and fill out a form informing them of your will. I was able to do everything via email, but results may vary by area. Once I got confirmation, I made myself my very own certificate of defection to print and display. Attached below will be said certificate, defection form and my email correspondence. Some of the information was found online in various places, but you may feel free to personalize my email messages and use in your own defections if you like.


To whom if may concern,

My parents had me baptized at an early age, in the ___________ area. I am
now (and
have been for several years) atheist and I dislike the idea of
paedobaptism. I
have come to think that all individuals should have the right to
decide for
themselves whether they want to believe or participate in any
religion, and
that it should never be decided for them at any stage in life.

Out of
respect for my personal choice not to believe in any deity nor to
align myself
to any religion, I wish that the church could erase any record of my
involuntary involvement with it during infancy: a sort of de-baptism
if you
will. However, from what I understand, that is not be possible due to
the fact
that it did in happen (whether I wanted it to or not). But it is my
understanding that the records may be noted to show that I have left
church. So my request is to submit my formal declaration of defection
from the
Catholic Church (attached). I am aware of the fact that this will
render me
ineligible for any on the sacraments and will officially end my
membership in
the church. This is a decision that have made on my own after much
thought. I
simply no longer wish to be counted among an organization that I hold
membership in, that I have no belief in and with which I disagree.
Unfortunately I do not know the exact date on which I was baptized ,
but was
in 19__. I am certain that this did take place
in your
parish though. This is an issue of mutual respect, which I believe is
paramount in such a diverse society as ours. You must respect my
freedom not
to believe as I must respect your freedom to believe, no matter how
obscure we
may think each others outlook is. If I have sent this to the wrong
channel, I
ask that you please forward to the appropriate department.

I thank you for taking the time to read this and hope that you are able
to act
according to my wishes, and that I may also receive some sort of
confirmation once the process is completed.

Kind Regards,

your name here

  1. “I wish to declare my formal defection from the Catholic Church in
    with canons 1086, § 1, 1117 and 1124 of the Code of Canon Law as
    in notification Prot. N. 10279/2006 from the Pontifical Council for
    Legislative Texts.”

  2. “I hereby reject the teachings, dogma and authority of the Roman
    church and any benefits, so-called sacraments, graces and blessings
    supposedly bestowed upon me, either in the past or the future.
    please note that I make these statements personally, consciously and


  3. I respectfully request confirmation that this act has been noted in
    baptismal registry (cfr. can. 535, § 2) with explicit mention of the

    occurrence of a ‘
    defectio ab Ecclesia catholica actu formali’.”

Dear Mr. _______,
We received your request and have made the
notation in
your baptismal record.


I know that formal defection may not be everyone's cup of tea. But for those who wish to, I felt the easier I could make it the better. I hope some find this info useful.


Defection from RCC Certificate.psd

Views: 187

Comment by Mario Rodgers on April 27, 2010 at 10:08pm
Meh. Why put myself through all the trouble? If I'm still in the Catholic Church on paper, I couldn't give a damn. Why sign a formal paper just to tell the whole organization to shove it?
Comment by James on April 27, 2010 at 10:29pm
It was basically the principal of it for me. I wanted to tell them exactly what I thought of the church, and this seemed like a good way to me. Like i said before,most won't see why they should really bother. I felt the same as well when I heard of people getting 'baptized'. Seemed pointless to me. Oddly enough, It was actually a bit fun to do this for me.

Also, it bars me from being given a Catholic burial (if I were to die before my parents) against my wishes, and gives me a reply to my mother in law. She seems to think that once you're a Catholic, you're a Catholic. You can't leave even if you may waver in your faith. You're Catholic for life, no if's and's or but's....

Some may do it to make a point, others for fun, and more still won't bother. I can't say any of the choices are wrong, just thought I'd share for those who were unaware that this was even an option.

Comment by Prazzie on April 27, 2010 at 11:01pm
Congratulations! How wonderful to be completely free of such a vile institution. If more people were willing to go through this bit of effort, the Church might start seeing the error of their ways and become more humane (ok, it would take a LOT more people). Also, the more defectors, the less peer pressure to join/stay in the Catholic Church. In fact, if defectors continue to declare their actions publically, that might create peer pressure to leave the Church. In any case, I think you did a good thing here and hope you sleep a bit more peacefully at night.
Comment by Galen on April 27, 2010 at 11:17pm
I think this is awesome. If I could somehow formally defect from religion, I'd do it in a heartbeat! Sadly, I was always a liberal non-denominational Christian who never really attended church, so there's nowhere for me to defect from. Ah well, I can enjoy your defection vicariously!
Comment by Profound_Raincloud on April 27, 2010 at 11:25pm
If you ever needed a reason to formally defect this site gave me that final reason www.countmeout.ie
I defected last month and the church has finalised it. The horrible things they have done for religion/god and to think they still have such a strong hold in some countries. I live in Canada but did this as a form of support for the Irish and their suffering and the woman's suffering. Anyways I beg everyone who can not to say of I don't care enough about them to defect because everyone's voice counts and even more some if you live in a country still so strongly under the control of the catholic church. I also say if you can defect from another church that you belonged to take a stand defect now!!!
Comment by CJoe on April 28, 2010 at 11:10am
I think defecting is a good idea because, like you said, it diminishes their numbers in polls and statistics. There are sooo many non-practicing Catholics, and probably many who do not even believe; if they all defected, the "non-religious" or "atheist" percentage might spike, which may encourage even more non-believers to "come out". It's scary to come out, especially if you believe most people are religious believers. Seeing more and more people speak up only inspires others to do the same!
Comment by Therese Lee on June 10, 2010 at 2:08pm
Have you received a response? I did. Turns out the formal defection procedure was abolished by papal decree late last year. They must have been getting a lot of requests.
Comment by James on June 10, 2010 at 11:48pm
Yes, they told me that they had made the note of my defection on my baptismal record. That was in February. So either the change wasn't active yet, they did it anyway or they made an exception due to when I filed the request (late Jan). I handled everything directly with the church that I was baptized in as well, so maybe that also made a difference.


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