Jude Collins

Monday, 24 May 2010

Flouncing out of your faith

I never thought I’d say it but even in a subject like clerical child abuse there’s laughter to be found.  Thanks to a website called  Countmeout,  Catholics who want to leave their Church because 5% of its priests have been guilty of child abuse can now do so officially…   What’s that – you didn’t think you needed to go to a website,  you could just stop?  Well yes, but that’s so …undramatic.  Sign up at the Countmedownandout site and you’ll get to exit with a flourish.  Don’t worry if you  left the Catholic Church years ago – as far as I can figure, that makes no difference. You just go back and do a retake.  If you don’t, the Catholic Church will go on counting you as a member.   ‘Haven’t seen Mickey  Doherty for, ooh, twenty-three years now but  here,  he’s still one of our congregation, don’t I send him collection envelopes every month?’ Another reason for signing up with the Itsaknockout site is, they say, if you believe in the separation of Church and State in Ireland.  You thought you could believe in the separation of Church and State and still remain a Catholic?  Well silly you.  According to  CountthebeadsImeanclicks , you've been labouring under a serious misapprehension.  But the best bit is that the site lets you formally renounce your Catholic faith and still check in for the key bits!  If you were baptized a Catholic – and you’d have to be if you were going to renounce your faith, wouldn’t you? –  that doesn’t change -  indelible mark on the soul and all that.  Marriage? No problem  either -  renouncers can get married in the Catholic Church as well.  Best of all,  they can  get buried alongside people who, unlike them,  went on being Catholics throughout their dull,  undramatic  and un-site-signing-up lives.  Or even those dreary people who left the Church and didn't announce their actions online.  All gain and no pain, then, eh?  For God's sake, get  thee to an I-am-no-longer-a-Catholic site quickly, before you get knocked down by a lorry or something. 


  1. Well, if you count yourself as a Catholic then you're allowing yourself to be used by the catholic church to prevent Church-State separation when the government looks at member lists. Why be a Catholic if you don't believe in all the silliness they purport about God and this 'Jesus' fella? You might also not want to be a member of a homophobic and sexist organisation if you're a citizen of a liberal democracy like Ireland. This strikes me as a biased and less than well thought out article.

  2. You're actually making me *more* inclined to sign up to countmeout.

  3. the "5% of its priests have been guilty of child abuse" were supported by the man who runs the organisation.

    Vatican told bishops to cover up sex abuse

    Pope Had Role in Moving Molesting Priest, Church Says

    "The instructions outline a policy of 'strictest' secrecy in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and threatens those who speak out with excommunication". If you were part of any other organisation that at an institutional level covered up child rape would you not consider removing your name from its books?

  4. If you want to stay linked to a faith, do. If you don't believe in it, don't trust it, hate it or even want to leave it for another... then leave. You can only leave the RCC officially by 'defection'. This site simply facilitated the documents for me to sever my ties with a church I abhor. Now I'm no longer a member of the RCC, and no longer a supporter of it's teachings/misgivings/abuse... I have also registered my protest at their involvement in the state. How can you honestly not see the huge importance a campaign like this has in Ireland, and hopefully on the RCC as a whole?

    Doing nothing, achieves nothing.

  5. Say there's two hundred million priests in the world and five percent of them are paedophiles, that's still only ten million.

  6. While it's obvious to most people that the church don't notice you missing on a personal level they've had to acknowledge the numbers making the point of leaving formally, and leaving by using canon law at that. I find it rather childish for a man your age to deliberately misread Countmeout.ie's intent and content and it's a bit of an own goal. The marriage point simply means a non-catholic can marry a catholic in church without converting and as 'catholic' boneyards are council run anyone can get buried there.

    I think you know very well the the 5% are not the major issue now but it's the cover up, the avoidance of responibilty and the inaction of the congregants that upsets people. Silence is consent.

    So if there is humour in child abuse scandals it is a rather dark laughter at your willful blindness.

  7. 'A man your age' - isn't that a bit ageist, Ciaran? You should think about going to confession - public confession, of course...

  8. Well you make a point about your age yourself so, no it's not ageist. Ageism would be to imply that you are either too young or too old to be taken seriously. Not sure what the crack about 'public confession' means but I'm more than happy to discuss any of this publicly.

    However, sniping at each other aside, you didn't actually comment on the content of any of the comments.

  9. Wow. Top notch journalism, well done! I've little more to add, save that it's nice to see you put in your place with all the above comments, leaving you with little more to do than throw a cheap snipe at Ciaran.
    Well done sir... I'm sure that Pulitizer Prize is on it's way already.