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CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:28 pm
by aZerogodist
pauldunbar[1].jpg (102.21 KiB) Viewed 4115 times
Genevieve wrote:As I'm sure many of you have heard, has had to suspend the issuing of defection papers, due to changes to the Catholic Church's Canon Law. It seems that the formal defection process has been deleted, but the Church is being characteristically vague about what the changes actually mean. If you have defected from the Church, were interested in doing so, or just care about religious freedom, then please come along to our discussion meeting on this issue with co-founder of Count Me Out, Paul Dunbar, at 8pm on Tuesday in ORB 201.
UCC Atheists

Re: CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:04 am
by aZerogodist
Just a few notes from this meeting I will double post this in the other threads (mortal sin I know)

Why we suspended the site:
The references to defection in cannon law was announced in 2009 that they would be removed by the pope, the references to defection has now been removed Because of the number of emails from people trying to defect, saying they were unable to, countmeout got in touch with the Arch-Bishop in Dublin to clarify the situation and kept getting responses back saying that they acknowledge that there were changes coming but could elaborate on what they were. The impression was that they didn't know themselves, it was the Vatican pulling the strings.
Paul said that he thinks the changes has nothing to do with the amount of people leaving the church or the countmeout website, but was something that had been in training for quite a while, it has been suggested that it was to close this loop hole, but Paul said that countmeout do not think that, but a side effect of another change they made to cannon law.

Church response:
In response to a request by RTE for a balance interview the church just issued a statement:
"The holy sec confirmed that at the end of August that it was introducing changes to Cannon Law, and as a result no longer be possible to formally defect from the Catholic Church. This will not alter the fact that many people can defect from the church and continue to do so all be it not through a formal process"

Paul said that this causes more confusion, as how can you defect but not formally, how does that work. As of yet countmeout has got no further clarification.

Possible Challenges
He said that there were a number of ways of challenging it would be:
1. The Data Protection Commissioner, as part of the data protection act, any organisation that holds information on you is obliged to hold accurate information and also obliged to divulge that information to you fully, if it's not accurate you're in your rights to challenge that and say that's not accurate, so if you asked for a record from your local parish, and it said Baptised, confirmed, holy communion, married etc but no record of defection and they still consider you a member, you could theoretically challenge them on that, saying that's not an accurate reflection of your position in the church, you don't consider yourself a member any more and they haven't recorded that fact.

2. Common Law, freedom of association, freedom of religion, if the church will not allow you to leave it seems they would be in contravention of the consitution. But how to go ablout that is yet to be tested.

Whats the future of Countmeout
Paul went on to talk about the future of countmeout, and how many people criticized them, saying it doesn't matter what the church count as their number, the state only looks at the census figures and the religious numbers their in, so what matters is what's in the census.
So Paul said if the number of Catholics decreases in a significant way in the next census, it would send the message that the number of schools under catholic patronage is over represented, also in the health service. There would be more weight behind the aurgument that you remove some of this power from the church to be involved in health and education.

He said that the possibilities are there but not sure on how they will go about it, if they do a countmeout-census it will be ready to go but just a matter of doing it right. Catholicism for Irish people is like their blood type, or their ethnic group and it's kind of like they think "oh yeah I'm catholic, I still had sex with my partner last night, I'm not married but I'm still catholic or I used contraception, I'm still catholic" it's almost subconscious when they get the census it's like blood type B, religion catholic.

Paul went oin to say even if you’re still officially a member you can still count yourself out as being recognised as a member in the census. Countmeout what to reach those people who might automatically put down catholic, because they think once a catholic always a catholic and try to get them to reflect on that and put down the truth.

(Side-note: Paul also noted that there is the only one Atheist in countmeout himself and that the site was set up for those people who no longer wanted to be counted as followers/members of the catholic church)

Re: CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:16 am
by aZerogodist
It might be better to leave responses to this in the other threads as I have posted it there;
Count Me
Alternative if does not get back in business
also would it be a good idea to post some of this on the front page as news.
I will pause other videos and try to get this on Youtube as soon as I can.

Re: CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:28 pm
by aZerogodist
Here's the Video:

Catholic Church closes door on Apostasy/Defection to focus on Census 2010 -Paul Dundar

Could someone post it on Boards and

Edit: Change Title.

Re: CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:23 pm
by Ygern
I'll get it on FB & Twitter, thanks Tom!

Re: CountMeOut Talk Tuesday 2nd Nov

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:22 pm
by mkaobrih ... 99604.html#
CLARIFICATION ON whether disaffected Catholics can formally leave the church is being sought from the Vatican’s canon law authority., which assists Irish Catholics to officially leave the church, temporarily suspended its service in 2010 when a change to canon law meant the church was no longer accepting formal defections.

Count Me Out co-founder Paul Dunbar yesterday wrote to Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts at the Vatican.

Mr Dunbar is seeking an explanation of the alterations to canon law brought about by the Apostolic letter Omnium in Mentem, which came into effect in 2010.

The group was advised by a canon lawyer that the change did not remove formal acts of defection, Mr Dunbar wrote. Instead the change meant that a formal act of defection did not invalidate marriage, he added. The group was also advised by the canon lawyer that Catholics should still be able to formally leave the church either by a declaration of defection, a letter to the local bishop or an act of apostasy (a rejection of a belief).

Three questions are posed to Archbishop Coccopalmerio in the letter: Is it possible for members of the church to formally cease their membership and if so how? Does Omnium in Mentem completely remove the possibility of defecting from the church? Is it possible for people to be excommunicated by signing an act of apostasy and how would this be recorded in law?

The group wants to clarify the matter so it can reopen the countmeout.iewebsite. There are “a significant number of people in Ireland who are interested in ceasing their membership”, Mr Dunbar wrote. However the group could not do so until the current status is explained, the letter said.

The website was set up in June 2009 after the publication of the Ryan report into child abuse at residential institutions.

It offered a formal declaration form for people who wanted to leave the Catholic Church to download and send to their local diocese. The diocese would then make an annotation to the baptismal register.

More than 12,000 copies of the online form were downloaded during the 1½ years of the service.

Between 2009 and 2010, more than 500 people formally defected through the Dublin archdiocese.

When the Dublin archdiocese stopped accepting defections in 2010 due to the canon law change, it said this would not alter the fact that many people could continue to do so informally.