Here's the video:
Catholic Church closes door on Apostasy/Defection CountMeOut.ie to focus on Census 2010 -Paul Dundar
Just a few notes from the meeting with co-founder of Count Me Out, Paul Dunbar, 02 November 2010 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.
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.
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)