Thursday, February 13, 2003

Italian Disgruntled Catholics Requesting Unbatism

Sorry, once we've got you your stuck but we'll make a note that you are now officially an apostate (my personal take).

From zoomata:

Disgruntled Catholics have come a step closer to washing off holy water they were baptized in as tiny children. Upon request, priests in Italy must note alongside baptism information the will of adults to leave the Roman Catholic Church. Bowing to pressure from lobby groups who call the act 'unchristening,' the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) recently outlined the procedure.

Both sides disagree on the scope of the phenomenon -- one activist group claims 10,000 people have presented unchristening requests; the Church says it is trying to do right by a 'few dozen' people who wish not to be counted as Catholics.

Statistics, however, show a large number of slumbering or disinterested members of the country's predominant religion -- although 98% of Italians are baptized, only 36% attend mass regularly and over 14% never attend at all, according to 1999 data from Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT). Baptism records are used for Church statistics and influence whether last rites and religious funerals are administered.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, CEI president, made it clear that the Church considers the issue an entirely bureaucratic one. "You can't cancel a sacrament any more than you can cancel the act of being born," he told newspapers.

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