USA and Europe: Requests for “De-baptism”

Source: FSSPX News

During the year 2008, ceremonies of “de-baptism” (or de-baptizing) drew up to 205 participants during atheists’ meetings in Ohio, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. During one false ceremony, a “celebrant” wearing a robe uses a hair-dryer, on which is written “reason” to dry the water of baptism once and for all. Next several dozens of participants take “de-sacraments” (cookies with peanut butter) and receive a certificate stating that they have “freely renounced a past error and accept reason by leaving superstition.”

Thus, Gary Mueller recently sent by mail his de-baptism certificate to the church of St. Bonaventura in Concord (CA), asking to have his name written off the baptism register. The clergy of the church answered that they could not grant his request. “Though we do not write off people’s names from baptism registers, we can write next to your name that “you have left the Roman Catholic Church,” Fr. Richard Mangini answered by email. “I hope that one day God will surprise you by making you understand that He is good.”

Initiatives of de-baptism are also appearing in Quebec, in England, in Italy… Stephen Evans, a British militant in the National Secular Society (NSS), reported over 100,000 downloads of de-baptism certificate on the NSS website between 2005 and 2009. The Italian Union of Atheists and Rationalist Agnostics claimed they had received over a thousand requests for the certificate from Italians before the Day of De-baptism celebrated in 2008. However, ENI agency thinks that public de-baptism ceremonies seem to be essentially an American phenomenon.

Yet in France, the website of the diocese of Nanterre strives to show that the procedure for de-baptism is simple. You merely have to send a letter to the bishopric of the diocese in which you were baptized, indicating the date, to ask that the following mention be added to the register: the person declares that he renounces his baptism on such a date…. or asks to be no longer numbered among the members of the Catholic community, and that the parish promises not to provide acts of baptism any longer.” De-baptism is free of charge, the website specifies, however it is advisable to send a self-return stamped envelope for the answer. In spite of all, the requester is reminded that the annulment of baptism is not possible because it is a sacrament which stamps the soul with an indelible character: “It is an action of God which man cannot modify.” (Sources: ANSI/eni/catholique-nanterre.cef)