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Sign Me “Off” For the Christian Jubilee: On the Disturbing trend of “De-Baptisms” in Europe
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 1/12/2011 | Msgr Charles Pope

Posted on 01/12/2011 1:53:42 AM PST by markomalley

There’s an old song that says, Sign me up for the Christian Jubilee! Write my name on the roll!….I want to be ready when Jesus comes!  But, tragically there are some in Europe who are formally renouncing their faith through a process they call “de-baptism.” In effect they write to the parish where they were baptized and asked that their name be blotted out from the book of life, also known as the Baptismal Register. Of course the Catholic Church does not remove the names, but does make a notation that they have formally renounced the Christian faith, that they have renounced their baptism.

The video below depicts such “de-baptisms.” A young Belgian, named Damien,  is interviewed, and shown holding a document he has signed entitled Acte D’Apostasie A qui de droit. (Act of Renunciation (Apostasy) from the faith). You don’t have to know a lot of French to see the word “Apostasy” in the title. I had an opening and so offered Mass today for this man, for his return to the faith. I hope you’ll pray too for him and the over 1000 Belgians who have renounced their faith this past year.

Apostasy Association? There is actually an organization that exists to encourage and facilitate such renunciations. The head of this organization says many have renounced their faith due to anger over the sex-abuse scandal, though he admits there are other reasons too.

Red Herring – I do not know the particulars in Damien’s case so I cannot assess his personal motives. However, generally speaking, the abuse excuse, serious though the scandal was, is largely a red herring. People don’t usually leave the Church due to the Church’s sin, but rather, due to their own sins. People who leave (as distinct from those who drift away) are usually at odds with one or more of the moral teachings of the Church. And they are usually at odds with such teachings because they are breaking one or more of those moral precepts. They want to live as they please, and so they leave. In pointing to sin in the Church (real though it is) they get to tell themselves they are doing a noble, even conscientious thing. But in the end it is more usually a baser motive rooted in their own sin.

I’ve been re-reading Archbishops Sheen’s book Three to Get Married. In it he writes:

Every rationalization is farfetchedand never discloses the real reason. He who breaks the Divine Law and finds himself outside of Christ’s Mystical Body in a second marriage will often justify himself by saying: “I could not accept the doctrine of transubstantiation.” What he means is that he can no longer accept the Sixth Commandment…..What is important is not what people say, but why they say it. Too many assume that the reason people do not come to God is because they are ignorant; it is more generally true that the reason people do not come to God is because of their behavior. Our Lord said: “Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light” (John 8:19, 20). It is not always doubt that has to be overcome, but evil habits. (Three to Get Married, Kindle Edition Loc. 149-58).

In Damien’s case the specific reason is said by the interviewer to be anger over sex abuse. But Damien himself is less clear. He states, in effect, he doesn’t agree with what the Church is doing. It is not so clear that the abuse scandal is what he means, since this is not something the Church is “doing” but rather something she did not do. He more likely means he disagrees with some of her moral teachings. He also claims he never chose to join the Church anyway, since it was his parents who had him baptized.

Self-congratulatory apostasy?  - In the end he calls himself a “conscientious citizen” for getting de-baptized. Sadly, there is another word that more aptly describes what he has done and it is right at the top of his own letter: “Apostasie.” One can only hope his ignorance is so great that he does not really comprehend what he has done and will not face the full effects of his ill-informed choice.

Bad Idea! – But for the record, asking to have your name taken “off the roll” is a VERY BAD idea. Scripture could not be clearer;

  1. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books…..If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).
  2. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!  (Rev 3:4-6)

Someone may object  that a baptismal register is not the book mentioned, and that the image of “the book of life”  cannot be mechanistically reduced to inkblots on the page of some earthly book, etc. True enough. But the problem is not the earthly book, but what the earthly book indicates. It indicates baptism, not just membership. And to renounce baptism is to renounce faith in Christ Jesus. Thus, rejecting saving faith in Jesus Christ DOES affect the true and heavenly book. The earthly book is but a copy but it does point to the heavenly one and it is a very bad idea to go on record renouncing your faith, and asking that your name be “blotted out.” In Scripture Jesus says that the greatest gift is to have our names written in heaven: However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

And perhaps the scariest thing about all this is that Scripture also indicates very clearly that Jesus will ultimately abide by the decision of those who reject him and ratify it:

  1. If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels (Mk 8:38)
  2. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven (Matt 10:33)
  3. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us, if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Tim 2:12-13)

So please pray for this young man, Damien, and others like him. Do not simply presume invincible ignorance on his part. We often rashly presume that adults “don’t know any better.” Well, don’t presume,  pray for him. I offered mass for him today and others like him. Perhaps you might offer the fruits of holy Mass as well?

Pray, this is very serious. It is bad enough to drift away from the faith, but to formally renounce ones baptism is to really ramp things up to a mega-serious level. Pray, pray, pray.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events
KEYWORDS: msgrcharlespope

1 posted on 01/12/2011 1:53:45 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Very serious, indeed! More so because many are not churched well enough to even know what they are doing/throwing away. We are living in a time where righteousness is considered evil and unrighteousness is considered good. It cannot be long now.


2 posted on 01/12/2011 2:19:43 AM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: markomalley

Unfortunately you won’t be able to use Scriptural passages to convince people who do not accept the validity of Scripture that Scripture is true.


3 posted on 01/12/2011 2:39:11 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: pnh102

That they do not recognize the severity of their actions is evident; that does not lessen the tragedy, though. These are people for whom we should pray.


4 posted on 01/12/2011 2:45:04 AM PST by sayuncledave (A cruce salus)
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To: markomalley

It started in England a while back. They’ve had a hard time igniting the fuel but it seems to be picking up speed.


5 posted on 01/12/2011 3:19:34 AM PST by bronxville
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To: markomalley

I knew a lapsed Catholic from Germany who signed off (I don’t know the exact paperwork he filed, so it may not have an “apostasy”) - part of the reason was that there were taxes assessed that went to the church, but were collected from your paycheck. No church meant less taxes... I wonder if the same thing is done in Belgium.


6 posted on 01/12/2011 4:21:59 AM PST by ikka
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To: markomalley

Very sad. At baptism we renounce the devil and all his works and pomps.

De-baptising is embracing the world and the devil even if one thinks the spiritual realm is myth.


7 posted on 01/12/2011 5:21:59 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: markomalley
I would have to question the original Christianity of someone who asked for de-baptism. The writer seems to be making the assumption that they were believers once, and now are not. I do not think the young man was ever a believer and this is just something to do to impress the circle of friends he now has. Nothing more, nothing less. He was never in the Book of Life before and he is not in it now. Maybe in the future he will see his real situation before the Lord, maybe not. Only the Lord knows.
8 posted on 01/12/2011 5:32:48 AM PST by wbarmy (I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.)
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To: markomalley

This sort of thing shows the difference between true unbelievers (e.g., agnostics) and the rebellious atheist types. A person who genuinely disbelieves in God is simply going to passively ignore the matter of religion as long as it doesn’t substantially interfere with their lives. Taking the time and effort to do some ‘de-baptism’ or other renunciation is not motivated by a mere lack of faith but an active, attention-whorish animosity rooted in something else.


9 posted on 01/12/2011 5:41:49 AM PST by Sloth (If a tax cut constitutes "spending" then every time I don't rob a bank should count as a "desposit.")
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To: wbarmy
I would have to question the original Christianity of someone who asked for de-baptism. The writer seems to be making the assumption that they were believers once, and now are not. I do not think the young man was ever a believer and this is just something to do to impress the circle of friends he now has. Nothing more, nothing less. He was never in the Book of Life before and he is not in it now. Maybe in the future he will see his real situation before the Lord, maybe not. Only the Lord knows.

Words of wisdom.

10 posted on 01/12/2011 5:54:23 AM PST by Vegasrugrat
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To: markomalley
Renewal of Baptismal Promises

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

Not all the family can attend the Easter Vigil due to its time and length. However, It is highly recommended that the family members renew their baptismal vows and sprinkle themselves with the Easter Water as is performed during the vigil celebration. Everyone's baptismal candles and garments can be put on display on the family altar or as a table centerpiece to remind us of our baptism and commitment to our baptismal vows.

Directions

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.

V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.

V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

R. Amen.


11 posted on 01/12/2011 3:04:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ikka

Unless a person fills out a ton of paperwork and has a hearing in front of a group of priests/bishops/cardinals, they do not renounce their Baptism.


12 posted on 01/12/2011 3:07:04 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

It is so obvious that these people were not adequately catechized by their parents and by the catechists of that country. I pray that it does not come to the U. S.


13 posted on 01/12/2011 3:11:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley
Our Lady's Warriors

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

70. Renewal of Baptismal Promises (Votorum baptismalium renovatio)

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who renew their baptismal promises according to formula in use ; but

a plenary indulgence is granted, if this is done

  • in the celebration of the Paschal Vigil or
  • on the anniversary of one's baptism.

Renewal of Baptismal Promises

I, N. N., who through the tender mercy of the Eternal Father was privileged to be baptized "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19, 5) and thus to share in the dignity of his divine Sonship, wish now in the presence of this same loving Father and of his only-begotten Son to renew in all sincerity the promises I solemnly made at the time of my holy Baptism.
I, therefore, now do once again renounce Satan; I renounce all his works; I renounce all his allurements.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born into this world and who suffered and died for my sins and rose again. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.
Having been buried with Christ unto death and raised up with him unto a new life, I promise to live no longer for myself or for that world which is the enemy of God but for him who died for me and rose again, serving God, my heavenly Father, faithfully and unto death in the holy Catholic Church.
Taught by our Savior's command and formed by the word of God, I now dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.


14 posted on 01/12/2011 3:13:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Shery

They know what they are doing or they would not think they needed to undo the baptism. They would just think it was meaningless.

These people are making a direct choice to reject Jesus for the eternity of their souls. They are directly chosing the dark side.

This is serious.


15 posted on 01/12/2011 3:20:24 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: ikka
I knew a lapsed Catholic from Germany who signed off (I don’t know the exact paperwork he filed, so it may not have an “apostasy”) - part of the reason was that there were taxes assessed that went to the church, but were collected from your paycheck. No church meant less taxes... I wonder if the same thing is done in Belgium.

I don't know about Belgium, but I know it's done in Spain, in Austria, in Slovakia, and in Canada.

Canada does it more specifically to allocate property tax revenues into the Catholic public school system. Other countries do it because the church buildings are government-owned and therefore government-funded.

16 posted on 01/12/2011 3:22:40 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("Posting news feeds, making eyes bleed, he's hated on seven continents")
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To: markomalley

The article does not make clear whether all of the people seeking removal of their names from the Roman Catholic Church’s baptismal rolls are flatly rejecting Christianity, or, whether some of them are rather rejecting the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and joining another Christian church or organization.

The word “Apostasy” usually means abandonment of truth, but then the RCC considers many things to be “apostasy” that others of us Christians do not.

So, my question is, do the documents these people are signing state they they are totally rejecting Christianity, or do they simply no longer want to be associated with the RCC?

And WHY doesn’t the RCC just “blot out their names” according to their requests?


17 posted on 01/12/2011 3:31:20 PM PST by John Leland 1789 (Grateful.)
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To: John Leland 1789
The word “Apostasy” usually means abandonment of truth, but then the RCC considers many things to be “apostasy” that others of us Christians do not.

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Nobody should be using a definition other than the above for apostasy.

So, my question is, do the documents these people are signing state they they are totally rejecting Christianity, or do they simply no longer want to be associated with the RCC?

Well, another FReeper posted a couple of items yesterday on the subject. Msgr Pope cited a young man holding a document entitled Acte D’Apostasie A qui de droit. (Act of Renunciation (Apostasy) from the faith) It says apostasy, not schism.

There is a procedure called Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica (act of formal defection from the Catholic Church). That is probably what you are thinking of (the procedures are here). I would think that if a person simply wanted to defect, he would defect, rather than sign something totally repudiating Christianity.

In your Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, you have a couple of ex-Catholics, I'm sure. I'm confident that, if they really wanted to bother, they would have no problem going through the procedure to "defect" from the Catholic Church, but do you think that they would sign something that would even remotely imply that they were repudiating Christ?

Europe is hugely secular. Has been for decades and is worse and worse as times go on. Not just the Catholic areas, but the Protestant areas as well (at least the traditional Protestant sects, not sure what kind of inroads that the charismatics, JWs, etc. have made).

So this news, although sad, is hardly surprising...at least to me. It's a totally different climate than here.

18 posted on 01/12/2011 4:06:54 PM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley
"Nobody should be using a definition other than the above for apostasy."

Thank you for your very good reply. You have clarified a RCC definition, and you are most likely correct that given the European context, those people are surely renouncing Christianity in its entirety.

My own father repudiated any association with the RCC in 1974, having undergone a water ceremony (we utterly deny that such is Christian baptism) when an infant. He was born again in 1974 by faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.

He didn't bother with filing anything, but took much delight in witnessing to Catholic priests when they came to visit, and wrote many letters of testimony of his genuine conversion to Christ in 1974 to the area Catholic priests.

We don't care, really, what the Vatican would say about who should be using what definition, however. We don't allow Roman Catholicism to determine either history or etymology.

Further, it is interesting that the article begins with illustration from some old Camp Meeting songs originating in Appalachian camp meetings a hundred or more years ago. These are songs I am sure would never be heard sung in a Roman Catholic church. These are great songs of Bible-believing (yes, sola scriptura) Christians.

19 posted on 01/12/2011 4:33:14 PM PST by John Leland 1789 (Grateful.)
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To: John Leland 1789
These are songs I am sure would never be heard sung in a Roman Catholic church. These are great songs of Bible-believing (yes, sola scriptura) Christians.

I wish you were right.

Unfortunately, many modern Catholic hymnals have way, way, way too many modern Protestant (yes, sola scriptura) hymns in them.

Really a pity, since we have 1,950 years of a musical patrimony to draw upon. But traddies like myself are trying to bring back the old classics.

20 posted on 01/12/2011 4:44:18 PM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: John Leland 1789
BTW, as an example of that patrimony, you could take this one that dates from around the beginning of the fifth century (I've seen from around 417-418):

In Latin

In English

In Polish

In Chinese

21 posted on 01/12/2011 5:25:24 PM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley
"Unfortunately, many modern Catholic hymnals have way, way, way too many modern Protestant (yes, sola scriptura) hymns in them."

I would assume that some more modern Catholic hymnals would indeed have some Protestant standards in them; ones which would not have lyrics directly in contradiction to Vatican doctrines. And I am aware of some very old Catholic hymnody that has made its way into Protestant hymnals (or had been there since the 16th century anyway).

But the particular songs in illustration in the article are very little known by probably 95% of modern-day "Geneva" Protestants.

Exceptions would be some old-line Presbyterians which have a wilderness camp meeting heritage, and some old-line Wesleyan/Holiness folks which have a similar wilderness camp meeting heritage.

Appalachian Mountain Baptists (who would deny being "Protestant" in the Geneva sense, like us), who also have a camp meeting type heritage (like us), are quite familiar with those songs and 500 more like them.

Many hymnals used in Baptist churches, published by (not-necessarily Baptist) commercial publishing houses since WWII would contain three dozen or so (out of, say 500 titles) hymns of the Geneva Protestant variety.

What was called the old "Red Back Hymnal," Church Hymnal, originally published for the Church of God, Cleveland, TN, contains, overwhelmingly, songs from the camp meeting heritage, written between 1875 and 1940.

Most of those are quite uplifting and hopeful melodies with rich harmonies (almost "Barber Shop") written especially for acappella singing (seemingly a lost art in churches today). Quite perky, without employing worldly popular styles. Of course, they would concentrate on themes of heaven, the Lord's help in trials, testimony of knowing Christ, the Cross, and the Second Coming of Christ.

The titles mentioned are definitely in that hymnal.

22 posted on 01/12/2011 8:59:54 PM PST by John Leland 1789 (Grateful.)
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To: markomalley
"Unfortunately, many modern Catholic hymnals have way, way, way too many modern Protestant (yes, sola scriptura) hymns in them."

I would assume that some more modern Catholic hymnals would indeed have some Protestant standards in them; ones which would not have lyrics directly in contradiction to Vatican doctrines. And I am aware of some very old Catholic hymnody that has made its way into Protestant hymnals (or had been there since the 16th century anyway).

But the particular songs in illustration in the article are very little known by probably 95% of modern-day "Geneva" Protestants.

Exceptions would be some old-line Presbyterians which have a wilderness camp meeting heritage, and some old-line Wesleyan/Holiness folks which have a similar wilderness camp meeting heritage.

Appalachian Mountain Baptists (who would deny being "Protestant" in the Geneva sense, like us), who also have a camp meeting type heritage (like us), are quite familiar with those songs and 500 more like them.

Many hymnals used in Baptist churches, published by (not-necessarily Baptist) commercial publishing houses since WWII would contain three dozen or so (out of, say 500 titles) hymns of the Geneva Protestant variety.

What was called the old "Red Back Hymnal," Church Hymnal, originally published for the Church of God, Cleveland, TN, contains, overwhelmingly, songs from the camp meeting heritage, written between 1875 and 1940.

Most of those are quite uplifting and hopeful melodies with rich harmonies (almost "Barber Shop") written especially for acappella singing (seemingly a lost art in churches today). Quite perky, without employing worldly popular styles. Of course, they would concentrate on themes of heaven, the Lord's help in trials, testimony of knowing Christ, the Cross, and the Second Coming of Christ.

The titles mentioned are definitely in that hymnal.

23 posted on 01/12/2011 9:01:39 PM PST by John Leland 1789 (Grateful.)
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To: markomalley

My baptism has been rendered null and void since I converted to Judaism.


24 posted on 02/19/2012 5:50:21 PM PST by POWERSBOOTHEFAN (Future Meteorologist.)
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