Church Resignation Letter


Last month, I officially resigned from the Roman Catholic Church. I haven’t been to church in several years, and I no longer follow Catholicism or Christianity (not that I really believed it to begin with). However, the Catholic church has an odd policy regarding who they consider a Catholic. If you’ve been baptized in a Catholic church, as I was, the church counts you as a member for life even if you stop attending. The only way to have this reversed is to formally defect, notifying the bishop of your local diocese that you’ve left the church. After yet another preposterous moral pronouncement from the pope, I decided to do just that:

The bishop did respond several weeks later:

Mr. ——–, with regret I will comply with your request and have your declaration noted in your baptismal record at ——– Church and a copy of your statement kept with this baptismal register. I trust you have made this declaration freely, without coercion of any kind, and clearly understand that leaving the Catholic Church makes you ineligible to receive the sacraments and that you will no longer be entitled to a Catholic burial. Since baptism is an action of Christ himself, no one can undo that; but officially you have left the Church.

(via J-Walk)

I had never given this much thought before and never even knew it to be an option. I think it’s time to send my old diocese a letter.


  1. When I read this, I was thinking the same thing… maybe it is time to write my own letter.

    But then I thought, why do I have to actively resign from an organization I had nothing to do with to be part of? My 2-week old self (or however old I was) did not look into my parents eyes and ask to be baptized. I did attend church until approximately age 8 because my father said to, but nowhere was there any conscious decision on my part that this was what I *wanted* to do. Same for first communion – I did it because that’s what Dad said to do. I followed the priest’s instructions, came up with a few “sins” (“I told my mother a lie”, “I got home late”, yada yada yada), said my 3 hail mary’s and 4 rosaries, but nothing of my own desire.

    The only thing that still tempts me is to distance myself from that pedophilia-enabling organization (knock-wood I was never an altar boy)…

  2. Have you guys seen this?
    There is a website in finland where you can resign from religion. Now wouldnt it be cool if there could be a worldwide point where people could resign from their religion easily – which automatically updates the religion of their resignation on their behalf and lets them know the core reason why they decided to leave.
    And then display all those stats of the people who left and why they left in an ever updating graph…

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