Father Stott, at the Bishops House, asked me to put my request for a formal act of defection in writing, for it to be entered into the public record. Here’s what I am sending him this afternoon, with personal details omitted.
EDIT: March 21, 2009, 10:35 PM. The first draft of this letter failed to address my concerns over Knights of Columbus donations to Yes on Proposition 8 and didn’t take into account the Church’s reply to the accusation of carelessness in the Pope’s message on condom use. I’ve amended the letter as follows and will send this version of the letter first post Monday morning. Thanks to everyone who has contacted me via reddit and email with messages of support.
Dear Father Stott,
Further to our telephone conversation March 18, 2009, on my seeking advice on how I might have a formal act of defection entered into the public record, here are my details, as requested.
I was born on the xx/xx/xxxx, at North Tees Hospital. I was baptised by Father Hussy, at Saint Patrick’s Church, Fairfield, Stockton On Tees, on x/xx/xxxx and for the first 14 years of my life, through first confession, first communion and confirmation, I believed everything my parents, the church and my teachers told me about the Catholic faith, attending mass and confession every week.
You asked that I give an explanation of my decision to leave the chruch. One is almost tempted to recall the Americanism, if you have to ask, you’ll never know. But my protest is not a frivolous matter. On the contrary, I take the decision very seriously indeed and although I’m sure you will be grateful if I refrain from a lengthy statement, nonetheless I would appreciate a moment of your time to cover some of the primary reasons I am seeking this clarification.
Firstly, I can no longer quiet my moral objections to certain Vatican policies. This extends from matters raised in the investigative works of David Yallop, in his books ‘In God’s Name’ and ‘The Power and the Glory’ up to recent statements which have been made by Pope Benedict XVI, such as his holiness’s refusal to acknowledge matters of basic scientific fact concerning the preventative spread of HIV AIDS, through condom use. The Catholic church is in a unique position to educate and prevent the spread of this disease, but instead chooses to make it 10 times worse on the fundamentally flawed assumption that without the temptation of protected sex, the destitute underclass will opt for bronze-age fallacies and chastity. This is something which I find morally repugnant, that in any other reality would see those responsible for this policy permanently removed from office—if not exposed to criminal proceedings. That we are instructed instead to view these comments with reverence, simply because of who uttered them, is perhaps the single best explanation of why church attendance figures are in decline one could wish to find.
The Pope has also made illogical pronouncements on greed and corruption, whilst sitting atop a throne made of gold and precious stones. He has called the unearthing of a secret Vatican policy of over 40 years standing, which was designed to protect pedophiles in the priesthood while silencing their victims, “a media exaggeration”. He has failed to punish Holocaust deniers in the Bishopric while excommunicating the mother of a nine year old rape victim who became pregnant by her own step father, who himself remained free to attend mass. He has an attitude from the dark ages towards people who are genetically predetermined to be attracted to members of their own sex. He has turned a blind eye to Knights of Columbus donations to political campaigns in the hundreds of millions of dollars while in the poorest countries of the world denouncing liberation theology, welcoming money lenders back into the temple to literally pontificate on the very opposite of humility and sacrifice contained in the teachings of Christ.
But more than all of this, Father Stott, I tend to agree with Agnesë Mother Teresa Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, when she said, “I no longer feel God’s presence, even in the Eucharist”, because to my mind, it is a simple matter of deductive logic that there is no such omnipotent being as God, least of all the petulant sadist worshipped by those of my former faith from which I now seek final and public excommunication.
If, anywhere in the ever expanding universe, there were such a being as that which you describe in Yahweh, I find it unlikely that He would allow the things which take place in His name to continue, were he capable of intervening to prevent them. Since, for the last 13.7 billion years, God has failed to do this, one can only conclude that He is incapable of such an act, in which case He is not the benevolent God of the good book we are dogmatically told by those in your profession He is, while failing to present the slightest shred of evidence to back-up one deluded axiom after another, spanning centuries of war, hate, oppression and greed in defence of this intolerant and shrivelling credo.
For these reasons and myriad others, which I am almost certain you are equally uninterested in hearing about as you are those above, I hereby formally request that I am no longer, as a matter of public record, to be considered a Catholic. I would be grateful for written confirmation of this request as and when you are able to provide it.
Look on the bright side, father. You lose me, you gain Tony Blair.
“What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others” – Confucius, 500 BC