A French man is suing the Catholic Church with a demand that his name be stricken from their baptismal records. The church has refused, fearing a national wave of such demands.
LeBouvier grew up in that world and says his mother once hoped he’d become a priest. But his views began to change in the 1970s, when he was introduced to free thinkers. As he didn’t believe in God anymore, he thought it would be more honest to leave the church. So he wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptized. “They sent me a copy of my records, and in the margins next to my name, they wrote that I had chosen to leave the church,” he says. That was in the year 2000. A decade later, LeBouvier wanted to go further. In between were the pedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, a position that LeBouvier calls “criminal.” Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptismal records. When the priest told him it wasn’t possible, he took the church to court. Last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favor. The diocese has since appealed, and the case is pending.
Back in 2009 I blogged about a similar battle in Britain, where the Church of England refuses debaptismal requests because “you can’t remove something from the record that actually happened.” (Tipped by JMG reader Don)