Website helps Dutch Catholics "de-baptize" over gay marriage

AMSTERDAM Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:00pm EST

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest at its opposition to gay marriage, according to the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information.

Tom Roes, whose website allows people to download the documents needed to leave the church, said traffic on ontdopen.nl - "de-baptise.nl" - had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict's latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

"Of course it's not possible to be 'de-baptized' because a baptism is an event, but this way people can unsubscribe or de-register themselves as Catholics," Roes told Reuters.

He said he did not know how many visitors to the site actually go ahead and leave the church.

About 28 percent of the population in the Netherlands is Catholic and 18 percent is Protestant, while a much larger proportion - roughly 44 percent - is not religious, according to official statistics.

The country is famous for its liberal attitudes, for example to drugs and prostitution, and in April 2001 it was the first in the world to legalize same-sex marriages.

In a Christmas address to Vatican officials, the pope signaled the he was ready to forge alliances with other religions against gay marriage, saying the family was threatened "to its foundations" by attempts to change its "true structure".

Roes, a television director, said he left the church and set up his website partly because he was angry about the way the church downplayed or covered-up sexual abuse in Catholic orphanages, boarding schools and seminaries.

A report by an independent commission published a year ago said there had been tens of thousands of victims of child sexual abuse in the Netherlands since 1945 and criticized the church's culture of silence.

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Comments (13)
Mikanojo wrote:
The Catholic church literally hides the practitioners of child molestation within their own ranks, providing them with sanctuary and safety from prosecution for the crimes they commit – while at the same time attempting to condemn homosexual people for openly loving each other enough to seek the commitment and sacred bond of holy matrimony.

Any one who thinks the holy Bible declares homosexuality a sin has not read their Bible enough and has swallowed a dogmatic church lie.

Homosexuality is only one of the many abomination laws of Moses that Christ fulfilled and ENDED on the cross for all of us, He saves us FROM the law, the law that the Pope tries to resurrect, in defiance of Christ and His gift of salvation. The Pope resurrects dead laws of Moses to condemn others, but covers up (lies of omission) about criminal sexual abuse acts within the clergy – Does the Pope not remember “Thou shalt not lie”?

Hypocrisy is standard practice now for the Roman Catholic church and has been for many years. Homosexuality WAS an abomination, according to Moses – lying IS a sin according to God.

Dec 27, 2012 12:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tkboxer wrote:
Why is this on Reuters U.S. edition?

Dec 27, 2012 2:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Lohengrin wrote:
The only information needed here: Seek out another church. There are plenty of churches that aren’t focused on homosexuality and meddling in politics of other countries.

Dec 27, 2012 3:24pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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