Skip to comments.Frenchman, 71, Takes Catholic Church to Court After it Refuses to Nullify His Baptism
Posted on 01/31/2012 6:49:05 AM PST by marshmallow
An elderly French man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.
Rene LeBouvier, 71, has taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism after losing his faith in the religion.
Though he was raised in a community where Catholicism dominated every walk of life, Rene changed his views in the 1970s after spending time with 'free thinkers'.
As he didn't believe in God anymore, the pensioner thought it would be more honest to leave the church and wrote to his diocese and asked to be un-baptised in 2000.
Ten years later, LeBouvier wanted to go further.
Paedophile scandals and the pope preaching against condoms in AIDS-racked Africa, helped strengthen LeBouvier's opposition to the religion.
He called the pope's position on Africa "criminal."
Again, he asked the church to strike him from baptism records, but when the priest told him it wasn't possible, he took the church to court.
French law states that citizens have the right to leave organisations if they wish and, last October, a judge in Normandy ruled in his favour.
However, the diocese has since appealed and the case is pending.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
does that even exist?
I’d say he has already nullified it himself through his beliefs and actions. It’s not something the church can do.
I agree. His baptism was probably nullified along time ago(if you are arminian) or was never valid to begin with(if you’re calvanist) :-)
Don’t worry, Rene. At age 71, you will soon find that God has nullified your membership in the Holy Christian Church, the one visible only to God. That is the church membership that counts.
Baptism is permanent. Sin CAN be eliminated...and/or it CAN be MORTAL.
If he doesn’t believe in God why would he need to uncheck this box? Sounds more like he has a vendetta.
A ‘free thinker’ that wants his Baptism nullified...lol. You can’t make this stuff up.
If you want to leave, leave ... but you have no right to erase history.
This is hilarious. The Church can not nullify Baptism. When its done, it’s done. She may ex-communicate. But there is no such thing as nullifying baptism. Moreover, Baptism is not even a Catholic-only doctrine. The Church will accept the baptisms of other denominations, as long as they believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. There’s no way to undo it.
I suppose as a freethinker, he doesn't acknowledge the existence of anything he can't see -- i.e. spiritual matters.
But baptism is not a legal matter that can be undone by the courts, as he seeks to do. It is a spiritual mark, with a permanent effect on the soul. It is indelible, as indelible as priestly ordination.
And expunging the record of it is counterproductive. Suppose at age 75 or 80 he changes his mind -- he cannot be rebaptized because it is indelible and permanent, and then there would be no record of it, so . . . .
All he is doing is trying to tamper with the recordkeeping.
exactly. Doesn't his complaint sort of validate what he's trying to nullify? It's like, "God, I know you dont exist!"
Yeah, he’s probably mad at God because it isn’t a Utopian world. Don’t we all wish we could undo some things but reality is reality and if it happened who but God can take it back? He can renounce it, wish it didn’t happen, call his parents and the church all kinds of names but what’s done is done.
Precisely. He is mad at God.
I once let a girl do my astrology horoscope, but I don't spend my days trying to go back in time 30 years and have it undone.
If he does not want to be listed as a baptized Catholic why should the diocese insist on keeping his name on the records?
This guy is stupid. You can divorce your spouse, but you cannot erase the fact that you “married” officially on a given date. One can leave a church/denomination but the same cannot erase the fact that you were baptized on a given date in the past.
Annullments to a marraige can be granted within a short period of time and thus “undue” a marriage, but even here, one was still married on a given date as a historical fact. You can’t just “erase” the fact that it occured.
The baptism happened. If he doesn’t want to be Christian anymore, fine. But that doesn’t mean the baptism didn’t happen.
It is an historical record. Should also the government be forced to delete a record of birth? Should a hotel be forced to delete names from their register as if the persons never stayed there?
This is Orwellian.
That is true but not at all relevant to what I asked so I’ll say again,
Why should the diocese insist? Even when they lost at court?
I guess baptism leaving an “indelible mark” on your soul means nothing to him.
Because the diocese shouldn’t have to play let’s pretend games. Unless they’re more fun let’s pretend games at least
I can do it from here. Uh, you’re unbaptized. There you go Frenchie.
I guess that particular denomination looks at membership the same way the Bloods and Crips do.
Once you’re a member, you’re ALWAYS a member. No outs.
Makes you wonder, no? Insisting on humans nullifying something you’ve stated by your actions is a nullity. Sort of, “Hey, God! I don’t believe in You! Now let me go!”.
The man is asking that he no longer be on record as a baptized Catholic (as is his right for his own reasons) so what’s with the “pretend” comment?
He won at court, he has a right to sever any connections with a particular group and the diocese is insisting no.
Seems pretty straight forward, now doesn’t it?
Europe is going broke, but the French Courts apparently have the time to entertain this nitwit. The extent to which the legal profession will debase itself is amazing. In a sane world the judge would have told him: “go away, the adults have serious matters to consider.”
No one has said he sever ties to any group here.
Well no one said “he sever ties to any group here” because it makes no grammatical sense. However, it’s more germane to add that no one said that the man can’t sever ties with whatever group he wants.
I thought it had to be a Trinitarian baptism. Modalists need not apply.
It really demonstrates how angry and hurt he was and is. There's no remedy for him in this world. He's made his choice. Only God can help and mend him.
Isn't that why Catholics don't want Mormons claiming dead Catholics have been baptized into the Mormon church?
Being baptized a Christian doesn’t make you a lifelong anything.
Beginning to sound that way.
This man can be, and I am sure already has been, removed from the parishioner roll. To insist that he be removed from the baptismal record is to foolishly attempt to rewrite history through court order. He was baptized, and no judge can change that without a time machine.
I hope all the people who say they were baptized and formerly Catholics read this thread.
They are still Catholics — you don’t undo a baptism by your own will.
It is a church matter, not a civil matter, since a person is baptism “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
That mark of a Catholic baptism is always with someone and they will have to account for their doings throughout life at the moment of their death.
Not all baptisms in my understanding.
No, he is asking to have his Baptism nullified. There is no process to accomplish this in the Church. A Baptism is an act—once a Baptism is performed, it cannot be unperformed. It is an historic fact.
It can be renounced by an individual, and there was until recently a process to do that, Formal act of defection from the Catholic Church.
I don't see how a governmental agency can require a religious organization to create a new judicial process, let alone falsify a record.
Then why not strike the fellow’s name? Put an X beside it and a note...what’s the big deal if he doesn’t want to be listed as a baptized Catholic anymore?
I wonder if France needs more atheist Catholics or what the reason is that his name can’t be removed or at least noted as no longer Catholic.
Because it would be a lie.
Is that clear enough?
"Want" is irrelevant to the discussion.
On a certain day and at a certain hour, water was poured over him and certain words were said.
The Church record attests to that fact. Nothing will ever change that fact.
I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in this issue. If the record of a baptism could be struck from the record, then why not a marriage? That would be nice wouldn't it?
"Your Honor, I want the Church to formally erase the record of my marriage!"
Uh-huh..........like that's going to happen.
some sort of mental disorder probably, happens to most leftists
Because he will always be Baptized. It cannot be undone. He can renounce his Church affiliation, be non-practicing, excommunicated, whatever, but he was Baptized and the only way to undo that is to travel back in time.
Striking the man's name would be no more falsifying records than a marriage annulment.
“I don't see how a governmental agency can require a religious organization to create a new judicial process, let alone falsify a record.”
There is no suggestion that either was asked of the diocese.
There are probably a lot of people who wish to have their votes for Obama changed but it can’t happen. I guess they could always have a big red X tattoo’d on their forehead so as to warn others how stupid they were though.
AT least it would be of some use to society that way
One more time.
There is no process to nullify a Baptism.
By its very nature, a Baptism cannot be nullified. It is an un-nullifiable event.
Baptism is forever. That is why the Church recognizes valid baptisms from other Christian denominations, and does not re-baptize converts who have been validly baptized.
The Church will not, can not change Her beliefs concerning the eternal nature of Baptism to accommodate an individual or comply with a governmental mandate.
You wanna quit, quit. But you will always have been baptized and the Church does not posses the authority to change that.
“Your Honor, I want the Church to formally erase the record of my marriage!”
It more appears to be,
“Your Honor, I want the Church to formally stop listing me as a married Catholic, particularly since I'm neither!”
Incorrect. Proper form and matter are required for the baptism to be valid.
“Once a Catholic always a Catholic
Written by Fr. Randall Weber
Thursday, 25 June 2009 13:32
“Once a Catholic always a Catholic” is a common saying among Catholics. Is it true that once a person is baptized into the Catholic Church or received into it, he or she is always a Catholic? Speaking from a strictly canonical
point of view, the answer is yes. As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, anyone who has ever been a legitimate member of the Catholic Church can never truly leave. Oh, he or she can become a non-practicing Catholic, a “bad” Catholic, or even an excommunicated Catholic, but never a non-Catholic or an ex-Catholic.” (see salinadiocese.org/vicar for the entire comment)
Going to the heart of matter, it's all about surrendering a claim on the individual. One can cease being a Christian but never cease being a Catholic.
That’t true, you’re both right. I was speaking very generally to avoid going into details (which I would have had to look up.) When I was Confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church, my Episcopal Baptism was accepted as valid. Course, I was able to get the documentation from the church where it took place.
In America, if he votes Democrat, then many here will swear up and down that he is no longer a Catholic.
Evidently, to some Catholics, voting against the party they voted for, removes you from the rolls, maybe this guy should move to the United States, and vote for Obama.
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