Reuters is reporting some good news: in the Netherlands, you can go to a web site that will help turn Catholics into ex-Catholics, and the Church’s anti-gay stance is driving traffic to the site.
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.
Roes says he was inspired to set up the web site by the Church’s notorious double standard.
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.
Child sexual abuse, you see, is no big deal to the Church, and certainly isn’t anything you’d band together with other religions to combat. Two people falling in love the “wrong” way, though, and enjoying a happy, healthy, committed relationship—that’s got to go. Or else the Church does.
Here’s to Tom Roes, and may his web site be increasingly successful in helping people choose the latter option.