Traditional method of dealing with apostates

The Roman Catholic Church in Spain has lost a year-long legal battle to prevent one of its members from formally deserting, opening the way for hundreds of potential apostates to leave.

The National Court ruled that the archdiocese of Valencia, in eastern Spain, should note in its baptismal records that Manel Blat González, a 41-year old union worker, had left the church. The decision was a symbolic blow to the church, which faces a dwindling flock and disenchantment among a once-devout people who see it as increasingly out of step with modern life.

Dwindling? Liberated is more like it.

Blat, who was baptized 40 years ago, sent several applications to the church to have his name expunged from baptismal records after he became disillusioned by what he saw as the church’s narrow attitudes. Blat, who is gay, said he was particularly angered by the church’s stance on same-sex marriage, which is legal in Spain. “I felt I was part of an organization that neither wanted nor respected people like me,” Blat said in a telephone interview. “The church doesn’t represent my values.”

It’s especially interesting that many institutions that blather about “values” really mean they hold allegiance to rules and strictures that science and society have been leaving behind for centuries. They can’t and won’t face reality – and updating those “values”.

  1. PUA says:

    Picking up a chick in a church is a lot easier than picking up one in a bar. Yes, a brave new world.

  2. Janky-o says:

    I don’t see why a church should prohibit somebody from leaving; it should actually be kicking people out!

    When they talk about values, I suppose they’re talking about God’s values, which don’t change. Science certainly can’t say anything about values, because they are metaphysical. And society? Do you really want to listen to that as an authoritative source?

  3. Angel H. Wong says:

    Should you ever do that in a Southern Baptist church you will expect attacks from their followers in the form of verbal abuse, pet poisoning, job harrassment and vandalism.

  4. JimR says:

    “…God’s values, which don’t change.”

    They did from the old to the new testament.

  5. Peter Rodwell says:

    #3: Fortunately, here in Spain people are both more civilised and more tolerant (apart from the church, obviously).

  6. AllenM says:

    #4 Read them again, you missed something.

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    I’m not sure I understand this.

    That the guy was Baptized is a fact. I find it hard to believe the Court could change a fact without any evidence that the plaintiff was actually being harmed in some way. It appears the guy doesn’t like the fact.

    It is understood the Church doesn’t speak for him. Well no more than I might speak for anyone else that wears a size 9 shoe. (Size 9 ½ would need another spokesperson anyway) Maybe he could also get his parents to stop remembering that they were the ones that had him Baptized 40 years ago.

    Now, if he was asking for the return of his tithes or offerings than I could better understand and support his cause.

  8. JimR says:

    #7, M Fusion, I thought that was odd also. What difference could that possibly make to anyone? I was baptized and I couldn’t care less how, where or why it’s recorded any more than the high five a classmate gave me when I was 6. In fact I prefer the high five. At least it had a cognizant and beneficial aspect to it.

  9. MikeN says:

    Sounds like its the court that is interfering with the church, and telling it what to do, not the other way around.

  10. JimR says:

    #6, Allen, I choose not to ignore or try to make unreasonable or ridiculous excuses for anything when reading the Bible. If you think I missed something, state it.

  11. bobbo says:

    10–Well, it must be that any supposed change or error or inconsistency in the bible is merely the limitation of man to understand gods infinite mystery. Now lets get on our knees and thank god he gave us this challenge to test our faith on.

  12. Floyd says:

    #11: I hope you were being a smart*ss.

    The bible was written by a bunch of people, not any divinity. There are serious inconsistencies between the new and old testaments. There are conflicts of opinion between, say, Jesus, Solomon, and Paul regarding sex (read the Song of Solomon and tell my why anyone would consider sex to be a bad thing).

    If you want to believe that God wrote the Bible, then that’s your personal opinion, but it just makes no sense.

  13. Gary Marks says:

    This case seems pretty ridiculous. González is using the court for no other purpose than to provide him with a platform for telling people why he left the Church. The court is properly used to provide substantive relief of some sort, but it’s hard to imagine that forcing the Church to make a notation in a relatively obscure record book could qualify as substantive.

    Notwithstanding, if any church publicly claimed me as a member, I’d sue their holy ass off for defamation of character, and that’s a case I could make 😉

  14. JimR says:

    Distain in Spain falls mainly on the gay-n.

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