People who have been intellectually and/or emotionally abused by the various forms of Christianity often feel as though they are somewhat “dirty”, as if they need a good spiritual wash. Former Roman Catholics can achieve this cleansing by completing the “Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica”, which is essentially a formal declaration of having left the Catholic church. Some sources on the internet say it is no longer accepted by the Church, but Australian Odinists who have used it recently have been formally acknowledged. It is a logical first step for any former Catholic (although there’s no such formal procedure with most Protestant churches) and so a sample “Actus Formalis” is given below.
After that the next stage would be to discuss Odinism for a while with a mentor (we recommend at least six months), and when absolutely certain that it is the right thing to do, to become Professed. You can be Professed by anyone who has himself or herself been Professed. Because of the size of the Australian continent, and the limited number of Professed Odinists, that may not be convenient. You can therefore make an act of self-Profession directly to the deities. (If that doesn’t seem quite enough because there’s no social aspect, you can always treat self-Profession as provisional, until a later Profession by a fellow-Odinist becomes possible.) For further information on Profession, contact this site.
What follows is a recent exchange of emails between an Australian Odinist and representatives of his former Roman Catholic church. All the identifying details have been substituted with fictitious names for privacy reasons. Any Odinists who were formerly Catholics can use this as a template should they wish.
Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica
Original Message to the local parish priest and to the Vatican:
I, John Thomas Atkins, formally and completely renounce forever my catholic faith and belief in your alien ideology.
As a servant of our ancestral Gods I feel it important that I lead by example in this matter — so that those of my faith and kindred realize that this is an important step in their returning home to the ways of our ancestors — and restoring the sacred bond between our people and our Gods.
It is my understanding that for a true act of Actus Formalis Defectionis ab Ecclesia to be officially recognized it must be seen that there is:
a) the internal decision to leave the Catholic Church;
b) the realization and external manifestation of that decision; and
c) the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.
I believe that this email communication constitutes more than sufficient prima facie evidence for both “a” and “b” — and that “c” is now achieved by my having sent this communication to the official email address of the Basilica of Saint Peter Outside the Walls which is a part of the Vatican and is officially able to receive this communication — and by my cc’ing of this communication to the catholic archdiocese of Canberra.
To ensure the expedient recognition and processing of my formal renunciation of catholic faith I provide the following information:
I was baptised in the Archdiocese of Brisbane (Queensland) and my Certificate of Baptism certifies that:
“John Thomas Atkins, child of George and Elizabeth Atkins nee Smith, was born on 20th September, 1960, was baptised in the Mercy Maternity Hospital Brisbane, 21st September 1960 by the Reverend Oliver Plunkett, ceremonies supplied in St. Dionysus Parish, 1st of April, 1961, by Edward Kelly OSM.
“Sponsors: Terence Patrick Murphy and Mary Magdalen Nolan.
“Signed and sealed and dated 21st September, 1961, by Edward Kelly, OSM, PP.”
The above information is provided for your convenience.
In the names of Odin, Baldur, Thor and Freyja!
Hail our Gods! Hail our Folk! Odin Hail!
I would appreciate your official response to this email.
John Thomas Atkins
Reply from the priest:
Your Actus Formalis Defectionis Ab Ecclesia has been duly noted and recorded and the necessary notations have been entered into the Baptismal register as requested. If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me. My Number is 1234 5678.
Yours in Peace,
Fr Sean Killarney O.S.M.
St Dionysus Roman Catholic Parish