Roman Catholic Christenings without the Child’s Consent, my thoughts

I have been invited to a relative’s Roman Catholic Christening as the ‘aunt’ in Kent.

The father is an athiest but the mother is a Roman Catholic. The baby is being forced to be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. The athiest father is reluctant for the child to be brought up as a Christian, but in order ‘to keep the peace’ with his wife and her traditional Roman Catholic parents, and Church pressure, he feels he has to. How many athiests get to lose this deal?

As a close relative of the child, we ourselves can make a stand against forced religion (and also circumcision and forced genital mutilation), while we are at it).

For example, we can show our presence, as ‘a gap’, by not attending the Christening, though this may or may not risk cultural problems in the family. There will, of course, be photos of the day, and the child may ask questions years later, as to why the aunt is missing, and that is a ‘good thing’. My other relatives will only be there because ‘it is their duty’. They are not Roman Catholic but Church of England, and generally only turn up for events like weddings and funerals (mostly funerals), a bit like Prince William.

Many of us were brought up in forced religion. I was literally forced to go to church and faith schools against my will and sometimes being spiritually abused for my differing beliefs, feel that children should choose their own religion, and that’s if they want one or not. I am a ‘Survivor’ of a family who rammed Christianity down my neck, well, my mother mostly. We even had services in my home. My father was an athiest.

The child is being made to support a religion, just because one or two parents support it, and this is wrong. In some families, people have different religions anyway, so how is it that sometimes the whole household has to ‘support’ one religion at least, for sixteen years?

Furthermore, finding Roman Catholic godparents is also a challenge these days too. And few of them, if found, are nothing more than present and W H Smith voucher givers and often don’t even see the child anyway. Priests don’t seem to be bothered that the child has no consent, this is also wrong. They want money for their church and robes. And the Church the child will be christened, has experienced sexual abuse and one of the Priests is in jail!

I for one will be turning down the invitation, but ‘graciously’ and I will state that I believe that children should decide for themselves, which is perfectly reasonable. I am tempted to even go to the Catholic Church and voice my objection, and have it written in the notes. As an Aunt, I will make it clear that I fought for my nephew’s rights to choose.

De-baptism Links

UPDATE: I had a chat with a retail assistant in London the other day, and he said he was a lapsed Catholic. He said he was forced to attend Church so he wuld go to Catholic schools. His father was also athiest and his mother, was Roman Catholic. He knew very young that he was not Catholic.


Christening and Naming Ceremony?Think of the Child

I think being ‘forced’ to be raised as a Christian or any other faith is wrong. I like the idea of ‘naming ceremonies’ so the child can choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. I would respect the child’s wishes.

One of my relatives is a Catholic and already, the baby is going to have a christening because ‘it is tradition’. This totally disrespects his own future beliefs. I would actually say that the Christian faith is so dominant, that even the atheist father has ‘no say’ either. I would add that he is not too happy either, but ‘is going along’ to keep the peace.

The baby has godparents too, but they appear to be Church of England and not Churchgoers, unless, of course, there is a wedding, christening and funeral.I don’t think they could even find Catholics!

I am not attending the Christening as it is a religious ceremony and it goes against my own values, but I am getting them a nice present which has no religious meaning, but is thoughtful. The parents are ok about that, as ‘they know what I am like’. Going would also be ‘feeding this culture’ of forced religion.

I was brought up in an atheist and Christian household. I was lucky to have one atheist in my family rather than two true believer Christians. However, I was very much ‘verbally, physically and spiritually abused’ if I did not go to Sunday School by one parent. I was forced to go to a Christian school, one being a Convent too. I had no say. I was an atheist throughout my whole life and remember saying so in childhood.

When the nuns asked me if I would like to be confirmed, I said ‘No’. This gave me a feeling of triumph. I was well aware they had previously used the cane too and I have seen abuse in the Convent by some teachers. They had lower values to me. I have other experiences of the faith too, mostly negative. However, I thought that was the first time I was heard, and that was actually in a bloody Convent. I did have a lot of respect for some sisters, like Sister Bernadette, but not for the other ones. She used to show us secret war-time tunnels in the Convent Chapel, and I loved that, but not her religion, although I thought some rituals were ‘cool’.

Choosing to be follow a religion, should not be taken lightly, particularly with Catholicism, with its outdated rules, and also as so many priests have abused children. This is now a worry to me as a friend was abused by someone in the Church of England. He hasn’t gone to the police yet though. I will have to keep an eye on the child’s safety, from a distance.

Come on parents, let the child choose whether it wants to follow a religion or not. Give them a Naming Ceremony. Otherwise it is a form of abuse, and the child won’t have respect for you.