December 14, 2015

In this piece, I am actively trying to get excommunicated or removed from the Catholic Church. It seems like  numbers game to them, they do not really have a system for people to leave the church, they say that simply saying you are no longer a Catholic is enough, but this doesn’t actually seem to be the case. They make no note or record of the interaction. So I have requested to be excommunicated, even though this only seems to be a symbolic gesture in which you are no longer allowed to receive the “holy” sacraments.


My correspondence will be in bold.


I have thought long and hard about wanting to be removed from the roles of the Catholic Church, and wish to be excommunicated. I was baptized here in Ottawa, did my first communion and confirmation at the church behind St. Matthew’s High School and when there was the mega-confirmation at the then named Corel Center.

I call for this apostasy to be formally recognized and would like to know what steps I need to take to do so. I have spoken out against the church, its policies, and my experiences with it.

I know what this means and do so of sound mind and conscience. I am not Catholic and do not think that it is right to be aligned so with the association of my name on the rolls of the Catholic Church.

Please let me know if there are any steps or things I can do to speed the process along.

Thank you for your time,

Pierre Richardson


Dear Mr. Richardson,

Archbishop Prendergast has received your email and has asked me to respond on his behalf. He is very sorry to hear that you do not wish to be considered Roman Catholic but he respects your decision to no longer affiliate yourself with the Roman Catholic faith.

If you wish to send a written notification by mail to the address below stating your decision not to be identified as a Roman Catholic, we will record your wishes. If you could include where and when you were baptized that would be helpful in recording your wishes.

I am sorry to hear that you feel called to take this decision. I will pray for you and your faith journey.

Yours sincerely,

Reverend Geoffrey Kerslake


Dear Reverend Geoffrey Kerslake

Is it possible for my to not only be not considered Roman Catholic and have my wishes recorded, but to be excised from the church altogether? I would like a letter stating that I have been excommunicated from the church in full.

I will draw up the letter, I just need to know that my wishes will be acted upon thoroughly. 
Pierre Richardson
Dear Mr. Richardson,

I will send your request to the Chancery which looks after all the records for the Church.

I am not sure that we will in fact provide you with your request for an excommunication. I will leave that aspect to the Chancery to determine the proper procedure. I suspect they will want to know why you wish this to take place? It is a very unusual request – the first of its kind in my experience.

Your desire to leave the Church has been noted but we are not ‘throwing you out’. Your expressed desire not to considered Catholic is sufficient.

Yours sincerely,

Fr. Geoff K

Hi Geoff,
It isn’t a matter of being “thrown out”, that would have to mean I ever had a choice to join. Being baptized, shortly after being born, didn’t allow me to make a conscious decision. Being confirmed at the age of 12, I didn’t have the choice, it was placed upon me. 
I am an atheist. It isn’t a matter of simply not wanting o be considered Catholic in my own eyes, but I need it to be recognized by the church as so. Otherwise I’m still counted as part of the 1.2 billion. Undoing religion is my choice, not yours or your god. 
Piere Richardson

Dear Mr. Richardson,

Thank you for your reply and explanation. I appreciate you explaining the reason for your request – it was helpful to me to understand the nature of your request.

I have forwarded your message onto the Chancery for follow up. I wish you a pleasant remainder of the week.

Yours sincerely,

Reverend Geoffrey Kerslake

Hello Reverend Geoffrey,
Have you heard back from the Chancery yet?
Pierre Richardson

Dear Pierre,

I was instructed that they would be in contact with now directly; I know they are a little swamped right now, but I did discuss your request with them so that are aware of it. It may a little while to get a response, but it is in process. We don’t have a large staff and so it can take a while to handle some requests.

Thank you for your patience.

Yours sincerely,

Fr. Geoff K


And then…

Good afternoon Mr. Richardson,

Your contact information was passed on to me by Fr. Geoffrey Kerslake. I understand that you no longer wish to be considered Catholic. To facilitate this request, we require the following documents:

1)      A recent copy of your baptismal certificate. It can be obtained from the parish where you were baptised.

2)      A signed and witnessed letter indicating your request and the reasons for it.

The above documents can be mailed to the address below.

Thomas Moloney
Diocesan Centre
1247 Kilborn Place
Ottawa, ON
K1H 6K9

Once we receive these items, we will prepare the necessary paperwork and contact you to set an appointment to complete the process. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Thomas Moloney, JCL
Archdiocese of Ottawa/Archidiocèse d’Ottawa
613-738-5025 ext.218


So I wrote a letter.


To whom it may concern,

I was never given the option to choose my own personal beliefs when I was born. Those have evolved over my 31 years on the earth. I do not agree with the views of your church, and thusly I would like to leave it, officially on paper, to be removed from any paperwork, and any lists that I may be on because of my previous affiliations, in one word defection.

I do not believe in god, and I know that I am a person of outstanding moral character, and know that religion had no impact on the formation of those footings. I know that this is a hard thing for the church to accept, and in recent years has been trying to figure out ways to make it difficult for people to leave, to excise themselves from their unwanted association, as this process has already taken months of back and forth with it.

Please let me know when we can meet to finalize this.

Thank you,

Pierre Richardson

And that is where it stands, we will see how it goes from here on out…