We’ve heard of parishioners getting up in arms over their church’s position on same-sex marriage, but this is the first time we’ve heard the flock is angry their shepherd is against gay nuptials.
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 tells Reuters.
Public sentiment in the Netherlands has turned against the Vatican in recent years, not only for its hard line against the LGBT community, but for remaining silent on rampant sex abuse: In 2011, an independent commission reported on tens of thousands of child sexual-abuse victims in Holland since the end of WWII.
Nearly a third of Holland’s population is Catholic, but about 44% don’t classify themselves as any religious denomination.