Make your vote count

Exactly. If only more people realized this.

It’s a question of integrity. If I don’t agree with some of the church’s most central teachings that rule out – on a spectrum from abomination to sinful – contraception, abortion, sex before marriage, homosexual sex, divorce and women priests, then I really shouldn’t be a member.

Quite right, not least because your membership does its bit to endorse those central teachings. Membership is a kind of vote – passive, but nonetheless countable. If you think some of the church’s most central teachings are reactionary and hostile to women, then quite right, you shouldn’t cast your vote for them.

I haven’t practised since I made my Confirmation, yet my name is still on the membership register, the baptismal roll. The church can count on my apparent allegiance when quoting membership statistics to bolster its authority. It does so routinely when opposing legislative change. In Australia a quarter of the population identifies as Catholic, although only 15 per cent of that quarter attend Mass regularly. In Ireland about 43 per cent of the total population are churchgoers, with about 90 per cent of residents identifying as Catholic. Now, after the clerical child abuse scandals, I’ve had enough. Way too much. I want out.

Quite right. See if you can get Madeleine Bunting to go with you.

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