Re: Tom Flynn’s delightful dilemma (Let My Person Go!), I too, contemplated the very same course of action, i.e., seeking excommunication from the Catholic Church, so badly did I want to be disassociated from this organization. Though I never went so far as to actually solicit excommunication from local church officials, I believe I have legitimately achieved the substantial equivalent of excommunication via another approach.
The approach I am referring to involves delegitimizing my association with, or membership in, the Catholic church from its inception. How, you ask? By asserting my belief in the self-evident truth that membership in a religious organization can only be achieved with the informed consent of the individual in question. And, since I was never informed sufficiently enough to grant my consent to becoming a member—I was an infant when I was baptized—I was never truly a member of the Catholic Church in the first place, all those church records notwithstanding.
Of course this approach asserts that the Catholic church is wholly unenlightened as to the self-evident nature of the truth I am avowing. In much the same way our founding fathers invoked self-evident truths in asserting their independence from the throne of England, so, too, can we former Catholics affirm our emancipation from the church by invoking similar self-evident truths.
The beauty of this solution is that no official act of excommunication is required because our membership in the church from the outset was never legitimate owing to the absence of our informed consent!
Now if I could only get back the years wasted on my unrelenting religious inculcation . . .
To my way of thinking, therefore, I never was an authentic member of the Catholic Church. What was visited upon me in my early life was child abuse in the form of perverse and illegitimate religious indoctrination. I categorically reject the notion that the brainwashing of children for the purpose of making them members of a church can, in any way, be considered an honorable - or legitimate - enterprise.
So to the Jesuit master who proclaimed that as long as he had the teaching of a child up to seven years of age or thereabouts his mind belonged to him for life, I have a message: No, it does not. There is always hope that reason will prevail even against the unrestrained forces of religious ideology.