MORE THAN 4,000 disillusioned Catholics have used an Irish website to resign from the Church.
The website, www.countmeout.ie, which went online in mid-July, allows people to download all the documents necessary to leave the Church.
Latest figures from the website shows that 4,250 people have included their names on the forms before downloading them.
More than a thousand people have downloaded the forms following the publication of the Murphy Report last week. More than 3,300 downloaded a declaration of defection just before the report into the Dublin Archdiocese was published.
According to the latest available census figures, there are 3.6 million Roman Catholics in the state.
The website asks people to fill in their names on the electronic version of the document before downloading it.
Catholics can download the documents to request their local bishop to have their baptismal certificate amended.
Website co-founder Paul Dunbar said the website was getting about 1,000 hits a day since the Murphy report was published.
“The way the Church is responding to the report is exacerbating their own problems and keeps bringing people to us,” he said.
Meanwhile, agencies providing support services for victims of abuse have been inundated with calls from survivors of sexual abuse seeking counselling and advocacy services in the aftermath of the Murphy report.
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, Faoiseamh the Health Service Executive and One in Four have worked together to provide a coordinated response to survivors.
Rape Crisis Centre chief executive, Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, said they had received around 560 calls since the report was published, more than two and a half times what they would normally expect.
The HSE’s help desk experienced a 300% increase in calls.
Faoiseamh, which provides a support service for people who have been abused by priests or the religious orders, received 573 calls, while One in Four got 397.
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