Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The big visit with our bishop

Tonight was the night that we have been waiting for; our bishop called me up and asked if he could come by to visit. We knew exactly why he was calling; our letter had been forwarded to him and he wanted to meet with us about it. We were more than willing to have him come to our house; we really did not want to meet with him in the bishop’s office.

Our bishop is a really cool guy. He grew up as a Utah dairy farmer and he is very down to earth and friendly. His visit was actually very pleasant. We talked for a while about various normal things such as home improvements and living in the neighborhood. Blondie says that I talk too much, but I like to be friendly when people come to visit.

He eventually brought up the letter that we had sent in. He asked Blondie if she had copied it from the Internet. She confirmed that she had written the letter herself, using example letters from the Internet as a guide. I think he asked about this because we had hit all of the major points in the letter that are normally counseled upon and was probably surprised that we covered them all. He asked about the 30-day waiting period and we explained that we had already put a lot of thought into this and that this was not a knee-jerk reaction. We explained that another 30 days would not change our minds. He complimented us on taking our time with this and not rushing into it.

We explained that we have informed our families of where we stand with the church. They know that we do not believe. He acknowledged the fact that we indicated in our letter that we know of the ramifications of resigning. He made sure to say, “It will be as if you were never baptized and confirmed, never received the priesthood, and never married in the temple.” We responded letting him know that we were well aware of this.

I wanted to make sure that he knew that we were not offended with anyone in the ward and not upset with them in any way. He asked if he could inform the leaders of the ward about our resignation and we told him that would be fine. He also asked if we wanted any contact from the ward. We explained that we do not want home teachers or visiting teachers or primary activities, but if someone wants to visit with us as a friend or neighbor, we are perfectly fine with that. He said that he might come by and visit occasionally and we were fine with that.

Our visit ended very pleasantly, he told us that he would waive the 30-day waiting period and expedite our letter. We really could not have asked for a more calm and relaxed visit. Blondie and I are happy to know that this process is moving along and we will receive a confirmation letter from the church in the near future.

6 comments:

  1. I am glad that the meeting went so well. At some point I had read a jacked version of the Church Handbook and he was just following protocol saying the things that he was saying. The process is such a roller-coaster of emotions. Jeez you could have your Dodge letter in a week or two!

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  2. Glad it went well too!

    I'm working on getting myself to a point where I could handle such an interactions as civilly as you and Blondie. I'm getting there, but I think I still have some authority related issues.

    Congrats!

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  3. I'm glad that the meeting went well and that your exit is coming along smoothly. It sounds like your bishop respected both of you and treated you like mature adults. Keep us posted!

    For what it's worth, I'm an ex-Catholic turned agnostic. I submitted a declaration of defection to my diocese over a month ago, and have received no response. Ugh.

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  4. sweet, seeing as they refuse to excommunicate me, and they've effectively ignored M's letter I think (as the presiding authority in the home!!) it's time I wrote a letter! I was so stoked when our Bishop came round and served me my summons to a ward council stating that I "[...]had been reported to be found in apostasy[...]" and was to attend a disciplinary council to argue my case ... Maureen is sending off another letter soon ... better get my arse into gear.

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  5. Ahab, it's unlikely that you will receive any kind of letter from your diocese about your defection; the Catholic Church doesn't care. They usually don't keep tabs on members or ex-members.

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