Can I still become atheist after confirmation?

“An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in gods, not someone who’s gone through some kind of ritual or ceremony to “join” atheism.”

Question from Mandi:
I’m 12 and I’ve gone to a Catholic school for all of my school years. Ever since I was young I wondered if there really was a god. I never was really close to my parents and I don’t think I would be able to tell them that I want to become atheist. I was wondering if I could still become atheist after I receive confirmation?

Answer:
Yes.

An atheist is someone who doesn’t believe in gods, not someone who’s gone through some kind of ritual or ceremony to “join” atheism. Whether or not you’ve had the ceremony to officially become a Catholic is irrelevant. If afterwards you don’t actually believe in the Christian god or any other, you may be a Catholic for life in the eyes of the church but you’ll still be an atheist. Even if nobody knows but you.

SmartLX

3 thoughts on “Can I still become atheist after confirmation?”

  1. I should mention that I’m a confirmed Catholic myself. I had my confirmation ceremony at about age 11 (which is fairly early). I remember handing the priest a card with my chosen (now forgotten) saint’s name on it, and I remember the smell of the oil. Before that I had my first communion, and long before that I was baptised, so everything is in order. The Roman Catholic Church will use me as a headcount in its statistics until well after I’m dead.

    Nowadays, besides being an atheist I could be described as a “lapsed Catholic”, or a “cultural Catholic” in that I was raised in that tradition. Neither one means the same as just plain “Catholic”.

    1. Sounds like being a Catholic, to them, is about what you do and say and not about what you believe. So don’t bother about “atheist”; if you want to be honest with them just start with, “I don’t believe in God.” That will bypass the nomenclature and any stigma associated with it. There’ll still be a strong reaction, most likely, but they will at least engage with you on the central issue.

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