The Curia has refused a request to delete details of 23 people from its baptisimal and other records, Not In Our Name, the organisation founded to help baptized ex-Catholics dissociate themselves from the Church, said.

NION, which made its request to the Curia after these individuals legally empowered it to undertake this task on their behalf, said it will be informing the Data Protection Commissioner about the situation.

The Curia's reply refused to recognise NION as the legal representative of these individuals in this matter, and offered to instead annotate the baptisimal register only for the person acting on behalf of the others, the organisation said.

It said that this annotation would presumably indicate that the person in question left the Catholic Church.

"The Curia refused to delete the data using the argument that the data was processed according to law and that this information is used only relative to the administration of the Holy Sacraments, and is not disclosed to anyone except to the persons mentioned in the registration of the sacrament.

"NION wishes to express its disappointment with regards to such reply.

"By not recognising NION as an attorney, the Curia is creating unnecessary bureaucracy and inconvenience to discourage people who wish to take this step."

NION said it also disputed the fact that the data had been processed according to law, since, the individuals represented by it withdrew their consent from it being processed.

NION said that annotation of the baptisimal register could result in a black list of individuals, leaving them exposed to victimisation on religious grounds. It believes it is the right of these individuals to request the deletion of their personal data, especially when they do not trust the Church to administer the annotated data in their interest.

"NION thus wishes to announce that it will be approaching the Data Protection Commissioner with the intention of securing the rights of the individuals it represents and to ensure that the Church is not exempt from the rule of law."

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