A service offering Irish Catholics assistance from renouncing their membership of the Catholic church has been suspended.

CountMeOut.ie had been offering Irish Catholics a “simple 3-step process” in defecting from the Catholic church. Since their website went live in July 2009 there have been over 12,000 downloads of the declaration of defection.

Earlier this year the Catholic Church modified Canon Law removing all references to the act of formal defection. In response to this CountMeOut.ie has been contacted in recent weeks by several people who were concerned about delays concerning their defection request. Most received notice from the Dublin Catholic Archdiocese stating that they are unable to process their application until the Archdiocese decides how to implement canon law changes.

Despite writing to the Catholic Church seeking clarification on the matter, CountMeOut said in a statement on Wednesday that “the Church have yet to reach a firm position on how or whether they will continue to accept requests for the annotation of the baptismal register.”

The Dublin Archdiocese have confirmed that at the end of August changes were introduced to Canon Law and as a result it will no longer be possible for individuals to formally defect from the Catholic Church. However it added that the Archdiocese will maintain a register of names for those who have expressed the desire to defect.

According to the Dublin Archdiocese last year 229 people formally defected through their diocese and over 300 have done so far this year.

In a statement CountMeOut.ie said that “The service will remain suspended until such time as the Church clarifies in full what changes will be introduced to defections.”