Hi everyone, I was wondering if you could help me with a question I have:
Are all persons, who have been baptized as (Latin-Rite) Catholics, permanently bound to the rules and restrictions of Canon Law?
By extension: Would a formal or informal apostate from the Catholic Faith be bound by Canon Law? Would a Catholic who has been excommunicated also be bound? Would a Catholic in a state of mortal sin be bound by Canon Law?
Applied Example: A baptized informal apostate from the Catholic Faith attempts to enter into a Natural Marriage with a lapsed (non-practicing) Catholic; according to Canon Law, all marriages between Catholics that do not follow the appropriate form are not valid (with a priest or other appointed representative of The Church, except in cases of life-or-death emergency or when the priest is expected to be unavailable for a long period of time (I believe more than a month)). Does their informal apostasy and/or lapsing cause them to no longer be bound by Canon Law in this respect, rendering their marriage valid?
Thanks in advance for any help I could receive on this topic.