Q : Do I have to be an atheist or an agnostic to participate?
A : No, all we are promoting is a disassociation from the Catholic Church. You can practice any faith you like, or refuse to practice any, after performing this act.
Q : Does this movement have a precedent in other European countries?
A : Yes, movements like ours have been founded in many other European countries, with broadly the same aims. For example, in Ireland, there has been the Count Me Out initiative, while in Italy, the Unione Atei e Agnostici Razionalisti have been running the Sbattezzo campaign.
Q : Is the disassociation you are promoting identical to excommunication?
A : What NION is promoting is different in spirit to excommunication. Excommunication is a penalty imposed by the Church on an individual. Essentially, it puts the individual out of communion with the Church, which means that one cannot participate in Catholic ceremonies. This, however, is imposed with the intention of making the individual repent his misdeeds and return to full communion with the Church. On the other hand, the two processes encouraged by NION, enable an individual to leave the Church of his own volition.
Q : What is latae sententiae excommunication?
A : Canon law specifies a number of offences which are enough to earn the subject a latae sententiae excommunication. These offences include, but are not limited to, apostasy, heresy or schism. A latea sententiae excommunication occours automatically on the commission of the misdeed, that is, the Church does not even need to know that it has occoured.
Q : How does an act of formal defection relate to my baptism?
A : On this issue, the 2006 notification, indicates that:
It remains clear, in any event, that the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.
Since the nature of an act of formal defection is to leave the Catholic Church, the above has been interpreted as claiming that after a formal defection, one stops being Catholic but remains Christian. Of course, this is only relevant to those who believe in the Christian metaphysics associated with the process of baptism, and will present no difficulty to those who do not.