Leaving nostalgia aside for a moment, I found an excellent introduction to Church Law in a 2016 edition of OSV, “Laity Turn to Church Law to Challenge Decisions.” (2012) I recommend this as an introduction to the subject of Church Law. For any Catholics with Perry Mason blood in their veins, I call your attention to James Corrida’s Introduction to Canon Law (2004), a full text available on Kindle and Amazon Prime.
While I was reading OSV, I came across two other essays not unrelated to our issue of law and rights in the Church. “Lapsed Catholics Weigh in on Why They Left the Church” (2014) and “Young People Are Leaving the Faith. Here’s Why.” (2016) I was particularly intrigued by the latter, which concluded that Catholics decide to leave the Church on average at age 13. Young people apparently judge the Church as antithetical with science and history; OSV observes that fewer and fewer Catholic youth are educated in Catholic schools, where religion and science are taught conjointly. If one thing is clear, the issues surrounding catechesis and evangelization are much more complicated than most of us believe.