Author Topic: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses  (Read 2345 times)

Offline Baldrick

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Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« on: August 17, 2015, 03:25:34 PM »
What do you guys think of this? 

Quote
"The Church distinguishes between witnesses who affect the validity of the marriage, and those who affects licitness.

...

Validity

"They must at least be two in number, more being permissible.  For validity alone they may be of either sex, of any age, even heretics or infidels, as long as they enjoy the use of reason and are capable of witnessing.  Thus, those who are asleep, drunk etc. deaf and blind (but not if only deaf or only blind) may not act validly as witnesses.  They may use an interpreter in order to be made aware when consent is requested and given. 

Lawfulness

The ordinary witnesses should only be Catholics who are in good standing.  Non-Catholics, those who are excommunicated or infamous are excluded as lawful witnesses, unless the local Ordinary judges their presence more opportune, at least in the case of heretics.  Also excluded are adolescents, at least before the age of puberty and outside of necessity." 

The Administration of the Sacraments, Fr. Nicholas Halligan, O.P.  1961




   
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 03:31:20 PM »
I think it makes sense.
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 

Offline Baldrick

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 03:34:12 PM »
I think it makes sense.

So, in other words, witnesses must be Catholic? 
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 03:37:14 PM »
I think it makes sense.

So, in other words, witnesses must be Catholic?

Witnesses must be Catholics in good standing for a licit marriage under the laws in effect in 1961.  I do not know if the marriage laws were relaxed.  But, if the Church requires two witnesses and a priest, then it makes sense that those witnesses must also be Catholic.
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 

Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 04:28:00 PM »
This is the only source I've ever seen which suggests that a witness to a marriage should be Catholic in order for it to be lawful. I'm curious if the author has a higher source for that, other than "it sounds like a good idea". The canons of Trent on marriage say nothing (see here: https://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct24.html ), and my cursory search of the 1917 Code of Canon Law didn't bring anything up on this, either.

And, I suppose, it is better for witnesses to be Catholic, but let's consider the purpose of witnesses. The Council of Trent mandated that henceforth, all marriages be celebrated in the presence of a priest with proper jurisdiction, and at least two witnesses, in order to be considered even valid (not merely lawful). The canon was imposed because canon law courts spent most of their time (like today) swamped with cases about whether a certain marriage was valid or not. The main problem in those days was that clandestine marriages and elopement were so common. Therefore, in future, if a wife couldn't produce two witnesses and a priest to prove that she was really married to some man, it could be challenged as potentially invalid.

So, the witness's job isn't to stand as a moral exemplar, unlike godparents at baptism. They're there to attest that the marriage took place, in case one spouse or the other tries to back out of it later.
 
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Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2015, 09:16:12 PM »
 Edit: I figured it out...nevermind 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 10:52:40 PM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 

Offline Baldrick

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 12:23:40 PM »
Edit: I figured it out...nevermind

good, because I haven't, lol   :)   
 

Offline Baldrick

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 09:03:56 PM »
I think it makes sense.

So, in other words, witnesses must be Catholic?

Witnesses must be Catholics in good standing for a licit marriage under the laws in effect in 1961.

Do you have a reference to support this Kaesekopf?
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 09:09:38 PM »
Witnesses must be Catholics in good standing for a licit marriage under the laws in effect in 1961.

Do you have a reference to support this Kaesekopf?

That is what your OP appears to say.
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 

Offline Baldrick

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 09:10:41 PM »
Witnesses must be Catholics in good standing for a licit marriage under the laws in effect in 1961.

Do you have a reference to support this Kaesekopf?

That is what your OP appears to say.

Indeed, I'm just trying to figure out how authoritative that is. 
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Trad Catholic Wedding & Witnesses
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 09:20:23 PM »
Witnesses must be Catholics in good standing for a licit marriage under the laws in effect in 1961.

Do you have a reference to support this Kaesekopf?

That is what your OP appears to say.

Indeed, I'm just trying to figure out how authoritative that is.

I just skimmed through "Canon Law, A Text and Commentary" by Frs Bouscaren SJ and Ellis SJ from 1947, and they only speak of "competent witnesses", which I take to mean "people who can act as witnesses".  The text was silent on any further requirements on the witness end.
Wie dein Sonntag, so dein Sterbetag.

I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side.  ~Treebeard, LOTR

Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.
 
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