Author Topic: Question about marriage validity  (Read 162 times)

Offline Daniel

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Question about marriage validity
« on: December 28, 2018, 08:25:19 AM »
One of these days I'm going to have to make a flow chart, because these marriage laws/teachings are confusing.

But I am wondering... a baptized person with an unbaptized person... can they validly contract a (non-sacramental) marriage outside the Church? If so, is it licit?
 

Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2018, 10:12:32 AM »
If the Baptized person is a Catholic, they cannot, as Catholics are obliged to marry before an appointed minister of the Church, except in case that no Catholic minister was available.
A non-Catholic Baptized person can contract a valid marriage with a non-Baptized one. The only question is whether that marriage is Sacramental or not. I'm not sure. If it is, at least for the Baptized person, then the bond is indissoluble; if not, then it can be dissolved under certain conditions.
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Offline Sempronius

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2018, 11:04:38 AM »
More questions

Two baptized- one catholic, the other protestant - marries without catholic minister - is it indissoluble?
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2018, 12:26:41 PM »
More questions

Two baptized- one catholic, the other protestant - marries without catholic minister - is it indissoluble?
That's not even a valid marriage to begin with, as far as I know.
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2018, 01:27:37 PM »
Fascinating topic which is less cut and dry than most might think.

Will reply more at work when we enter the "nothing to do" period of the shift.
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 02:13:17 PM »
More questions

Two baptized- one catholic, the other protestant - marries without catholic minister - is it indissoluble?
While waiting fro Gardener to fill in more information; on the face of it, a Catholic who marries in front of a non-Catholic minister does not contract a valid marriage.
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 11:20:17 PM »
One of these days I'm going to have to make a flow chart, because these marriage laws/teachings are confusing.

But I am wondering... a baptized person with an unbaptized person... can they validly contract a (non-sacramental) marriage outside the Church? If so, is it licit?

First we must clarify terms:

Baptized - any baptized person or a baptized Catholic? Will address both
Sacramental - having the nature of a Sacrament
Church - Catholic Church
Licit - Legal
Valid - actually occurs in the nature of a Sacrament

For any baptized person, they either contract a Sacramental marriage, or they contract no marriage at all. There is no natural marriage for a baptized person. So to answer your question specifically (though likely not what you intended), no, a baptized person cannot in any way, shape, or form, contract a natural marriage. There are no mixed Sacramental/Natural marriages, where one is in a Sacrament and the other is in a natural marriage, when the same union itself is considered. It's a concept as idiotic as "partial-communion" (a la the SSPX, who I believe is a totally Catholic society of priests and in full communion with the Church regardless of the verbal tap dancing of prelates for the past few decades and all who buy into their clap-trap). In the realm of Sacraments, it's a binary question: is or isn't.

See other post: https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=21318.msg465446#msg465446

All answers henceforth will assume the question is in the realm of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

Baptized Catholic - Maybe; this would include two dispensations: 1) to marry an unbaptized person and 2) to be married in some fashion other than as witnessed by a Catholic priest. If one or both dispensations is lacking, no marriage occurs. In a case of emergency (such as middle of WW3), it would be presumed valid until intention was found to be lacking since the normative means of marriage would be lacking, and thus there would be no onus to gain a dispensation. Licity would only be affected by that which deals with law. This is taken care of by the dispensations. Remember: licit = legal and illicit = illegal; valid or invalid deal with the ontological reality.

An example from the Mass:
It would be illicit if the priest omitted or changed any words in the Mass except the words of Consecration. However, it would be valid: Jesus is present on the Altar.

If he changed the words of Consecration (e.g., This is our communal body or something else equally stupid), it would be invalid.

Baptized Non-Catholic - This is where it gets trickier, as the person is under no authority with the ability to judge intention prior to the marriage. No form is present in the sense of Canonical considerations, and so the Church would likely defer to whatever denomination the person belonged. Nor do I know if it's really covered in Canon Law per se, as Canon Law treats, generally, of Catholics. My guess would be that if the matter came before the Church (such as for conversion purposes or an attempt to marry a Catholic), the marriage would be viewed as valid until evidence were presented contrary to that. Form would not be considered (how could it?), and matter is self-evident.


More questions

Two baptized- one catholic, the other protestant - marries without catholic minister - is it indissoluble?

Again, this depends on the dispensations. In any time of emergency, it would fall on intention to be investigated.

----

Protestant/Protestant - either a Sacrament or nothing at all. By virtue of their baptisms, they can only contract a valid marriage, if anything.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 11:43:15 AM by Gardener »
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2018, 06:30:56 AM »
For any baptized person, they either contract a Sacramental marriage, or they contract no marriage at all. There is no natural marriage for a baptized person. So to answer your question specifically (though likely not what you intended), no, a baptized person cannot in any way, shape, or form, contract a natural marriage. There are no mixed Sacramental/Natural marriages, where one is in a Sacrament and the other is in a natural marriage, when the same union itself is considered. It's a concept as idiotic as "partial-communion" (a la the SSPX, who I believe is a totally Catholic society of priests and in full communion with the Church regardless of the verbal tap dancing of prelates for the past few decades and all who buy into their clap-trap). In the realm of Sacraments, it's a binary question: is or isn't.
This makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.

But I guess this would entail that the non-baptized person would also be receiving the sacrament? How is that possible? And isn't it a sacrilege when a non-baptized person even attempts to receive a sacrament?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 06:32:56 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2018, 11:42:38 AM »
Actually, re-researching this it would appear that I was entirely wrong re: natural vs Sacramental.

My previous research indicated that a Baptized person cannot enter into a natural marriage, only Sacramental -- perhaps that was in the context of two baptized persons and never specified.

http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2009/02/19/can-non-catholics-receive-the-catholic-sacrament-of-matrimony/

Further, Baptism is a Sacrament and is received by the non-Catholic, so the principle that non-Baptized persons cannot receive a Sacrament doesn't hold.

I'm going to do some more research on this.

Either way, it's still not a mixed marriage insofar as natural and Sacramental.

If this is truly the case and not just speculation of a Canon Lawyer, this is egregious on the part of any Bishop to give such permission.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2018, 11:57:46 AM »
Further, it would seem that such a thing is outside the purview of the Church since it has no bearing on being a Sacrament and is, well, natural.

And, if it subjects a non-Catholic to Canon Law, but without any of the benefit of the marriage as a Sacrament, how could it since the Church has no authority over the unbaptized insofar as Law? This is like saying the USA can subject a foreign citizen to US law in their own country. For the unbaptized party remains outside the Church. But Sacraments give grace, and we see in Scripture that the marriages of pagans and Catholics are, as St. Paul explains, a source of grace to the unbaptized.

To my mind, such a thing would in fact be an intimation that the City of God and Hell in fact have a bridge connecting them, rather than a true separation.

It was my understanding that, due to Baptism, the person is raised above natural things, and in the Sacramental realm nothing can go "down". Hence, an ordained man cannot validly marry regardless of his intent, since the matter (himself) is already raised above it.

Hrm. This is throwing me for a loop. I'd like to find some 1917 commentary and perhaps some moral theology prior to Vat 2, to see how such a thing is explained, rather than explained away.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Question about marriage validity
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2018, 12:13:59 PM »
Thinking further, anyone can "receive" the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, though they would not receive the grace if not disposed to it. So can != may.

If one enters into a mindset of not receiving the grace = not receiving the Sacrament, then frankly it's game over for the entire Catholic Church since that is exactly the mindset the Orthodox use for divorce and remarriage. It further complicates things like Ordination, Baptism, Confirmation, etc.

A fascinating rabbit hole you've unearthed, Daniel.

I'll need to research and consult some folks on this. I will see if the Diocesan Canon Lawyer can answer my email once I formulate the breakdown on various factors so as not to confuse him on what I'm asking.
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