Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #16  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:06 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
Forum Master
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2004
Posts: 12,750
Religion: Byzantine Ruthenian "Traditional" Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine k View Post
I know if two seperate occasions where couples wanted a sacramental ceremony without a legal ceremony. Both couples were orthodox Jews. One couple was comprised of a widow and widower, well into their 60's, both had grown children and young grandchildren. Neither partner wanted the legal complications a civil ceremony would create. Both couples signed prenuptial agreements (to prevent inheritance issues). Neither couple cared about the civil authorities recognizing their status: they merely cared about God.
The Church would not allow orthodox Jews to be married within the Catholic Church and even if it did, they can not enter into a sacramental marriage at they are not baptized.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:10 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
Forum Master
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2004
Posts: 12,750
Religion: Byzantine Ruthenian "Traditional" Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
I have also heard this happening for senior citizens, when a civil marriage would result in a loss of pension benefits that the senior needed to live on. A Sacramental marriage is performed without a civil marriage.

Phemie: I doubt that. The Church would be suborning fraud against the government. It may not seem fair but decreasing someone's benefits when they marry doesn't violate natural law. Two may not live as cheaply as one, but two together can live more cheaply than two apart.

Brendan: It is not fraud against the government because the government does not make the reception of a Sacrament a condition of benefits. Yes the government will recognize the priest as a legitimate witness to the civil contract of marriage, but that did not happen and no one is claiming that it did.

Phemie: It is fraud because the only reason for a religious only wedding is to not lose benefits and defraud the State
It is not necessarily fraud against the state, unless one or both of them have pensions from the state, but no matter what it is fraud against the pension plan and illegal. The Church could not condone this as it goes against the law.

A bishop may have allowed this (but I doubt it) but he would be wrong in doing so.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:13 pm
Mary Gail 36's Avatar
Mary Gail 36 Mary Gail 36 is offline
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2005
Posts: 11,305
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post
There is absolutely NO reason why immigrants can not be married both legally and Sacramentally. Even illegal immigrants can get married, with a valid marriage license. And ANYONE, regardless of citizenship status, can obtain a marriage license (that is done through State law, NOT Federal law).

I would love to see any legal evidence that any state requires that you be legally admitted to the US, or have US Citizenship, in order to be married.

Whoever is telling you this, quite literally does not know what they are talking about.
I worked for a foreign company for a while. Often couples would marry civally, even though both were from another country, were only here temporarily, and planned to leave once they finished their term in the US.
__________________
Jesus, protect and save the unborn.

The Word became flesh, He lived among us, and we saw His glory, the glory that He has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:18 pm
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 13,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post

Phemie: It is fraud because the only reason for a religious only wedding is to not lose benefits and defraud the State
Really? you mean that the seniors would not care about being united in God's Eyes before they choose to live together?

Quote:
Brendan: It the case of the civil authority, France does not require that the civil ceremony happen first, in fact the civil authorities generally couldn't care less if you had a religious ceremony first, second or not at all. Are you somehow referring to Canon Law?

Phemie: No, French law. The Church in France will only marry those who are already civilly married. The priest will require a marriage certificate before he proceeds with the religious ceremony.

First you claim that it is "French Law" and then list a requirement on the priests. Is it your claim that the French civil law regulates when\if a priest may perform a Sacrament?
__________________
Brendan
________________________________________ _______
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:20 pm
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 13,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCath View Post
It is not necessarily fraud against the state, unless one or both of them have pensions from the state, but no matter what it is fraud against the pension plan and illegal. The Church could not condone this as it goes against the law.

A bishop may have allowed this (but I doubt it) but he would be wrong in doing so.
But there is no law that prohibits the Church from issuing a Sacrament. What law specifically does it go against.

Civil marriage is distinct from Sacramental marriage. Yes they are commonly performed within a short time span of each other in most Catholic weddings ( the Sacramental marriage occurs when the couple exchange consent, the civil marriage occurs when the marriage licesne is signed by all required parties)

You could have the entire Supreme Court present and they will all declare that up until the marriage license is signed, there is no marriage in the eyes of the law,

Here are the relevant Canons

Quote:
Canon 1130 For a grave and urgent reason, the local Ordinary may permit that a marriage be celebrated in secret.

Canon 1131 Permission to celebrate a marriage in secret involves:

Canon 1131.1 that the investigations to be made before the marriage are carried out in secret;

Canon 1131.2 that the secret in regard to the marriage which has been celebrated is observed by the local Ordinary, by whoever assists, by the witnesses and by the spouses.

Canon 1132 The obligation of observing the secret mentioned in canon 1131 n. 2 ceases for the local Ordinary if from its observance a threat arises of grave scandal or of grave harm to the sanctity of marriage. This fact is to be made known to the parties before the celebration of the marriage.

Canon 1133 A marriage celebrated in secret is to be recorded only in a special register which is to be kept in the secret archive of the curia.
Note there is no reporting to the civil authorities or registration of the marriage license
__________________
Brendan
________________________________________ _______

Last edited by Brendan; Mar 3, '11 at 4:30 pm.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old Mar 3, '11, 4:37 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: November 27, 2007
Posts: 13,533
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
Really? you mean that the seniors would not care about being united in God's Eyes before they choose to live together?

I'm saying your scenario is only about fraud.

First you claim that it is "French Law" and then list a requirement on the priests. Is it your claim that the French civil law regulates when\if a priest may perform a Sacrament?

As a matter of fact, in regards marriage, yes, and has done so since the revolution. Clergy cannot, by law, marry anyone who is not civilly married. All Churches abide by that law and clergy will ask to see a marriage certificate before celebrating a religious marriage.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old Mar 3, '11, 5:04 pm
FAB FAB is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2007
Posts: 2,084
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by tafan View Post
Our pastor, at a parish with a lot of immigrants, talked about an interesting problem the other day. It seems like a lot of immigrants into this country come here with marriages which are not done in the Church and they are not even married civilly. They get here, and through one means or another, rediscover the Catholic Church and become quite serious about their faith. So of course, they want to have their relationships normalized with a real marriage. But due to immigration issues, they can't get civilly married. Now in this country (maybe everywhere), the Catholic Church will not do a marriage if it is not legally valid with the state. So this leaves them in a very bad state, they want to get married, they can't. They often have kids, so they can't live apart. There is no impediment to a marriage from a canonical standpoint, it is simply the civil law which keeps the church from marrying them.

?
Actually this is stated backward. Most of these marriages are civil and not sacramental. Mexico does not give the church the authority to marry and it be reconconized by the state. In the US then, the Church can convalidate the marriage so it is sacramental, same is true in Mexico. The state is not involed, the couple does need to provide valid baptismal certificates.As long as there are no complications, i.e. previous marriages, it can be very strait foreward.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old Mar 3, '11, 5:13 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
Forum Master
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2004
Posts: 12,750
Religion: Byzantine Ruthenian "Traditional" Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

I do not think that defrauding a pension fund falls under this canon.
Can. 1130 For a grave and urgent reason, the local Ordinary may permit that a marriage be celebrated in secret.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old Mar 3, '11, 5:24 pm
dans0622 dans0622 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2008
Posts: 1,503
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by tafan View Post
.... I am just curious about the exact requirements of the Church with regards to sacramental marriages required to go hand-in-hand with civil marriages, the reasons behind this requirement, and opinions about how this should be handled. According to my pastor, priests are often bringing this subject up with their Bishops and they want a solution to the problem that does not require a political/legal change in the law of this country, as that is looking more and more hopeless. Any thoughts?
Hello tafan,

I am not sure I understand the specific scenario encountered by your pastor. If he is talking about two people who are here illegally and want to marry but can't because they are unable to get a marriage license, then it is possible that the couple can still be married "in the Church" in a couple of ways. First, a priest with the faculty to witness their marriage could ask for permission from the local ordinary and then go ahead with the wedding. The permission would be necessary because the marriage would not be recognized civilly (cf. c. 1071). The priest could keep this "secret" if he thought it necessary. This option is a bit troublesome in that if this marriage was ever brought to the attention of the civil authorities, the priest could get into some trouble. I doubt the couple would have any troubles because of this...they'd have enough difficulty with their "illegal" status.

Another option is to have the couple utilize the "extraordinary form" of marriage. This is explained in canon 1116 1. "If a person competent to assist according to the norm of law cannot be present or approached without grave inconvenience, those who intend to enter into a true marriage can contract it validly and licitly before witnesses only:

1. in danger of death;

2. outside the danger of death provided that it is prudently foreseen that the situation will continue for a month.

2. In either case, if some other priest or deacon who can be present is available, he must be called and be present at the celebration of the marriage together with the witnesses, without prejudice to the validity of the marriage before witnesses only."

The couple should have the parish priest make sure this is all properly recorded. I don't know if anyone in authority has ever promoted this idea but it seems the option is there.

Dan
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old Mar 3, '11, 5:39 pm
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 13,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCath View Post
I do not think that defrauding a pension fund falls under this canon.
Can. 1130 For a grave and urgent reason, the local Ordinary may permit that a marriage be celebrated in secret.
Actually, this was one of the cases we covered in my Canon Law class at the seminary when I was in the Diaconate program.

What fraud is being commited exact? Fraud, by defintion, entails deceit. Is the Church claiming that a legally recognized marriage exists? Quite the opposite actually, the Church is not claiming anything that is not 100% factual, nor anything than cannot be verified in a court of law.
__________________
Brendan
________________________________________ _______
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old Mar 3, '11, 5:55 pm
laszlo laszlo is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2010
Posts: 2,511
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

The Canon Law has no requirement for the civil marriage, or marriage license.

Usually states require marriage license before the marriage in the Church or anywhere else. This is matter of civil obedience.

In my opinion the separation of the Church and State is valid point for civil disobedience in this case: the state has no rights whatsoever over the sacraments of the Church.

The illegal immigrants have no additional risk. They will be not married in the eye of the state, but living together w/o marriage is not crime at this point.

The priest who is witnessing the marriage has some risk for legal disobedience. Only practicing lawyers can tell the seriousness of this risk, but imho the priest can keep himself to the truth: he did not administered a legal marriage in the given state, only witnessed as a men and women administered a sacrament to themselves.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old Mar 3, '11, 6:59 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
Forum Master
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2004
Posts: 12,750
Religion: Byzantine Ruthenian "Traditional" Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by laszlo View Post
The Canon Law has no requirement for the civil marriage, or marriage license.

Usually states require marriage license before the marriage in the Church or anywhere else. This is matter of civil obedience.

In my opinion the separation of the Church and State is valid point for civil disobedience in this case: the state has no rights whatsoever over the sacraments of the Church.

The illegal immigrants have no additional risk. They will be not married in the eye of the state, but living together w/o marriage is not crime at this point.

The priest who is witnessing the marriage has some risk for legal disobedience. Only practicing lawyers can tell the seriousness of this risk, but imho the priest can keep himself to the truth: he did not administered a legal marriage in the given state, only witnessed as a men and women administered a sacrament to themselves.
I think you are correct in the case of people who are in the United States illegally.

But two people who are getting secretly married for the sole purpose to defraud their pension funds the priest could be liable criminally and civilly for assisting in this.

Defrauding a pension plan is neither a grave nor an urgent matter.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old Mar 3, '11, 7:36 pm
Brendan's Avatar
Brendan Brendan is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: May 19, 2004
Posts: 13,361
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCath View Post
I think you are correct in the case of people who are in the United States illegally.

But two people who are getting secretly married for the sole purpose to defraud their pension funds the priest could be liable criminally and civilly for assisting in this.

Defrauding a pension plan is neither a grave nor an urgent matter.
I ask again, where exactly is the fraud? The Church is deceiving no one. Everything being declared by the Church is 100% factual.
__________________
Brendan
________________________________________ _______
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old Mar 3, '11, 7:52 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: November 27, 2007
Posts: 13,533
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
I ask again, where exactly is the fraud? The Church is deceiving no one. Everything being declared by the Church is 100% factual.
The only reason to not get married civilly is to defraud. Why would a priest participate in that?
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old Mar 3, '11, 8:12 pm
laszlo laszlo is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 2010
Posts: 2,511
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Sacramental marriage without civil marriage

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCath View Post
But two people who are getting secretly married for the sole purpose to defraud their pension funds the priest could be liable criminally and civilly for assisting in this.
I disagree. The civil marriage, allowing divorce, is no valid marriage in the eyes of the Church. These people do not want civil marriage, they want only the sacrament, outside of the jurisdiction of the state.

The separation of the state and church works both way.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Liturgy and Sacraments

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8546Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Paulette60
5206CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: bcra
4434Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3871SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3844Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: DesertSister62
3406Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: grateful_child
3302Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3231Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3155For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Paulette60



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 4:09 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.