Annulemt after unconsummated marriage?


I read in another thread here that the Church will grant annulments for marriages where both spouses freely consented, if the the marriage has not yet been consummated. Is this true? If so, does that mean that marriage has not actually occurred until the two literally become one flesh by making love? Please not just your opinion, but actual Church teaching on the subject.


It would not be an annulment, but a dissolution.

It the case of an unconsummated marriage, the marriage is recognized as valid, but that it is in a state that can be dissolved

An annulment means that a valid marriage never existed.


No. A valid marriage that is not consummated can be dissolved by the Pope.

No. A marriage is valid at the time of the exchange of consent. It becomes indissoluable at consummation.


I’ve always had the question of how the clergy proves that a marriage is unconsummated if the couple is still childless. :blush:


I guess if the woman was still virgo intacta, that would be proof enough. Otherwise, one would just have to take the word of the parties.


I believe that the marriage is assumed consummated if the spouses have lived together, but I would check to see if that is the case.

There are other scenarios where this type of dissolution can be used. A valid sacramental marriage is indissoluble, whereas a natural marriage (one or both parties not baptized) can be dissolved under certain circumstances.

Let’s say one of the spouses is unbaptized at the time of the divorce and moves out of the country permanently. The couple is still considered married, because civil divorce does not end the marriage in the Church’s eyes. The unbaptized party subsequently becomes baptized. The marriage is now considered sacramental since both parties are baptized. However, the marriage is not consummated as a sacramental marriage, and it can be proven that the parties have not consummated the marriage since they live in different countries. The marriage therefore has the potential of being dissolved.


That doesn’t make any legal sense to me. A consummated marriage that becomes sacramental must be re-consummated? Do you have a citation for that opinion?


There is no requirement that any marriage be consummated.

The point at issue is that after both spouses become baptized the marriage is no longer a natural marriage but a sacramental one; the nature of the relationship changes. The relationship is a consummated natural marriage, but It is not a consummated sacramental marriage until the parties have relations after both parties are baptized.

There is no indication in Canon Law that says consummation prior to the sacrament being in effect makes the marriage intrinsically indissoluble.


So, if a senior citizen dates a senior citizen male, and that male “thinks” he can consummate the marriage,but is not sure he can, and the two remain pure before the marriage, what would happen in such a case if he could not, and the woman did not want a sexless marriage?

What kind of cost and time factor would be involved to dissolve this?

No would should marry for sex, that is not my point here. My point here is that there would not be a bond of soul, mind and BODY.

And, wouldn’t the man have legal rights by civil law over any property owned by the woman, since they have a civil certificate?


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