Can a valid, consumated, sacramental marriage ever be annulled?


#1

A member of an ecclesiastical tribunal tells me that a valid, consumated sacramental marriage can be annuled on the basis of “incompatability of faith”, even though the “Handbook of Prayers”, Scepter Publishers c:1995. published by the authority of the NCCB, p.23, states: The Church does not have the power to dissolve a valid
sacramental marriage that has been consumated.’

What can you tell me?


#2

The Handbook of Prayers is correct. The Church’s Code of Canon Law (CIC) agrees: “A marriage that is ratum et consummatum [meaning valid, sacramental, and consummated] can be dissolved by no human power and by no cause, except death” (CIC 1141).

I suspect that you misunderstood the tribunal member. To say that a valid marriage can be annulled makes no sense. An annulment never invalidates a marriage – it simply recognizes and declares that a valid marriage never existed. There are cases, however, in which a valid marriage that is either (1) not sacramental or (2) not consummated may be dissolved. For more on this see Dissolution of the Bond.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.