canon 160?

Canon 160 states that all marriages should be assumed valid until proven otherwise. However, if one of the necessary elements of marriage is clearly missing, e.g. openness to life, intend to be faithful, intent to love, free choice of one or both parties, is it ok to not assume this? Say that a young woman is forced against her will to marry to marry a man who has shown by his actions that he lusts after her, rather than loving her. (As in the case in a book I’m reading) I don’t see how I could assume that this marriage is valid without being dishonest with myself? How would the canon law apply in such a situation, were the situation to be real? (As I assume it is for someone somewhere, likely in Saudi Arabia)

All Sacraments must be done freely by those who receive it, including Matrimony. So, if a woman was forced to marry, and she didn’t want to be, this would be an impediment to a valid marriage.

How can canon law apply to someone who is not member of the Church? There is the danger of canon law becoming overbearing without any concern for people. In Zambia, it is common pastoral practice no to consider a marriage done only under the customary law as invalid.

Also a “marriage” is NOT sacramental unless both parties are Baptized Christians.
In such circumstances it is deemed a “natural” marriage and a Bishop can dissolve it.

Since you mentioned Saudi Arabia I thought that this could be relevant. Also no marriage is valid no matter what if it was forced or coerced in any way.

Actually, it is Canon 1060. And, it does not say “all marriages should be assumed valid until proven otherwise”.

What it does say is this:

Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.*

So, for example, a marriage outside the Church without dispensation does not possess the favor of the law, because there is no doubt concerning its validity. While a marriage celebrated in the Catholic Church with all proper paperwork, etc, must be presumed valid until the contrary is proven.

No, because it is not “clearly missing”. When two people exchange consent it is presumed that the words they say and the actions they take externally and their intent/disposition of the will internally are one and the same.

Can. 1101 §1. The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words and signs used in celebrating the marriage.*

So if they say in the vows that they take X until death do us part, they would have to prove in the external forum (i.e. through witnesses and testimony) that they did not in fact intend what they said and that a defect existed at the time of the marriage.

One may not simpply “assume”.

This would have to be proven, it cannot be assumed.

This is irrelevant to whether or not the marriage is invalid, and it would not render a marriage invalid. “Love” (romantic love) is wondeful, but not required for a valid marriage. People have validly married in arranged marriages for thousands of years.

Novels are never a good place to try to get one’s theology of marriage, nor to apply canon law.

Um, it is a novel. I am unsure how dishonesty with oneself enters the equation.

Case by case. We can make no speculation regarding any marriage.

God’s law applies to everyone. Church law, that is ecclesiastical law, applies to Catholic. Canon Law contains aspects of both divine and ecclesial law.

Some aspects of marriage have to do with divine law, and to that extent Canon Law does apply to all marriages. Other aspects of marriage are Church law/discipline and apply only to Catholics.

The Church’s jurisdiction is universal, but currently She chooses not to bind non-Catholics to eccesial lawss (although this has not always been the case).

Highly doubtful.

I don’t exactly understand what you have written, but if I am understanding it correctly you are talking about the civil marriage of non-Catholics.

The Church universally recognizes marriages of non-Catholics as valid-- so that is not a “pastoral practice” nor something local to Zambia.

The marriage of Catholics requires Catholic form or a dispensation from it.

But that is not the question. The question is whether or not we can “assume” the marriage is invalid.

We cannot.

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