Changing legal definition of marriage


#96

That’s the truth.


#97

Canon 1084 already addresses this. Each partner must be physically capable of the marital act. Absent that, there cannot be a valid marriage.

Now, as far as I know* even if there is some ambiguity in an individual person, there is never the ability for the marital act either or both ways. If the ability is there, it is male or it is female. Never both. Sometimes neither.

If neither, then a valid marriage is not possible.

*not an MD. just ‘as far as I know’


#98

In such a case, it would not be “reassignment” not really.

From what I recall from moral theology, in such a situation, surgery to allow such a person to live as either a male or a female (whatever is best for the individual) is morally permissible.

But again, that’s different than so called “re-assignment.”


#99

Absolutely spot on.


#100

Only lawyers and politicians can define the legal meaning of marriage.

The church can stick to it’s own definition of marriage by saying; it must be one man and one woman before God.


#101

Fair enough, I meant a sex change operation.


#102

You mean not only not consummated but also not ratified?

Without getting too explicit how would you define physically capable for a man?
I am still trying to think what would make it impossible for a woman though.


#103

A child? No. They are kids. Nobody needs the permission of Catholics to do anything.

???


#104

To be honest, I don’t think it matters much what the legal definition is. As long as we have Catholic married couples prepared to give witness to the reaity of marriage then that is all that matters.

At the end of the day, all the social engineering in the world is not going to change that the nuclear family is the fundmental unit of society.


#105

Marriage is special to those who truly are married. Why do those who are gay want to change it? So they can deny they’re doing something against God’s Laws?


#106

To my mind, what we call civil marriage is a legal framework to support “marriage”.

That others want that same framework to support their arrangement may be fair enough, but the state ought not to have proceeded by redefining marriage.


#107

For myself I have never considered marriage a means of securing guilt free sex. I observe it is more a means of obtaining communal recognition and privileges for a new caring, affine relationship (as is adoption) for ones partner, children and mutual relatives.


#108

Simply:
Words do not create reality, words express reality.
To the extent that words express reality well, we can say the word is honest, or truthful, or common sense.
To the extent that words deceive, the word is deceitful and contributes to unreason and chaos.
Why do we care how words are used then, if they do not create reality? If I want to call the sun “moon” , who cares?
We care because deception is a bad thing for human flourishing. Deception has an end, and that end is not good, whether the deception is intentional and ill-willed, or the deception is just accepted by “sheeple”.
Words then become “reality by assertion”, which is just an awful and deceptive thing. In the end, “reality by assertion” leads to death and destruction.


#109

I mean that in order to be ratified (public ceremony, for those who might need a little help with the vocabulary here) the Church requires that FIRST it must be established that the couple is capable of performing the marital act (no help with vocab here). This is usually done by simply asking each potential spouse in a private setting as part of the usual marriage preparation.

With regard to the woman, if her body is “normal” then nothing else needs to be asked. If a woman had an operation because of cancer or a car accident, it’s possible that she might not have the physical ability for the marital act.

Note to readers here: when I say “the ability for the marital act” that is NOT synonymous with saying the ability or likelihood of actually bearing a child.

Back to your question/comment

Recall though, that you were asking about a gender-ambiguous person (hermaphrodite). I was responding to that specific question. In order to validly contract marriage, that person would need to have the ability to engage in the marital act.

Now, as far as I know, some hermaphrodites are indeed capable of engaging in the marital act. However, in such cases, that will always be either as a man, or as a woman, but never both-for-the-same-person.

See canon 1068 of the 1917 code
Here is a link to some commentary
https://archive.org/stream/commentarycanon05charuoft/commentarycanon05charuoft_djvu.txt

You will need to scroll down to that particular canon.


#110

You’ve raised some interesting issues…

I mean that in order to be ratified (public ceremony, for those who might need a little help with the vocabulary here) the Church requires that FIRST it must be established that the couple is capable of performing the marital act (no help with vocab here). This is usually done by simply asking each potential spouse in a private setting as part of the usual marriage preparation.

While preparing/witnessing Catholic marriages has never been a speciality I would have to say I have never felt the need to ask such a question, I was never trained to and I don’t know of any priest in my circle of marriage celebrants who do. Perhaps it is different in the States. I would establish if they intend to have children, marry for life and intend exclusive faithfulness. (Incidentally I never asked re gender/sexual identity or history of changes (assuming the State Marriage licence takes care of that)). The latter can no longer be assumed in many countries now I suppose.

The difficulty I see with expilicitly asking this question appears in the case of much older couples. If the 65 yr old male said he was unable to accomplish the act (and the partner is aware) should marriage be declined?
Personally I leave these things with God and time to sort out.

I understand we are speaking in another context, but if we are applying universal principles they must be cogent in all contexts.

Now, as far as I know, some hermaphrodites are indeed capable of engaging in the marital act. However, in such cases, that will always be either as a man, or as a woman, but never both-for-the-same-person.

Not sure what you are saying. Some unusual cases may well be able to engage in the act as either male or female I suggest. (I believe depositing of matter is not actually required to physically “engage” though potency of the phallic member is).


#111

No. It isn’t about asking “gender identity” or any such. It’s a simple question that asks “are you capable of the marital act?” Obviously, it’s going to be phrased differently for each diocese. It’s just a simple question.

It’s not “do you intend children” but "are you open to children"
Also, open to the possibility of children requires that the couple be capable (at a minimum) of the marital act.

If he indicated “absolute antecedent impotence” then no Catholic priest can marry them. It’s universal.
Also, we are well aware that asking an elderly couple these questions can sometimes be delicate. We do ask these questions respectfully.

Yes. Of course.

Again, all I was doing was addressing your specific question.

Read the canon law commentary I linked earlier. Frankly, all I would do is repeat it. I don’t need to explain it to you the same way I would need to explain it to someone else. Just read it through.


#112

You do not need to clarify - you have misunderstood the relevance of that sentence, it is but an aside to our conversation and nothing to do with the point as you note…
(You will note I edited that sentence above to make this clearer but you answered too quickly :slightly_smiling_face:).

If he indicated “absolute antecedent impotence” then no Catholic priest can marry them. It’s universal.
Also, we are well aware that asking an elderly couple these questions can sometimes be delicate. We do ask these questions respectfully.

Well, either I was poorly trained or in my country the powers that be believe this is best left to God and the elderly couple concerned be respected enough to be given the benefit of the doubt. It does seem to make for little practical difference in the long term.


#113

Well said. Thank you.

Ed


#114

See question #12 asked of each potential spouse.

As I said, the question is simple and we are as non-intrusive as we can be. Only if we get a “no” then it goes further.

I can’t see how the question could be not-asked in other countries.


#115

Thats an impressive pre wedding form you use in the US.


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