Does the Church acknowledge vows?


#1

Can someone explain if, when, what if, how, or does, etc... the Church recognizes a vow for example if someone promises to do something for a particular reason?


#2

See here for the canon law on vows.


#3

Thanks. Appreciate the reference.

I'm not sure if I want bunny in charge, but he could be like the gnome going around the world!
(_/)
(O.o)
(> <)


#4

IMO I don't see how we could do worse than what we already are with the bunny in charge:)


#5

The Bunny Supreme Command thanks you both!

Here is a link to a commentary on that portion of canon law.


#6

Just Lurking -

Thanks again for the reference.

I was looking at this source online. Can I take for granted that this is an excellent reference book? Also, Amazon sells a hard cover and paperback. The paperback says ‘study guide’ and I’m not so sure I want the ‘study guide’ if there’s a tremendous difference. Any thoughts? Am looking for solid reference material as I’m not law savvy.

You’re right, ShanaA.
Bunny it is.


#7

[quote="forgetmenot, post:6, topic:195697"]
I was looking at this source online. Can I take for granted that this is an excellent reference book? Also, Amazon sells a hard cover and paperback. The paperback says 'study guide' and I'm not so sure I want the 'study guide' if there's a tremendous difference. Any thoughts? Am looking for solid reference material as I'm not law savvy.

[/quote]

The only difference in the "study edition" is that it is paperback - the text is the same as the hardback edition.

I assume you've read the Amazon reviews. Another good source of information about the different canon law commentaries is here. As a non-canon lawyer myself, I find the new CLSA commentary to be the easiest to follow because of the large amount of explanatory text.

I don't think any commentary can provide "all the answers", but I would trust any of the available commentaries to provide a reasonable, professional viewpoint on canonical issues that can be trusted as a valid position to hold. There are many disagreements among canon lawyers, and the Vatican hasn't always been forthcoming with official resolutions. For example, the ongoing debate as to what time evening starts for satisfying one's Sunday mass obligation on Saturday evening.

The big thing to watch out for is that canon law, like civil law, is a moving target. The new CLSA commentary is now a decade out of date, and has missed not one, but two sweeping changes in the canon law of "defecting from the Catholic Church by a formal act".


#8

Ok. I’m wondering, how do you keep up with this stuff - changes? Yeah, the book is out of date, but I’m sure still very useful. Funny how you mentioned “defecting from the Catholic Church by a formal act” - I’d like to read up on that, in addition to other areas of personal concern - you’ve probably seen many of my posts elsewhere. Guess I have to make the effort to do some serious reading. The question is where do you start? I will order the book - in paperback - cheaper! Many thanks.


#9

Here is a canon law blog that is very good about updating everyone with the ongoing canon law changes. See here for the start of the discussion of first change I mentioned, and here for the latest change in the rules for defection by a formal act.

I wasn't aware of your special interest in defecting from the Church by a formal act. If you have any particular questions, I would be glad to try to answer them. By far the biggest change in annulments since the new CLSA commentary is the promulgation of the instruction Dignitas Connubii (see here) on handling annulment cases.

For my annulment, I read the books Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster (very good for non-canon lawyers) and The Invalid Marriage by Lawrence G. Wrenn (highly respected by canon lawyers).


#10

Thanks. I will be reading this information later on today.

I think you know me well already; trying to help my DH secure his declaration of nullity. I'm reading as much as I can to help him, not that he isn't reading any material as well - we're both looking at the 'second' application from a different perspective.

A thought that had crossed my mind, in simple terms, was here were two people getting married in a Church that meant nothing to them. Only reason was the Church ceremony - probably more for her. They had no "faith" before or after. Although there are many other issues involved, I thought this was critical. If the Sacrament was so meaningless, then how could it have taken place? I know there are many issues involved in having a Sacrament, but I thought this might be part of it. Hence my desire to research defecting from the Church.

I may have one or both of the books you mentioned. I'll have to search my 'library' (lol).

Your assistance, and that of Chevalier's, has been appreciated.


#11

[quote="forgetmenot, post:10, topic:195697"]
I think you know me well already; trying to help my DH secure his declaration of nullity.

[/quote]

You're probably right - my memory isn't what it used to be.

[quote="forgetmenot, post:10, topic:195697"]
A thought that had crossed my mind, in simple terms, was here were two people getting married in a Church that meant nothing to them. Only reason was the Church ceremony - probably more for her. They had no "faith" before or after. Although there are many other issues involved, I thought this was critical. If the Sacrament was so meaningless, then how could it have taken place? I know there are many issues involved in having a Sacrament, but I thought this might be part of it. Hence my desire to research defecting from the Church.

[/quote]

Good luck with your research! You may also be interested in the defect of consent known as "intention against sacramentality." From pages 148-149 of Wrenn's book:

  1. Regarding the exclusion of sacramental dignity, a tribunal may encounter two somewhat different situations. The first involves a person who, though baptized Catholic, had abandonded the faith by the time of his or her wedding but had a church wedding in order to please the family of for some other "profane" or social reason. The second involves a Protestant who marries before a priest, minister or civil official but who, in accord with the teaching of his or her own Church, does not recognize marriage as a sacrament. In either case the claim is made that the marriage is invalid on the ground that the person's lack of faith in the sacramentality of marriage carried with it an exclusion of sacramental dignity.

  2. For most of this century it was understood that an allegation of this sort could be heard only on the ground of total simulation. Gasparri (nn. 827 and 907), for example, said that in those circumstances the marriage would only be invalid if the person said, in effect, "I contract with you but I do not wish the sacrament, and if the sacrament were to come about, then I do not want marriage". For a recent defense of this position see Cormac Burke, Monitor Ecclesiasticus, 1994, IV, pp. 545-565.

  3. Especially since Zenon Grocholewski's 1978 article on the subject (Periodica, 1978, 283-295), however, it has come to be generally accepted that a case of this sort could be heard instead on the ground of partial simulation. Grocholewski argued that "it is a contradiction to affirm that a valid marriage between baptized people cannot exist without it being a sacrament, and then at the same time to say that a postive exclusion of sacramentality does not vitiate consent, and he further argued that "within the context of sacramental theology it is hard to admit that a person receives and adminsters a sacrament which, by a positive act of the will, he or she rejects." (p. 293)

According to this position it is not necessary, in order to prove invalidity, that a person positively reject the marriage itself rather than allow the sacrament to come into being; it is only required that a person positively exclude the sacrament, much as he or she might exclude the bonum prolis or fidei or sacramenti.

While this is not a new position (see, for example Schmalzgrueber, 4, 1, 1, 301-304) it is a position that was dormant for many years and has only recently been revived.


#12

Ok, J.L.

No problem reading Cormac Burke; couldn't find the article/Periodica - except in libraries where I have no access, nor Schmalzgrueber. But I still get the drift. (Couldn't locate our 'annulment' libary as it was boxed and put away last summer - went searching to no avail this aft. Will have to find it as I do believe we have Wrenn's book.)

Correct me if I wrong, but what I'm getting out of all this is basically one has to enter the marriage intentionally saying they don't want a sacrament. Who does that? I mean if they don't care about the Church then why would they consciously say 'I don't want a sacrament' - they just give it no thought.

I guess what I was trying to fit into this is the fact that two people have a marriage in Church for show and not for the intentions for which it is established. Both went through the pre-Cana just to have a Catholic ceremony, but neither were at the time or subsequently practicing Catholics. If they didn't believe in what they were doing, how can they be held to it?

How can this be proven? By saying it meant nothing? They married in Church which was the thing to do. I feel that a marriage doesn't exist if the full understanding of the Sacrament was not a part of it. My opinion is that people who believe in the Sacraments are less likely to divorce - but that's just my opinion. If they don't hold the belief of what a Sacrament is, how can it be conferred?

From what you've suggested, this appears to be an unusual road to go down, and may be a difficult one if not tested.

Please excuse me if I've interpreted erroneously. This is just like work, and I haven't had much experience in this area! Takes time and effort to read, and I'm a novice at this stuff.

Again, my thanks. (Wish I could hire you!)

:compcoff:


#13

In the case where they gave it no thought, the question becomes what would they have decided if they had given it some thought at the time. In other words, if someone had talked to them right before the wedding, and had managed to convey what the sacrament of marriage was really about, would the person have canceled the wedding and said, “Thanks, I didn’t know that! You just saved me from a big mistake.”

The canonical language for being a grounds for annulment is very strong - by “a positive act of the will exclude marriage itself, some essential element of marriage, or some essential property of marriage.”

So it’s not so much that they had the wedding for the wrong intentions. What you need to show for an annulment is that they completely excluded the correct intentions, or at least would have if they had been fully informed of what the correct intentions (e.g., the sacramental dignity of marriage) were.

This is not a very common ground for annulment, because the “positive exclusion” canonical language sets the bar pretty high for the marriage to be invalid.

Glad to help with what I’ve learned over the years.


#14

Thanks for your reply.

I’m up late reading the remainder of the references you have given me, and though I can’t profess to have read ‘the promulgation of the instruction Dignitas Connubii’ in detail, I noted some interesting points re: the handling of DH’s case previously. Although it’s old news, DH asked for help when it appeared things were going awry, yet was advised there was none, that there were no advocates. Then told to reapply first and then ask for help. Huh??? I found it highly inappropriate that our request for help was denied, and it was just confirmed by reading this reference.

Chevalier suggested we find a canon lawyer, which we are waiting on presently through a priest’s contacts. In the meanwhile, we’re trying to start gearing up again through as much research as possible.

As far as whether or not one of them would have gone through with it knowing the whole deal, probably not. But this factor seems to intertwine with others, one being maturity. And having been advised by the judge that ‘everyone is immature’, we now know how much more has to be written to convey the gross immaturity in both persons. To make it short, although DH had serious issues which should have required the review of an expert, the case was not referred out. We had a professional affiliated with the Church assist with the initial application and a professional who suggested an expert should be consulted. Where we thought everything would go well, it became a disaster. DH could not appeal due to a serious medical condition recently taken care of. So here we go again, after two years - one spent writing, the other waiting.

I’m not trying to blow off steam to you, by no means; just giving you a brief insight. I am trying to seriously look under every stone for the right answers, and your help is appreciated.

Have a good night - morning!:sleep:


#15

I hope this next round with the tribunal goes better. You are certainly doing everything possible to get to a positive outcome.

Here is one more stone that may or may not be useful, as I haven’t looked under it myself. The CLSA has a publication containing actual U.S. annulment decisions, so you can see the kind of written evidence that has worked to convince a tribunal. See here - it’s at the top of the list, “Jurisprudence: A Collection of US Tribunal Decisions - Compact Disc”.


#16

Whoa!

I’ve actually spent one night skimming most of the cases that were referenced on the Cormac Burke website. I have to go back through them again (ugh), though I did copy notes; many of the cases were European to my recollection. Going to order the cd right away, and perhaps a few other books that I hadn’t seen before mentioned on the site.

I’m not trying to be DH’s lawyer, just trying to get educated where we apparently were not.

If you come across anything else worth reading, feel free to zip it along.

Here’s to world domination… You’re a blessing.
(_/)
(O.o)
(> <)


#17

p.s. Found the library - Wrenn's book not in there. Don't know how I missed that. On the order list.
:)


#18

Good luck! If I find anything else, I will send it along.


#19

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(O.o)
(> <)

Thanks!


#20

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