Formal Defection Loophole Closed, What Will Happen?


#1

As some in here have mentioned and documented, there used to be a way for those who were baptised Catholic but no longer practicing, to leave Catholicism by formal defection: a “loophole” that has recently been closed. I just wonder what will be the results of this closure? Should those former Catholics seeking marriage, approach Catholic clergy and request dispensation? Would they be required to go through Catholic marriage preparation? Or will there just be a lot more invalid (in the Catholic Church’s eyes) marriages? It seems like the Catholic Church would want ex-Catholics to be able to marry validly, and this will just end up pushing more people away from the CC. IMHO. What do you think?


#2

Holy Mother Church wants all to marry validly, and wants all to come back to full Communion.

Prayers that this will bring many more home.


#3

I don't think the loophole is closed quite yet. There is a delay from when the change is announced to when it goes into effect. Does anyone know the actual effective date?


#4

I’m not sure how many Catholics actually took the formal defection step anyway. So not really sure it’s going to make a whole lot of difference one way or another. Sadly there seems be enough “pushing from” nowadays anyways. :frowning:


#5

This is not accurate. A Catholic who defected by formal defection was still 100% Catholic and subject to Canon Law. The only thing formal defection did was release them from the canons related to the form of marriage.

Practically speaking, none.

Yes, they *should *do so.

Since very few people ever formally defect, practically speaking-- no. Those who have “left” the Church will likely continue to enter invalid marriages at the same pace as before.

There’s no such thing as an “ex” Catholic. What the Church wants is for these people to see the error of their way and be reconciled.

But, that’s not the reason the “loophole” was closed. It was closed to better judge marriage cases. It created a serious gray area that made it difficult for the tribunal to determine whether or not defection had occurred.


#6

This change will actually make it easier for “fallen away” Catholics to return to the church and get a “free do-over” in effect abandoning their old marriage as though it never existed. This new change takes effect after it’s formally published in some vatican register (dont’ remember which), but it’s supposed to happen early this year. From that point on, Catholics are bound to follow church marriage forms, no matter what. Well, of course ex-Catholics aren’t going to lose any sleep over that, so they’ll get married in a civil ceremony or some other church. Whatever percent decide to come back to the RCC someday, of course can seek to have their marriage validated or get dispensation or whatever. On the other hand, if they divorced and now want to marry a good Catholic spouse, no problem. They get a free divorce because their first marriage was “invalid.”

To my mind, it’s absurd that the church would presume to exercise any authority of canon law over people who have renounced their membership entirely. It’s also kind of creepy and cult-like. It singles out ex-Catholics as a sort of pariah class. The marriage of protestants are valid even though they and their ancestors rejected the church generations ago. Osama Bin Laden’s marriages are valid in the church’s eyes. But not the marriages of people who decided Catholicism wasn’t for them.

You’re right in the fact that not many people in this country have submitted a formal declaration of defection, because so few people knew of the procedure or wanted to bother sending in a notarized letter (I did, but I’m kind of a geek). In Ireland, thousands have done so in the wake of the Ryan report. I’m curious to see whether the church will even continue to accept such letters. With this new change, defection will have absolutely no consequence in canon law.


#7

What about Catholics who want to marry ex-Catholics? What all becomes involved and what is then required of each party?


#8

There is no such thing as an “ex Catholic” - there are non practicing Catholics. If they are free to marry, they may marry practicing Catholics in the Church.


#9

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]
This change will actually make it easier for "fallen away" Catholics to return to the church and get a "free do-over" in effect abandoning their old marriage as though it never existed.

[/quote]

Which would not always be a good thing, IMO.


#10

[quote="angelerulastiel, post:7, topic:185271"]
What about Catholics who want to marry ex-Catholics? What all becomes involved and what is then required of each party?

[/quote]

*Can. 1071 §1. Except in a case of necessity, a person is not to assist without the permission of the local ordinary at:

4/ a marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith;

5/ a marriage of a person who is under a censure;

§2. The local ordinary is not to grant permission to assist at the marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith unless the norms mentioned in ⇒ can. 1125 have been observed with necessary adaptation.*

Note: "Notoriously defected" is not the same thing canonically as "formally defected." A person who "notoriously defected" is someone who has joined another Christian demonination or become an apostate.

It requires permission from the Bishop to marry such a person, and the norms in canon 1125 (mixed marriage) must be observed:

*Can. 1125 The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:

1/ the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;

2/ the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;

3/ both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.*

.


#11

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]
This change will actually make it easier for "fallen away" Catholics to return to the church and get a "free do-over" in effect abandoning their old marriage as though it never existed.

[/quote]

This is not accurate. A Catholic in an invalid marriage can convalidate that marriage at any time. A Catholic who finds themselves invalidly married does not have to "abandon" their spouse, nor should they. They should convalidate the marriage.

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]
Well, of course ex-Catholics aren't going to lose any sleep over that, so they'll get married in a civil ceremony or some other church. Whatever percent decide to come back to the RCC someday, of course can seek to have their marriage validated or get dispensation or whatever. On the other hand, if they divorced and now want to marry a good Catholic spouse, no problem. They get a free divorce because their first marriage was "invalid."

[/quote]

Yes, their marriage was invalid. The number of people who formally defect is so tiny as to be almost non existent. I don't know a single fallen away Catholic who has **formally **defected. So, the Church found that basically no one was doing this anyway. And, it wasn't defined well in canon law, so it left areas of doubt.

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]
To my mind, it's absurd that the church would presume to exercise any authority of canon law over people who have renounced their membership entirely.

[/quote]

The Church isn't a club, where you can cancel your "membership." It's not membership at all. It's the family of God. Through baptism we are made children of God and are adopted into the Kingdom. If you don't like your family, if you leave your family and never contact them again, they are still your family. You cannot cancel your blood relationship with them. Baptism creates an indelible mark on your soul. You are always a Catholic. There isn't any way to be "not" Catholic. Just like there isn't any way to be "not" a member of your family.

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]

It's also kind of creepy and cult-like. It singles out ex-Catholics as a sort of pariah class. The marriage of protestants are valid even though they and their ancestors rejected the church generations ago. Osama Bin Laden's marriages are valid in the church's eyes. But not the marriages of people who decided Catholicism wasn't for them.

[/quote]

Um, no Osama Bin Ladens "marriages" aren't valid. Only one of them is.

Yes, Protestants marry validly. However, all of the divine law impediments apply so not *every *Protestant marriage or that of the unbaptized is valid.

And, yes, Catholics are always Catholic. That's not "creepy" it is simply an ontological fact. I am always going to be white even if I move to Africa and try to be black. It won't happen. Catholicism isn't revokable because we are permanently sealed in the covenant of Baptism.

[quote="kenofken, post:6, topic:185271"]

You're right in the fact that not many people in this country have submitted a formal declaration of defection, because so few people knew of the procedure or wanted to bother sending in a notarized letter (I did, but I'm kind of a geek). In Ireland, thousands have done so in the wake of the Ryan report. I'm curious to see whether the church will even continue to accept such letters. With this new change, defection will have absolutely no consequence in canon law.

[/quote]

I hope you will come back to the Church, which is always waiting for you with open arms. Christ died for you and I hope you will reconcile with His Bride.


#12

This is more the case of a loophole being opened. It means that people who left the Church, married multiple times, but later returned to the Church would be able to have all those marriages annulled very easily. This would facilitate the ability of returning Catholics to have a clean slate with respect to marriage.


#13

I’m not certain I would characterize the change in law as opening much of a loophole.

From my experience at least, so few people have actually placed a formal act of defection validly (recall that it also equires acceptance by competent Church authority),
that this is the case today.

Remember too, that in such cases of multiple marriages, we are speaking of marriages that are contracted apart from canonical form, and they do not enjoy any presumption of validity in the first place.

Perhaps it is helpful to recall that the Church welcomes the return of her prodigal children and we should rejoice in their return.


#14

Is there a link to this news, or the thread about it? I haven’t heard the news.


#15

From the standpoint of the Church, once a Catholic, always a Catholic. You cannot resign.

From the other side of the fence, if a Catholic becomes ex, and does not accept Catholic teachings and truth, they feel no further attachment to the Church, its leadership, or its rules.

The ex-Catholic does not recognize Catholic marriage rules, and will not follow such rules.

They will feel free to enter any marriage they wish, if it is allowed under civil law.

The ex-Catholic can join any other church that will have them, or be without church affiliation.

The Catholic Church can claim theological jurisdiction over an ex-Catholic, but that is a hollow claim, without the idividual's consent.


#16

Do a google search on "Omnium in mentem."
The text is at vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20091026_codex-iuris-canonici_lt.html. However, it’s probably been translated into English somewhere.
There are lots of summaries,such as catholicnewsagency.com/news/new_papal_decree_clarifies_role_of_deacons_and_result_of_defections_on_marriage/


#17

"And, yes, Catholics are always Catholic. That's not "creepy" it is simply an ontological fact. I am always going to be white even if I move to Africa and try to be black. It won't happen. Catholicism isn't revokable because we are permanently sealed in the covenant of Baptism."

Yes, it's true that you'll never cease being white, but if you chose to move to Africa and decided that living as a black man (whatever that entails), better suits you, most people would respect that. No organization purporting to speak for 1.3 billion people would exact a retributive measure denying the validity of your marriage because you "betrayed the race."


#18

I just wonder whether or not someone who seriously defects would be bothered by whether or not the Catholic Church approves of a subsequent marriage.
The validity in question does not necessarily depend on the decisions of the CC in the eyes of those who choose to no longer be members of her. Someone who defects is usually pushed (or drawn) away by something else to begin with, apart from a marriage outside of the Church. If it was only for a marriage outside of the Catholic Church a truly believing Catholic would not defect, but seek dispensation.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you.
In Him,
Janet


#19

[quote="Janet1983, post:18, topic:185271"]
I just wonder whether or not someone who seriously defects would be bothered by whether or not the Catholic Church approves of a subsequent marriage.

[/quote]

They might if they had Catholic family members, for one thing. For instance, I have a couple of nephews who were baptised Catholic, but raised in the Episcopal Church. They never formally defected, as far as I know. They're in their mid-twenties, both likely to be married to their non-Catholic girlfriends in the next few years, and I could see the potential for something like this to further estrange them from their dad (who is Catholic).

I suppose the thing for them to do would be to ask for the dispensation, even though they don't recognize the authority of the Catholic Church in this matter. Maybe the priest (or is it the Bishop?) would grant it without requiring them to convert.


#20

I will never defect from the church-ever.

I don't understand this though-your baptized without your consent, espectially if your a child. You have no free will over it.

If you don't want to practice the faith, shouldn't there be a way to say no?

I agree with the other poster who said it won't matter to them.If they don't accept the rules of the church, they'll ignore them.

Like I said, I don't have a dog in the fight.


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