If an annulment is granted, does that mean the sin of sex outside of marriage was committed?


#1

Tried asking this in the AAA forum but haven't seen it answered yet...

If an annulment is granted, does that mean the sin of sex outside of marriage was committed? From my understanding, an annulment means that a sacramental marriage never existed between two people. So if one is granted, that would mean any relations two people had during the non-marriage were definitively outside of marriage. (Of course assuming the couple had consummated their marriage.) And, sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin. (I could understand that the culpability in this case would be lessened since they thought they were married..., but it would still be a grave matter.)

Maybe someone can help me understand this :confused: .... thanks! :)


#2

I’m certainly not an expert on the subject, but if you intended to annul the marriage and yet still had sex, I think that would be a sin. Otherwise, you were not aware that the marriage never really existed in the first place. You can only commit a mortal sin if it’s with intention, willingness, and knowledge that it is one.


#3

As stated, knowledge is an important element of any sin. You can’t sin unless you are first aware of the sinful nature of the act you are committing.

Now the Church teaches, and those who are its members believe, that marriage is to be treated as being valid unless and until it is conclusively declared invalid. Remember the couple doesn’t annul a marriage - it’s not simply the Church version of applying for a civil divorce. All the couple can do is ask the Church to impartially investigate the validity of a marriage. A process which may or may not end in a declaration of nullity, it’s by no means a given that the marriage will be declared null as a result of the investigation.

In other words even if you are going through the process of having the validity of your marriage investigated you are entitled to continue living together and in every sense behaving as man and wife. Just as a man being tried for a crime is, for the most part, entitled to the presumption of innocence.


#4

Doesn't seem to me to be a sinful act if a person enters into what they believe to be an honest vow before God with another only to find out later the other person was insincere or deceptive in some way. Look at examples of why a decree of nullity is granted and you'll see they are granted because somewhere along the line someone withheld the truth or they presented themselves as this and turned out to be that.

If a person placed their faith, their trust, in another and it turned out they were being lied to the whole time, that puts an entirely different face on their actions. Different than, say, they decided they didn't need a marriage at all and just went and lived together in a sexual relationship.


#5

Er, will they even start annulment proceedings if you are still living together as man and wife??? The Church usually requires that there be an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (that usually means a civil divorce) before she accepts a petition for a decree of nullity.


#6

[quote="Phemie, post:5, topic:176903"]
Er, will they even start annulment proceedings if you are still living together as man and wife??? The Church usually requires that there be an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (that usually means a civil divorce) before she accepts a petition for a decree of nullity.

[/quote]

Yes, the Church requires a divorce before starting the annulment process.


#7

This is correct, they will not start nullity investigations (in the US) without divorce.

But, an individual in the marriage can become certain of its nullity prior to that time.


#8

There are three conditions for mortal sin: grave matter, full knowledge, deliberate consent. The situation that you describe does not include the intent to sin (deliberate consent), and full knowledge of the sinfulness of the act would also be absent. So, no sin has have been committed.

Check out #395 of the compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church available here: vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


#9

Annulment is granted in cases where the presence and love of Christ was not actually present in the couple at the wedding mass. That is, the sacrament of marriage did not take place. The sin of sex outside of marriage would only have been committed by the unloving spouse who did not give his/herself fully to the other. The victim spouse would be free from the sin because he/she truly loved the other and believed the sacrament had occured. So when a spouse comes to the knowledge that the marriage may not have been a true one, he/she should immediately cease to partake in the conjugal act.


#10

[quote="georgette94, post:8, topic:176903"]
There are three conditions for mortal sin: grave matter, full knowledge, deliberate consent. The situation that you describe does not include the intent to sin (deliberate consent), and full knowledge of the sinfulness of the act would also be absent. So, no sin has have been committed.

Check out #395 of the compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church available here: vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

[/quote]

So does this mean it's not really a sin if one were to have one of those one night stands with the excuses: "It just happened." "We didn't plan for it to happen." "We were both drunk and one thing lead to another..."


#11

Actually, a decree of nullity is issued when a marriage is found to be invalid. Marriages can be perfectly valid and be non-sacramental, in fact, the love of Christ has nothing to do with a valid marriage - two athiests or two hindus or two satanists can have a valid marriage.


#12

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:10, topic:176903"]
So does this mean it's not really a sin if one were to have one of those one night stands with the excuses: "It just happened." "We didn't plan for it to happen." "We were both drunk and one thing lead to another..."

[/quote]

Do you not see the difference between this and getting married to someone who misrepresents themselves or what they believe? Or do you think they had the sex totally unaware of what they were doing outside the bonds of marriage?


#13

[quote="Lutheranteach, post:10, topic:176903"]
So does this mean it's not really a sin if one were to have one of those one night stands with the excuses: "It just happened." "We didn't plan for it to happen." "We were both drunk and one thing lead to another..."

[/quote]

It would still be a sin, and getting drunk is a grave sin in and of itself.

For sin to be MORTAL it has to meet the three conditions. If all three are not met, it is still sin, it is not mortal sin.


#14

Well if you drank with the intent of becoming drunk, you have grave matter, full knowlege and full consent. So that would be mortal sin #1.

Being drunk might reduce the amount of culpability for the sexual sin, because it would diminish the consent of the will.

Unless you purposefully got drunk so you could loose your inhibitions knowing what the consequences would be. And if this is a regular pattern, you have all conditions fulfilled when you walk into the bar.


#15

I see your point on the valid marriages of people of different religions than Catholicism, and that what makes the marriage valid or invalid is whether or not the man and women freely gave their consent to eachother. I guess I stated my reasoning wrong, because God loves everyone so some of Christ’s love must have been present. But in a Catholic marriage for the marriage to be declared invalid means it never even existed at all, right?

From the Catechism: “The matrimonial union of man and woman is dissolutable: God himself has determined it: ‘what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’” So either annulment is that the marriage never existed, or maybe that God himself must dissolve the marriage (since man cannot). I frankly don’t know what goes on in an annulment investigation and maybe God is called upon to dissolve a marriage. But, if it was actually a marriage at all then it must have been valid one and so shouldn’t be dissolved, I would think.


#16

[quote="Umvard, post:15, topic:176903"]
I see your point on the valid marriages of people of different religions than Catholicism, and that what makes the marriage valid or invalid is whether or not the man and women freely gave their consent to eachother. I guess I stated my reasoning wrong, because God loves everyone so some of Christ's love must have been present. But in a Catholic marriage for the marriage to be declared invalid means it never even existed at all, right?

From the Catechism: "The matrimonial union of man and woman is dissolutable: God himself has determined it: 'what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder.'" So either annulment is that the marriage never existed, or maybe that God himself must dissolve the marriage (since man cannot). I frankly don't know what goes on in an annulment investigation and maybe God is called upon to dissolve a marriage. But, if it was actually a marriage at all then it must have been valid one and so shouldn't be dissolved, I would think.

[/quote]

A Decree of Nullity means that the marriage never existed, it was not valid, it was null - this applies to Catholic and non-Catholic marriages.


#17

[quote="georgette94, post:14, topic:176903"]
Well if you drank with the intent of becoming drunk, you have grave matter, full knowlege and full consent. So that would be mortal sin #1.

Being drunk might reduce the amount of culpability for the sexual sin, because it would diminish the consent of the will.

Unless you purposefully got drunk so you could loose your inhibitions knowing what the consequences would be. And if this is a regular pattern, you have all conditions fulfilled when you walk into the bar.

[/quote]

And besides, God knows everything so he can see what you're up to. Never think that your are going to "put one over on" God.


#18

No, all marriages are considered valid until proven otherwise. They are given the benefit of the doubt.No sin unless one of the spouses knows a reason and deliberately withholds it then I suppose that might be sinful but the innocent spouse would incur no sin.


#19

No mortal sin if believing marriage to be valid. Actually, even the children are legitimate, in recognition of the good faith of at least one spouse.

(I don’t want to create over-the-top examples with venial sin, either.)

US tribunals do. It’s not universal.


#20

A marriage which later turns out to be invalid, before it is declared invalid, is called a putative marriage -- something that is believed to be a marriage. The couple does not sin by living an ordinary married life. Even if they suspect the marriage to be invalid, until it is actually declared so, they can continue to assume it is valid until it is declared otherwise.

As said above, the children of an annulled marriage are still considered legitimate.


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