Internal Forum Marriage


What does the Catholic church say about “internal forum” marriage? Is there any situations, such as children needing a mother/father and a stable home, in which a couple can conduct an “internal forum” marriage until their annulment (petrine priviledge) is completed?


The use of the “internal forum” is very rare and used only when an annulment cannot be pursued. The example that is often given if for an older couple where all of the witnesses are deceased. If a couple has an annulment investigation “in process”, they obviously don’t qualify for using the internal forum. It is possible that they might be re-admitted to the Sacraments, however. The usual conditions are to refrain from marital relations and not to receive Communion in a parish where their irregular marriage is known.

In either case, the couple does not do this themselves. It is worked out through the Sacrament of Confession.



I see where you’re going with this (based on your other posts).

The answer to your question about a so-called internal forum marriage is an unqualified no.

You cannot get married in the Catholic Church while your potential husband is still bound by his first marriage.

Whatever it is you mean by an “internal forum marriage” doesn’t matter—it is impossible for you to enter into the sacrament of marriage with a man who is already bound by marriage.

Please do not get information on a subject like this from the internet. Speak to a priest in-person.

Please believe me that trying to find answers on the internet that conflict with what your pastor (and probably, at this point, the diocesan tribunal) has told you does not help your situation.


The most extensive information I got back when I googled for these terms, I found on a heretical website which I will not link here, of an organization of “catholics” which promotes invalid remarriage as well as contraception, women’s ordination, term limits for bishops, wresting power of governance from priests, bishops and the Pope, and putting it into the hands of laity, and other heretical things I did not bother to find out. It purports to propose a “Constitution” for the Catholic Church containing a bill of basic human rights. This group’s ideas are so far out of line with Catholic teaching that they cannot be given any legitimacy or credence. So, if I were you, I would heed Fr. David’s word, and listen to your priest and diocese, and stay far, far away from this idiotic “internal forum” proposition.


I had never heard that term before. I read about it and I’d say it wouldn’t be possible, and you’d cut yourself off from receiving the Eucharist. Just wait for the annulment process. Thought some take a long time, some go very quickly (mine was done in less than a month).

And this is from another post on CA.

May it be done according to God’s will. :gopray2:


I am not trying to bypass my pastor. And, yes, I posted earlier about the non-baptised person because I had started dating this person, and I wanted an overview before I even had a few dates. Isn’t that what this forum is for? And, I’m not trying to go around the tribunal process either. I had just had one date with the unbaptized man, and so I thought I would come in here to get some sort of idea of the wait I would have to go through in order to marry this person should the relationship develop. Why bother my pastor if I’m not even close to engagement stage yet? In fact, I am currently not actively dating this person.

I would never have an internal forum marriage. Don’t believe in them. However, I was interested in what the church had to say about them, because I know a person who is pursuing this avenue.


All right.

There’s no such thing as an “internal forum marriage.”

There is a provision in canon law for a marriage celebrated in secret, but I’m sure that’s not what you’re asking about, based on the context. That means a marriage where a bishop/priest/deacon officiates but in a private setting without any public announcement of the marriage. That’s not an “internal forum marriage.”


There is no such thing.

A couple not yet married is called to stay that way until both are determined free to marry. Anything else is just plain old sin.

A couple in an irregular marriage with pending annulment case(s) is called to continence and to follow the advice of their priest. If children are in the home, the Church does not necessarily call for physical separation.


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