Is a JOP wedding between two Catholics valid?

**Here is a hypothetical: **

Two people are married before a Justice of the Peace. Both are baptized Catholics, however, neither of them have taken any steps to have their marriage properly blessed in the eyes of the Church.

Obviously, this marriage is not sacrimental, but is it in any way valid?

Dear David,

No, if two Catholics attempt marriage by a justice of the peace, the marriage is not valid. For Catholics, marriage is a sacrament, a sign of Christ’s marriage with His people. No civil authority has spiritual power, authority or jurisdiction over the sacraments.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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