Marriage for the impotent?

I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with a problem known as congenital cavernosal venous leak syndrome. He was apparently born with it and it has resulted in total impotence. Since the mechanism of the problem is totally different from the more common cause of impotence, there are no pills or surgeries that can help him. The only thing he could possibly do - which he is not inclined to do - would be to have implants inserted in his private part. This would provide for a “fake” erection but not ejaculation. Would the Church allow this person to get married in as much as he would likely not be able to consummate his wedding vows in a natural manner?

Your friend should discuss this with his priest and get a canonical ruling from the diocese. Impotence is an impediment to a valid marriage.

Can. 1084 §1. Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have intercourse, whether on the part of the man or the woman, whether absolute or relative, nullifies marriage by its very nature.

§2. If the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether by a doubt about the law or a doubt about a fact, a marriage must not be impeded nor, while the doubt remains, declared null.

Right, 1ke.

It is a sign of how marriage itself has become tragically misunderstood that this would be seen by many–even by many Catholic Christians–as ‘wrong’ or ‘unfair’.

Marriage is not simply about a piece of paper, or ‘getting rights’, or ceremonies, white dress, big parties, or even about ‘love’.

Marriage is a covenant. It is also instituted by God, and He has definite ‘rules’ for it.

The fact that this last century or so has seen some pretty widespread desecrations, denials, and attacks on marriage, and attempts to make it something it is NOT (even legal ‘changes’ do not change what God has fundamentally decreed) is incredibly sad. . .but it doesn’t change what marriage is. Even if every single married person in the world understood it wrongly and practiced it wrongly, it would STILL not change what marriage truly was.

Abortion, or fornication, adultery, sodomy etc. are now ‘legal’ in many places but that doesn’t make THEM ‘moral’ now either.

So if the OPs’ friend wanted to have a loving companion to share his life with, he is certainly able to do so, with the Church’s blessing. . .he just cannot attempt to define this as a marriage. He cannot marry unless he is capable of performing the sexual action, because that is part of what marriage itself fundamentally is all about.

But just because he doesn’t get the ceremony doesn’t mean that he is being ‘denied’ the opportunity to have ‘love’. If a person (of any age or sex) wished to love and care for that young man ‘until death’, that would be perfectly ‘valid’. . .but it would NOT, it COULD NOT, be a ‘marriage’ as we understand marriage to be.

We do not have a right to marriage in the sense that there are certain limitations. I could not marry my father, or my brother or sister. I could not marry a man who was already married to another woman (and intended to remain married to her). IOW, just because I might wish to marry someone doesn’t give me the ‘right’ to do so. Even if THEY were willing. And certainly I couldn’t if they WEREN’T willing!

Good post.:thumbsup:

I would venture to answer your question, no. Impotence is an impediment to marriage. For canonical purposes impotence is the inability to have sexual intercourse. In canonical terms sexual intercourse has three essential elements.
*]Erection of the penis - there appears to be a surgical procedure to resolve this: implants;
*]Penetration, at least partial, of the vagina by the penis - the surgical procedure could make this possible;
*]Ejaculation within the vagina - it would appear this will not be possible.
This person needs to see their parish priest who can either advise or seek an appropriate opinion.

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