Marriage Question


#1

Is it possible that a marriage that was entered into invalidly become valid?

Also is it possible for a marriage that was entered into validly become invaid?

If so what are those reasons?

Thanks!


#2
  1. It’s called convalidation. So yes.

  2. No. There are exceptions of Petrine and Pauline Privilege where a validly married couple can be split and one spouse free to convert and re-marry a Catholic but they are very rare. It is important to note that such marriages would have been valid, but not sacramental since they did not involve Catholics in the first place. If you mean a valid marriage between Catholics, then the answer is no.


#3

Marriage once valid is valid forever. It can’t become invalid. Even if someone deceives an actual ecclesiastical court (“tribunal”) or the court makes an honest mistake in declaring a valid marriage invalid, then that doesn’t invalidate the marriage and the marriage stays valid forever. Simply put, once you validly enter into marriage, it stays valid forever, not gonna change.

An invalid marriage can indeed become valid without being fully contracted anew. This happens in two ways: simple convalidation (with a renewal of consent, not necessarily by both parties) or radical sanation (without a renewal of consent, but consent must still be there for radical sanation to be valid). In some cases radical sanation can be granted without one or even either party knowing. Simple convalidation too can happen with one party not knowing (e.g. canon 1159 §2 case of a defect of consent that can’t be proven), although naturally, at least one party knows because a renewal of consent is required.

Here are the laws:
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P46.HTM
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P47.HTM

Impediments still need to be dispensed or have ceased (i.e. no longer be there) in either case. In case of simple convalidation, the new consent must also be valid (invalid new consent does not convalidate).


#4

[quote="Rob_D, post:1, topic:181914"]
Is it possible that a marriage that was entered into invalidly become valid?

[/quote]

Yes, certainly. If one or both spouses become aware that their marriage is invalid they can take steps to make it valid. The steps necessary to make it valid depend upon the reason it is invalid.

Canon Law covers this.

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P46.HTM

vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P47.HTM

[quote="Rob_D, post:1, topic:181914"]
Also is it possible for a marriage that was entered into validly become invaid?

[/quote]

No. A valid marriage endures until the death of one of the spouses.


#5

[quote="The_Bucket, post:2, topic:181914"]
2) No. There are exceptions of Petrine and Pauline Privilege where a validly married couple can be split and one spouse free to convert and re-marry a Catholic but they are very rare. It is important to note that such marriages would have been valid, but not sacramental since they did not involve Catholics in the first place. If you mean a valid marriage between Catholics, then the answer is no.

[/quote]

Any two baptised Christians marry sacramentally--it's not just Catholics. :) Since Protestants aren't bound by our requirements of form, two Protestants marrying in a JP's office contract a sacramental marriage if there's no impediment, defect of consent etc.

To clarify a bit about the privileges:

Pauline privilege applies in the case of a validly married *unbaptised *couple. If the unbaptised party won't stay with the newly baptised party (any baptised, not just Catholic and doesn't apply to baptised people changing their other Christian faith to Catholic) unless the Catholic gave a good reason for leaving (e.g. by being violent, abusive etc.). In the etremely unlikely event that both spouses, although having been baptised, have not consummated their marriage after baptism, and persecution prevents them from being able to resume cohabitation, Pauline privilege *can *be given.

Petrine privilege applies to an unbaptised person having multiple spouses (unbaptised), who can pick one of them to keep if staying with the *first *one would be difficult. A person from outside the group of such spouses cannot be chosen. If one of the many spouses is baptised, the privilege doesn't apply.

Pauline privilege applies by merely contracting a new marriage, but the condition that the other party must have departed remains AND:

Can. 1144 §1. For the baptized party to contract a new marriage validly, the non-baptized party must always be interrogated whether:
1/ he or she also wishes to receive baptism;
2/ he or she at least wishes to cohabit peacefully with the baptized party without affront to the Creator.

(Emphasis mine. This part really is required and must be done.)


#6

You have to divide the question into types of marriage. A sacramental marriage cannot change from valid to invalid, it can go in reverse. Natural marriages lack authority so know one can really speak with authority on that subject (it is strictly between the couple). Civil marriages can be reversed anyway you chose.

hope that is clear


#7

I think there is also a case when catholic can enter a Natural Marriage with dispensation and that marriage can become sacramental at later dates by the non catholic spouse converting.


#8

A third way, IIRC a canonist I have read, regards a couple of baptised non-Catholics in an invalid marriage – If the impediment ceases (eg a previous spouse dies) and consent continues (presumed), the union becomes valid.

tee
Not A Canon Lawyer, so he may be mistaken


#9

Thank you all for your responses. I certainly have a lot to read.

One more question.

If an invalid marriage has become valid, it can not return to a state of invalidity, correct?

I still fuzzy on the conversion from invalid to valid. I am reading the links!

Thanks


#10

[quote="Texas_Roofer, post:7, topic:181914"]
I think there is also a case when catholic can enter a Natural Marriage with dispensation and that marriage can become sacramental at later dates by the non catholic spouse converting.

[/quote]

But even the natural marriage would already have been valid.

Valid *is not synonymous with *sacramental.

tee


#11

This is interesting. Can you explain? I guess I’m thinking if a person goes before a tribunal to receive an annulment and it is granted, and he/she/they did not purposely deceive the tribunal, then how could the marriage still be considered valid? Then if the person decides to remarry are they committing a sin without even knowing it?


#12

[quote="Rob_D, post:9, topic:181914"]
If an invalid marriage has become valid, it can not return to a state of invalidity, correct?

[/quote]

correct.

For a full and coherent treatment of validity, nullity, convalidation, etc, I suggest you get a copy of the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Smith Foster. You can probably get it on inter-library loan and can definitely buy through Amazon.com


#13

I might need to rephrase my question.

If a scramental Catholic marriage was performed and it may have been invalid, can it become valid without benefit of an outside party (i.e. the Church)?

Are all sacramental marriages valid?

WHat if one spouse had hidden his/her past from the other and is trying to correct their defects to grow in Grace and dedication to his/her spouse?


#14

really all marriages are presumed valid, whether they are really valid is only known jointly by the couple. If you want to know can the couple apply for annulment the answer is yes. The annulment process is to show the sacrament of marriage could not exist because… If the tribunal determines the facts are inconsistent with a sacramental marriage then the parties can be found free to marry, having never achieved “marriage” but rather they “attempted marriage”


#15

I am not looking for an annulment, but rather a solid Liturgical Catholic based reason to keep a marriage together.


#16

Originally Posted by Code of Canon Law
Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:

1/ those who lack the sufficient use of reason;

2/ those who suVer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;

3/ those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.

What is #3 is a cause of psychic nature that was not originally known by either party?


#17

That sound very problematic, a real marriage needs no Liturgical reason. A real marriage uses Natural Moral Law for its base. The marriage need was encrypted into the soul before birth. The liturgical part to to assure the church uncovers the proper call from Natural Moral Law verses a poor understanding which the individual may develop.


#18

I see. And I don’t see.

I am looking at two Catholics who may be on the verge of divorce, but their beliefs in the Church would keep them togehter. If the marriage was, or is, invalid, they might dissolve.


#19

[quote="Rob_D, post:18, topic:181914"]
I see. And I don't see.

I am looking at two Catholics who may be on the verge of divorce, but their beliefs in the Church would keep them togehter. If the marriage was, or is, invalid, they might dissolve.

[/quote]

Catholics cannot determine the validity of a marriage by themselves, The Church has to make such determination. The Church (at least in the USA) will not start such determination until a civil divorce is effective. I will also look at the concept of putative marriage.


#20

Ha! What an eye to detail. :slight_smile: It’s true there will begin a valid marriage there, but it won’t be able to be convalidated back to the date of the wedding because a baptised non-Catholic can’t have two valid marriages at the same time. At least it would make no sense for such convalidation to be possible because it would mean that a baptised person was married to two people at the same time.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.