Marriage without a witness?


#1

Crazy "what if" question.

What if my theoretical girlfriend ( who is also Catholic) and I were shipwrecked on an island. We wait for a cpuple years, but no one comes to rescue us. We stay chaste of course during this time. Could we get married and confer the Sacrament upon each other? Providing we both remember and recite the proper main nuptual vows. I know the Church requires a witness, but would this be an extreme case where it would be a valid, but illicit marriage? Or would it not be vpeven valid?


#2

Witnesses are required:

Can. 1116 §1. If a person competent to assist according to the norm of law cannot be present or approached without grave inconvenience, those who intend to enter into a true marriage can contract it validly and licitly before witnesses only:

1/ in danger of death;

2/ outside the danger of death provided that it is prudently foreseen that the situation will continue for a month.

§2. In either case, if some other priest or deacon who can be present is available, he must be called and be present at the celebration of the marriage together with the witnesses, without prejudice to the validity of the marriage before witnesses only.


#3

[quote="JeraldW, post:1, topic:309776"]
Crazy "what if" question.

What if my theoretical girlfriend ( who is also Catholic) and I were shipwrecked on an island. We wait for a cpuple years, but no one comes to rescue us. We stay chaste of course during this time. Could we get married and confer the Sacrament upon each other? Providing we both remember and recite the proper main nuptual vows. I know the Church requires a witness, but would this be an extreme case where it would be a valid, but illicit marriage? Or would it not be vpeven valid?

[/quote]

Yes, although this would be an extreme case, it would be valid. The Church never requires the impossible. If there were only one man and one woman on a desert island, with no hope for rescue, then, yes, they could marry each other, conferring the Sacrament upon each other. I remember this being taught to me in secondary (high) school in Ireland many years ago. Of course, in this day and age, it is not very likely that anyone could find themselves in such a situation!


#4

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