Mary and Joseph's marriage and Josephite marriage

Okay, I have been wondering about this for a while and thought I would ask to see if anyone knows the answer. Now, we know Mary was a virgin for her whole life even though she was married. There is also something that some practice in the church called a Josephite marriage (where they don’t have sex in marriage except one time). I know that the Catholic Church does not recognize a marriage to be valid until it is consummated henceforth why those entering into a Josephite marriage have to have to consummate their marriage one time. Now why would their marriage not be valid if they did not consummate, but Mary and Joseph’s marriage is even though they never consummated. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.:shrug:

This is not true. Unconsummated marriages ARE valid marriages. Where did you come up with the idea that a couple was required to have sex one time in order to contract a valid marriage?

I found this to clear things up quite a bit.

cuf.org/FileDownloads/marrvalid.pdf

Not sure about the validity of the source, but — given that it quotes the Catechism at numerous points — it would appear to be reliable & a somewhat decent answer to your question. Hope this helps!

-CMC

Callmecatholic:

from your link:

Generally, the Church does not encourage persons to enter into marriage if they do not plan on consummating
the union.

What would be the acceptable exceptions?

Not sure where you go the idea that it is “except one time”. Those in a Josephite marriage need never consummate it. Although, most eventually do I believe-- such as the parents of St Therese of Liseux.

This is not accurate. Consent makes a valid marriage, therefore the marriage is valid at the time the vows are exchanged. Consummation makes a valid marriage indissoluable (between the baptized).

Well, (a) you mistakenly assumed a marriage requires consummation for validity and (b) Mary and Joseph were not Catholics. They married under Jewish law. But regardless, their marriage was valid by virtue of giving valid consent to marry.

And © why would it matter if their marriage was considered valid or not? It was a legal marriage for the protection of Mary and Jesus.

Mary and Joseph’s marriage was ordained by God. What could be more valid than that?

Well I got the idea of Catholic marriage isn’t valid until consummated came from a few sources. The first was that I learned in a few history courses that at some points in Church history they found it so important to make sure that the marriage was consummated, that they would have a few people (generally a clergy member and parent/s) be in the room when it was consummated and it wasn’t considered valid until this happened. I have had several people fight me on this, but I was taught this in two different college history classes by two different professors. The second source was the Priest that did our pre-marital counseling. I ask lots of questions. So I asked about consummation and about Josephite marriages. I trust both of those sources so hence where I got the idea that you need to consummate the marriage before your marriage is considered valid and that Josephites have sex once to consummate marriage. I have never seen any evidence to the contrary to these things so I am sticking to them for now… I reserve the right to be wrong though. lol.

The **ability **to have sex is a requirement to contract a valid marriage. Permanent impotence on the part of one or both parties would be an impediment to marriage. That is probably what your priest was getting at during your premarital instruction, but simply choosing not to consummate the marriage does not invalidate the marriage. Like IKE said, an unconsummated marriage is dissoluble by the Pope, but it is NOT invalid. If your priest said otherwise, he is mistaken.

This is NOT true.

get your money back, they are ignorant.

that is sad.

Here you go:

Can.* 1057 §1. The consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons quali-fied by law, makes marriage; no human power is able to supply this consent.

Can.* 1061 §1. A valid marriage between the baptized is called ratum tantum if it has not been consummated; it is called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which the spouses become one flesh.

§2. After a marriage has been celebrated, if the spouses have lived together consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.

Can.* 1141 A marriage that is ratum et consummatum can be dissolved by no human power and by no cause, except death.

Can.* 1142 For a just cause, the Roman Pontiff can dissolve a non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and a non-baptized party at the request of both parties or of one of them, even if the other party is unwilling.

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.