Mixed Marriage Question


1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority.137 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage.138 This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage; and furthermore that the Catholic party confirms the obligations, which have been made known to the non-Catholic party, of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church.139

I got caught on the part that says “This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage.” What does this mean. I found that the essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility. Am I assuming correctly that the ends of marriage are unity and procreation?

So what does this mean? Does this mean that the non-Catholic spouse would have to promise not to use contraceptives of any form? It doesn’t say anything about making a promise, but it does say these ends are not to be excluded. Does it mean something more like both spouses have to be open to having children?


Permission is required for disparity of worship (Christian with Catholic).
Dispensation is required for disparity of cult (non-Christian with Catholic).Canon 1086.1 A marriage is invalid when one of the two persons was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it and the other was not baptised.
Canon 1086.2 This impediment is not to be dispensed unless the conditions mentioned in cann. 1125 and 1126 have been fulfilled.

Canon 1125 The local Ordinary can grant this permission if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions are fulfilled:

Canon 1125.1 the catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power in order that all the children be baptised and brought up in the catholic Church;

Canon 1125.2 the other party is to be informed in good time of these promises to be made by the catholic party, so that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and of the obligation of the catholic party.

Canon 1125.3 both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which are not to be excluded by either contractant.

Canon 1126 It is for the Episcopal Conference to prescribe the manner in which these declarations and promises, which are always required, are to be made, and to determine how they are to be established in the external forum, and how the non-catholic party is to be informed of them.
Essential ends are:
Canon 1055.1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptised, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
Essentials properties are:Canon 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility; in christian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament.


Very well said… thanks for the info.


Yes, it means that both the Catholic and non-Catholic have to intend to be

  1. married for life
  2. faithful
  3. open to children.

Those 3 specific questions are answered (among others) under oath during the pre-nuptial investigation and are repeated either as questions or statements during the wedding vows.

The Catholic also has to promise that by marrying a non-Catholic there is no danger to his/her own Faith and that he/she will do everything in his/her power to have the children baptized and raised in the Catholic Faith.

The non-Catholic doesn’t have to promise anything, but is informed of the Catholic’s promise and its implications.

closed #5

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