This post is simply out of curiosity, if or when I get married I would like to do so in the Catholic Church. But if an atheist couple were to get married not in a church would the couple (in the eyes of the church) technically be fornicating every time they had sex because the marriage was not a catholic one, or would it be valid like any other marriage
Assuming that the marriage was otherwise valid (for example, neither of them had been married previously) and that neither of them was baptized Catholic or Orthodox, their marriage at a courthouse, a hotel, etc. would be completely valid. Non-Catholics are not bound to the Catholic form of marriage.
Marriage was instituted by God long before Christ’s time on earth. Non-Christians contract valid natural marriages. Christ raised marriage to a Sacrament for Christians. However, non-Christians still marry validly as before.
Just one minor correction. Not all Christians recognize marriage as sacramental. For example, Congregationalists and many other Reformed Christian churches understand marriage as civil, not religious, even if there is a ceremony in a church (see the history of Puritan New England in the US).
Luther himself said marriage is not a sacrament, so probably it is not to most Protestants.
You are correct about that. However, this is a Catholic forum, and the Catholic Church recognizes all valid marriages between baptized Christians as sacramental. Their possible ignorance of that fact does not change the situation.
So does the Church. Unless one of them is Catholic and there was no dispensation from form.
It’s a natural marriage.
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