Protestant Sacrament?

I just read this in one of the apologetics questions....

How are Catholics to view Protestant marriages?

”A: Generally speaking, Protestants have two valid sacraments, baptism and marriage, although they usually do not consider marriage to be a sacrament. Assuming the husband and wife are both validly baptized and that there are no impediments to the marriage, the Church presumes Protestant marriages to be both valid and sacramental.

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage? Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
I just read this in one of the apologetics questions....

How are Catholics to view Protestant marriages?

”A: Generally speaking, Protestants have two valid sacraments, baptism and marriage, although they usually do not consider marriage to be a sacrament. Assuming the husband and wife are both validly baptized and that there are no impediments to the marriage, the Church presumes Protestant marriages to be both valid and sacramental.

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage? Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

A fallen away Catholic will always be subject to Canon Law. If he doesn't return to the faith, then there's noting for him/her to lose. But if they do, then they are subject to it and may have their marriage declared null and they have committed mortal sin.

Remember that Baptism and Marriage are Sacraments that do not require an Ordained minister. Any human being can validly Baptize if the proper form, intent and matter are used. In Marriage the ministers are the husband and wife. Thus they can be valid outside the Church. The difference is Catholics are subject to Canon Law and what the Law says we must follow. So we can't get married in a Protestant ceremony without proper dispensation. And we can only be dispensed if our spouse-to-be is a Protestant. We can't ask for dispensation for two Catholics just because they want to get married in an exotic location that does not have a church or chapel.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
I just read this in one of the apologetics questions....

How are Catholics to view Protestant marriages?

”A: Generally speaking, Protestants have two valid sacraments, baptism and marriage, although they usually do not consider marriage to be a sacrament. Assuming the husband and wife are both validly baptized and that there are no impediments to the marriage, the Church presumes Protestant marriages to be both valid and sacramental.

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage? Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

I'm not saying the answer you were given was wrong. However, it is my understanding that most Protestants only accept two sacraments: Baptism and Eucharist. Some will accept the other five sacraments to varying degrees. Most Protestants call Baptism and Eucharist the domincal sacraments because they say they are the only two sacraments directly instituted by Our Lord.

Even though they are not Catholics, many Protestants are validly baptised. The Catholic Church teaches that when the husband and wife are baptised their marriage is a sacrament. If both parties are Protestants they're not bound to the canonical form. They would be married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because She teaches that the man and woman are the ministers of the sacrament. I'm not sure how other Churches would view it. I believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church the priest is considered the minister of the sacrament and not the couple.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament.

[/quote]

The Church views valid marriages between two baptized persons as a Sacrament by its very nature:

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

The protestant ecclesial communities do not view marriage as a sacrament, but that is not relevant to Catholic teaching on the matter.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]

If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

They would **not **be receiving the sacrament as a Protestant. A Catholic is bound by Catholic law on marriage. They would be making an invalid attempt at marriage should they marry outside Catholic form without dispensation.

The question an answer given by the CA staff is specific to NON Catholics. A person baptized into the Catholic Church is a CATHOLIC, not a Protestant.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]

”A: Generally speaking, Protestants have two valid sacraments, baptism and marriage, although they usually do not consider marriage to be a sacrament.

[/quote]

What? So how many Sacraments are you claiming, one or two?

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]

Assuming the husband and wife are both validly baptized and that there are no impediments to the marriage, the Church presumes Protestant marriages to be both valid and sacramental.

[/quote]

Yes.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage?

[/quote]

Yes. Catholic consider such marriages as sacramental. Protestants don't.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

Because they are Catholic, by baptism.

[quote="Matthew_Holford, post:3, topic:218838"]
I'm not saying the answer you were given was wrong. However, it is my understanding that most Protestants only accept two sacraments: Baptism and Eucharist. Some will accept the other five sacraments to varying degrees. Most Protestants call Baptism and Eucharist the domincal sacraments because they say they are the only two sacraments directly instituted by Our Lord.

Even though they are not Catholics, many Protestants are validly baptised. The Catholic Church teaches that when the husband and wife are baptised their marriage is a sacrament. If both parties are Protestants they're not bound to the canonical form. They would be married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because She teaches that the man and woman are the ministers of the sacrament. I'm not sure how other Churches would view it. I believe in the Eastern Orthodox Church the priest is considered the minister of the sacrament and not the couple.

[/quote]

We don't share Eucharist with Protestants. We share Baptism and Marriage.

While Protestants see Communion as a "Sacrament" instituted by Christ most do not believe in Transubstantiation and the ones that do lack the faculties to properly consecrate the Sacrament due to lack of Apostolic Succession. Most see it as "nice symbolism" or at best consubstantiation which I don't really understand so I'm not going to begin to get into. Also in most Protestant Churches communion services will happen once or twice a month.

The point is not “transubstantiation”, the point is the Real Presence of Christ in the sacrament.

Thew problem is, who can administer a sacrament.

Any person (even non baptized) can validly baptize, using the proper (Trinitarian) form and water.

Only ordained priest can administer the Confirmation, Eucharist, Confession and Last Unction, attempt by anyone else is invalid

Only bishop can administer the Holy Orders, attempt by anyone else is invalid.

For marriage the couple administers the sacrament for each other by their vow. To be sacrament they shall be (may be one party only?) baptized. For Catholics the law requires for the validity (with certain exceptions) the presence of a priest with jurisdiction to witness the vows which represent the form of marriage. If both party is non Catholic this requirement is not set.

[quote="laszlo, post:8, topic:218838"]
Thew problem is, who can administer a sacrament.

Any person (even non baptized) can validly baptize, using the proper (Trinitarian) form and water.

Only ordained priest can administer the Confirmation, Eucharist, Confession and Last Unction, attempt by anyone else is invalid

Only bishop can administer the Holy Orders, attempt by anyone else is invalid.

For marriage the couple administers the sacrament for each other by their vow. To be sacrament they shall be (may be one party only?) baptized. For Catholics the law requires for the validity (with certain exceptions) the presence of a priest with jurisdiction to witness the vows which represent the form of marriage. If both party is non Catholic this requirement is not set.

[/quote]

To be a Sacrament, both have to be Baptized since only the Baptized can receive other Sacraments. That is why when a Catholic married a non-Christian, a dispensation is required for the Church to accept the natural marriage as valid but not Sacramental.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
I I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage? Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

the difference is that Catholics are bound not only by natural law on marriage but also canon law. Non-Catholics are not. Marriage becomes sacramental when it is validly entered into by two baptized persons because baptism is the gateway sacrament to all others. A fallen away Catholic is not a protestant, regardless of what he professes, unless and until he formally defects from the Church, a contingent that has recently been clarified by some canon law rulings. They are therefore NOT validly entering into marriage because he is still Catholic. That is why he should be urged return to the Faith and marry validly.

If this is an actual case, who is doing the urging?

[quote="Vince1022, post:7, topic:218838"]
The point is not "transubstantiation", the point is the Real Presence of Christ in the sacrament.

[/quote]

This may be splitting hairs but Transubstantiation is what brings about the Real Presence - but I get your meaning. There are Protestant denominations that believe they have Real Presence but they believe they have it through Consubstantiation and they do not have the Apostolic Succession nor the proper Rite to support the claim.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
...Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

Since the 1983 code of canon law, it has been possible for a formally defected Catholic to subsequently marry validly without the approval of the Catholic Church. Howerver this is ending now that the canons that allowed this have been changed and will be effective about Christmas 2010. See the moto proprio Omnium in Mentem.

wdtprs.com/media/print/Omnium_in_mentem_trans_Haverstock.pdf

To formally defect is not the same as lapsed, for one must have:
[LEFT]a) the internal decision to leave the Catholic Church;
b) the realization and external manifestation of that decision; and
c) the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.[/LEFT]

[LEFT]See:[/LEFT]
vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20060313_actus-formalis_en.html

From the above: "It remains clear, in any event, that the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection."

No, God brings about the Real Presence. Not “Transubstantiation.”

Transubstantiation is a human, philosophical explanation of what occurs. It was an invented concept in the early second millennium A.D., whereas Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist has always existed.

[quote="CanMan86, post:1, topic:218838"]
I just read this in one of the apologetics questions....

How are Catholics to view Protestant marriages?

”A: Generally speaking, Protestants have two valid sacraments, baptism and marriage, although they usually do not consider marriage to be a sacrament. Assuming the husband and wife are both validly baptized and that there are no impediments to the marriage, the Church presumes Protestant marriages to be both valid and sacramental.

I never knew that a non-Catholic wedding could be considered a sacrament. If that's so then is there any difference between a Catholic marriage and a protestant marriage? Let's say a fallen away Catholic who now a protestant is getting married. Why should they be encouraged to marry in the Catholic Church if they are still receiving the sacrament as a protestant?

[/quote]

I didn't know this either up until a few weeks or a month or so ago. I was shocked to say the least. I had no clue that marriage could be valid for Protestants! Apparently it can be though which is a good thing! :thumbsup:

[quote="Vince1022, post:13, topic:218838"]
No, God brings about the Real Presence. Not "Transubstantiation."

Transubstantiation is a human, philosophical explanation of what occurs. It was an invented concept in the early second millennium A.D., whereas Christ's Real Presence in the Eucharist has always existed.

[/quote]

1) You are splitting hairs the point of the original statement is that the Protestant Church does not share Eucharist as a Sacrament

2) Transubstantiation is the process for which the wine and the bread change into the Body and the Blood. It was named from the Council of Trent. I would suggest a reading of CCC 1373-1377 specifically 1376.

3) Transubstantiation cannot happen without God as the priest acts in persono Christi meaning as you aid above yes God does bring about the Real Presence but He also brings about Transubstantiation as there is only one actual priest involved and that is the actual Lord Jesus Christ.

4) That is enough on that discusion as anymore would be derailing the thread.

Once Jimmy Akin wrote that there are four types of types of valid marriages that can exist:

Non-sacramental marriages between unbaptized persons
Non-sacramental marriages between a baptized person and an unbaptized person
Sacramental marriages (i.e., between two baptized persons) that are unconsummated
Sacramental marriages (i.e., between two baptized persons) that are consummated

Only the last kind cannot be dissolved. Any kind can be annulled.

[quote="Vico, post:16, topic:218838"]

Only the last kind cannot be dissolved. Any kind can be annulled.

[/quote]

While I understand what you mean, your sentence is deceptive. It would be better to say that a putative marriage of any of the four types you mention can be ruled null.

A marriage that is already null (invalid) cannot become null. It can merely be legally recognized for that which it already is.

[quote="joandarc2008, post:15, topic:218838"]
1) You are splitting hairs

[/quote]

No, I was responding to a post on this thread.

[quote="joandarc2008, post:15, topic:218838"]

2) Transubstantiation is the process for which the wine and the bread change into the Body and the Blood. It was named from the Council of Trent. I would suggest a reading of CCC 1373-1377 specifically 1376.

[/quote]

As I said, transubstantiation is a human, philosophical explanation for what occurs. Yes, it was named at the Council of Trent. So what? It's still a human philosophical explanation.

[quote="joandarc2008, post:15, topic:218838"]

3) Transubstantiation cannot happen without God as the priest acts in persono Christi meaning as you aid above yes God does bring about the Real Presence but He also brings about Transubstantiation as there is only one actual priest involved and that is the actual Lord Jesus Christ.

[/quote]

God does not bring about transubstantiation, necessarily. Though God is of course free to. . God brings about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (and all other sacramental effects).

[quote="joandarc2008, post:15, topic:218838"]

4) That is enough on that discusion as anymore would be derailing the thread.

[/quote]

So be it.

[quote="SMHW, post:17, topic:218838"]
While I understand what you mean, your sentence is deceptive. It would be better to say that a putative marriage of any of the four types you mention can be ruled null.

A marriage that is already null (invalid) cannot become null. It can merely be legally recognized for that which it already is.

[/quote]

Yes, that is probably better way to say it. I suspect most people do not understand that matrimony is only commonly supposed or assumed to be valid unless proven invalid or non-existant.

IS PROTESTANT MARRIAGE A VALID SACRAMENT? NOT NECESSARILY!
Note: this is a summary of the thread plus an important clarification.

Can. 1055
§1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.
§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

There are four types of types of valid marriages that can exist:

  1. Non-sacramental marriages between unbaptized persons
  2. Non-sacramental marriages between a baptized person and an unbaptized person
  3. Sacramental marriages (i.e., between two baptized persons) that are unconsummated
  4. Sacramental marriages (i.e., between two baptized persons) that are consummated
    Only the last kind cannot be dissolved. Any kind can be annulled.

To be a Sacrament, both have to be baptized since only the Baptized can receive other Sacraments. That is why when a Catholic married a non-Christian, a dispensation is required for the Church to accept the natural marriage as valid, but it is never a Sacrament.

PROTESTANT MARRIAGE

If both parties are Protestants, they’re not bound to the canonical form. They would be married in the eyes of the Catholic Church because the man and woman are the ministers of the sacrament, not the Priest. Even if the protestant ecclesial communities do not view marriage as a sacrament, that is not relevant to effectively being a sacrament in God’s eyes.

BUT the protestant marriage is:

a) Invalid: if there are any of the nullification causes for a Catholic marriage, like not believing in marriage for life (openness to divorce), not wanting kids, hiding something important that would prevent the other party from marrying (e.g. not virgin, drug addiction, alcoholism), etc. Considering most protestants accept re-marriage, their marriages are null.

b) Ineffective: the fiancé in mortal sin does not receive the grace of state of the sacrament until recovering Grace through confession or a perfect act of contrition (which, at least for Catholics, includes the desire to confess ASAP). Considering most protestants accept contraception (which is abortifacient or abortive and is objectively a mortal sin) and that they don’t have confession to re-gain Grace, many of their marriages are useless in the sense that they don’t convey grace.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CATHOLICS

Catholics are subject to Canon Law: it requires the presence of a priest (with certain exceptions) with jurisdiction to witness the vows. If they marry in a Protestant ceremony without proper dispensation, the marriage is invalid. Dispensation is not granted if both don’t accept to raise the children in the Catholic faith.
For example: Can. 1086 §1. A marriage between two persons, one of whom has been baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is not baptized, is invalid. (emphasis mine)

DEFECTIVE CATHOLICS

A fallen away Catholic is not a protestant, regardless of what he professes, unless and until he formally defects from the Church.

Since the 1983 code of canon law, it has been possible for a formally defected Catholic to subsequently marry validly without the approval of the Catholic Church. Howerver this is ending now that the canons that allowed this have been changed and will be effective about Christmas 2010. See the moto proprio Omnium in Mentem.

wdtprs.com/media/print/Omnium_in_mentem_trans_Haverstock.pdf

To formally defect is not the same as lapsed, for one must have:
a) the internal decision to leave the Catholic Church;
b) the realization and external manifestation of that decision; and
c) the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

See:
vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/intrptxt/documents/rc_pc_intrptxt_doc_20060313_actus-formalis_en.html

From the above: “It remains clear, in any event, that the sacramental bond of belonging to the Body of Christ that is the Church, conferred by the baptismal character, is an ontological and permanent bond which is not lost by reason of any act or fact of defection.”

Blessings in JMJ
F. Nazar
f.nazar at gmail.com

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