Radical sanation

I have recently started the process to have my marriage sanated.

Can. 1161 §1. The radical sanation of an invalid marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, which is granted by competent authority and entails the dispensation from an impediment, if there is one, and from canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity of canonical effects.

Husband & I are both cradle Catholics, and were married without canonical form, as we were married by a JP, without the proper dispensation. There are several extenuating circumstances, the least of which is a violation of our rights under this canon,

Can. 1115 Marriages are to be celebrated in a parish where either of the contracting parties has a domicile, quasidomicile, or month long residence or, if it concerns transients, in the parish where they actually reside. With the permission of the proper ordinary or proper pastor, marriages can be celebrated elsewhere.

There has been some question as to whether or not this canon applies, because we are both Catholic, and it seems, that it has been traditionally, at least in my diocese, been used only when one of the parties was a non-Catholic.

This is actually my “last ditch effort” to have my marriage normalized. After our experiences with both of our parishes 20 years ago when we got married, we both fell away from the faith. I re-verted 6 years ago. We were going to convalidate, but some of those ***extenuating circumstances ***came into play again, and convalidation is not on the table for now.

So, my question is, does anyone out there have any experience with this?
It seems that it is a little used canon in my area, and most people have never even heard of it, so I would love to hear from anyone who has insight into this.

Thanks!! Peace to all!:slight_smile:

PS- Hers is a link to the Code of Canon Law

Not exactly sure which canon you are asking about, the one regarding radical sanation or the one about where you can get married.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear- it’s the Radical Sanation that I am most interested in, and if any one has any experience with it. Especially in light of the fact that it may not apply because we are both Catholic. I am not sure I see where that is a condition anywhere in the canon.

The violation of our rights according to Canon 1115 is one of the reasons why convalidation is off the table. My husband has issue with the Church saying the last 20 years did not exsist in a ***sacramental sense ***(which is what having a convalidation will mean, that our marriage is only recognized from the date of convalidation, not our actual marriage date), when it was the Chruch who denied us in the first place.

It is a very sticky situation, and not many people in my diocese have much experience with this, so I thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone here has had any experiences with the particular canon.

Some confusion here.

Canon 1115 as quoted here does not seem to grant any rights to any party. It seems to be about the obligation of the couple to go to their own priest to seek marriage.

As to the other point, I don’t think there is any exclusion of a couple where both are Catholic for radical sanation. A marriage that is invallid due to lack of form is just as invalid if both are Catholic as when one is Catholic.

You may have already read something like this in your research but here is one diocese’s explanation.


about halfway down it reads

  1. At least one of the parties in the marriage to be sanated must be Catholic.

which seems to imply that both parties being Catholic would qualify.

A radical sanation is still a form of convalidation so I am not sure if this would satisfy your spouse’s objections. It looks like, from what I have read, the consent is retroactive but the Sacramental nature is as of the date of the convalidation the same as with a simple convalidation.

Your case sounds complicated and more confidential than a forum such as this can help with beyond pure speculation. If you aren’t ready to ask your pastor about it maybe the diocese has an advocate or ombudsman that can answer more directly.

Yes, radical sanation is applicable when both parties are Catholic.

This makes no sense.

Contact the judicial vicar in your diocese, who is a canon lawyer and is certainly familiar with radical sanation.

The pastor of my husband’s Churhc refused to marry us because, in his words “you get married in the bride’s parish.” He would not even discuss the matter, even though my husband had been an active memeber of the parish for his whole life. I have been told by more than one canon lawyer that this is a direct violation of this canon.

Yes I have experience with the Radical Sanation, and can only guess your real question:

“ Can a turned away catholic use a radical sanate to have a marriage blessed while intending to stay turned away from the church?” is that the question? I think (but do not know) that the answer is no. recently I was informed that the radical sanate had been change as to no longer require the children be raised catholic, again I do not know that for a fact. The Radical Sanate has historically been used to allow one spouse (and the children) to be fully catholic while the other spouse was never catholic. In many cases it functioned as a post issued dispensation of cult. But you do not have a disparity of cult. So can you get a dispensation of form? Well the standard is for both to state the marriage is real both then and now and thus cooperation is needed. Similarly the disparity of cult people do the same. However the bottom line is marriage is marriage, regardless of papers. When a spouse refuses cooperation with the catholic church of an existing marriage impediment it is pretty much a stuck situation. This is becoming a big issue with irregular marriages when a conversion or reversion occurs. To immovable objects the spouse verses the Canons. All you can ask is for the spouse to do it for you, only you.

Hope that helps

Kind of. I have no intention of turning away from the Chruch. It is my husband. As I have said there are many extenuating circumstances, and as far as he is concerned, the Chruch has no authority over this. We were actually going to convalidate until something happened to basically make my husband wash his hands of the Catholic Church. It has been a very difficult situation. This is my final option to normalize my marriage. If, for whatever reason, it ends up not happening, I am prepared to accept the consequences of my actions, but I will never abandon my faith again.

You have been given advice from a variety of posters here, but none of us is really qualified to give you advice in this matter. Please call your diocese office and make an appointment with someone who knows and can help you. Short of that, take to your pastor. If he does not know, perhaps he will know where to go to get the official answer. God bless you.

His belief here is incorrect because those who openly commit…. go from partner to partner should be denied Eucharist because their life is not in communion. I would inform him it is he who lumps himself in with them. If he openly admits he is married as in one spouse one time his problem goes away. He owns the marriage but it is not sacramental because he denies or hides his marriage from the church records so no sacrament is granted.

He is completely 100% correct and if you get one of the smart priest who will openly acknowledge this you might make some headway. My guess is he sees the hypocrisy of those in the church who believe they have any authority over marriage. The Radical Sanate to correct a defect in form may work however it is not your real issue at all. He has to cooperate or no progress in either method. So my advice, 1) review with him the church does not own the marriage never did, never will, and this is true of all marriages. 2) the church owns the sacrament which it has discretion over. Explain to him the discretion is strict because of many fake, false marriage representations in the past 3) Ask if he can see some convalidations, which are about like watching paint dry. He will quickly see these are not weddings at all. They look like 3 people correcting a document. This visual may have a power impact on him. 4) The new consent is only to affirm you two consider yourself married, it is not the original consent. Use the form " I affirm today the original consent I gave 26 years ago is just as valid today as it was 26 years ago" that may not be offensive and yet is the same as is being requested.

You may need the patience of Job

Texas Roofer-
Thank you! You seem to be the only one who is “getting” it.

I have talked to everyone that I need to. The proper paper work is in the proper hands, so know all we do is wait. I did not post here to get advice on how to proceed, what I was looking for was someone who may have been in a similar situation or has some insight into the process who was willing to share their experiences.

Thanks to all who replied, guess I am not going to get what I am looking for here either. This canon must be pretty obscure, as it has been my expereince that there are not many who know that much about it or has any experience with it.

Oh well, all I can do now is wait & pray!

you let the one-time action of one priest who was possibly stubborn or mistaken keep you away from the sacraments for 20 years and induce you to contract a valid marriage? You did not even go to visit the other priest and ask? whoa.

I salute you for doing everything in your power to rectify your situation, and especially commendable is your tenacity about finding out what is and is not the law applicable to your situation. I hope that includes lengthy conversations by appointment with your own priest so you understand every aspect of the process. No RS is not common so it is not likely there will much specific help here, only some general guidance. YOu still both have to come to terms, your husband perhaps being a bit more recalcitrant, with Catholic teaching on marriage, because once you take this step your marriage is insoluble.

My only experience is indirect through assisting persons in RCIA or Confirmation prep. Most often RS is considered where one spouse is completely resistant to convalidation. When that spouse is non-Catholic that is understandable, in the case of a Catholic it signals there may be more problems. Almost invariably these cases we see are when the marriage is rocky for a lot of reasons, and the stubbornness for lack of a better word is a symptom of control issues, extreme disagreement about child rearing as well as other issues, so convalidation or RS are counselled against strenuously until underlying issues that endanger the union are addressed. If any of that resonates with you personally it may give you some clues on how to proceed.

Do know that all the time of waiting and working toward sacraments of the Church is graced, even with obstacles you have to overcome, and God works in you even through the difficulties of the process.

Radical sanation is not an option in every case. But, both of you being Catholic does not automatically disqualify you from applying for it.

It was one priest not “the Church”-- and I am not sure why you didn’t go to your parish as he instructed or to another priest for help. I have no idea why he did what he did. But, that is water under the bridge now.

Your husband has a lot of “feelings” but they seem to be all about **him **and not about you. If I saw my spouse suffering as you are, I’d want to do whatever was in my power to help them reconcile with the Church. He seems awfully prideful and unconcerned about your suffering in this situation.

There are some people on this board who have had their marriage sanated. However, that does not guarantee their situation will apply to you. Even if the judicial vicar in your diocese hasn’t dealt with many sanations, he has resources to turn to for help to ensure he is doing things properly.

As far as people with experience with sanation, one in particular I can think of hasn’t posted here in a long time. She and her husband are both Catholics, and he is a fallen away Catholic who’d joined another religion. She had the marriage sanated several years ago b/c he, like your husband, refused to give new consent and they were married outside Catholic form. She now regrets the sanation b/c of the numerous problems in their marriage.

Also, I believe canon 1071 would apply in your case, your husband having notoriously rejected the faith (meaning he’s joined another one or disavowed the Church publicly). Since it seems he has done so, your marriage can be treated as a mixed marriage following canon 1125. (Note, I am **not **a canon lawyer). It might be something to discuss with the canon lawyer you are working with.

Can. 1071 §1. Except in a case of necessity, a person is not to assist without the permission of the local ordinary at:

4/ a marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith;

§2. The local ordinary is not to grant permission to assist at the marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith unless the norms mentioned in ⇒ can. 1125 have been observed with necessary adaptation.

And, last but not least, the St. Joseph Foundation may be able to help you:


They specialize in helping Catholics who believe their rights have been violated under canon law.

No I did not let a one-time action stand in my way for 20 years. Did you not read my OP?

I said that this was the LEASTof the issues. There are several, some of which happened 20 years ago and some of which happened recently as a result of seeing first hand how the diocese in which we both live in and work for treats it’s people. It is a very unfortunate situation, as my husband was, slowly, finding his way home. Certain events though, have caused a great deal of pain, anguish and a grave mis-trust of the “institution” for him.


They specialize in helping Catholics who believe their rights have been violated under canon law.

1ke- Thank you for this link. This may be of some help.
As to some of the rest of your comment, yes, my husband does see how difficult this is for me. I also see how for him, in light of the circumstances, it appears that his Church abandon him, not he it.

Thank you all for your comments.

Please tell my why and how I am a hypocrite. Also tell me why all the priests I know are not smart.

To the OP, I hope and pray the process is completed soon.


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I have been through a Radical Sanation and both parties had to acknowledge the marriage, and both parties went to marriage prep even tough the marriage was more than 20 years old (one saturday big deal)

The more I think about your posts the more I think it is 90% personality and 10% miss understanding. Unless a real impediment is listed which has not occurred so far, all that is needed is for the hard heads to listen instead of talk. There is no substantial difference in Radical Sanate verses Convalidation. Use the radical sanate if you would like however: 1) The Church will not list you nor your husband as married until you both inform the church that you are married, 2) The Church will not list you nor your husband as married until you both you show reasonable knowledge of understanding marriage. That’s all that is missing by the posts. The church has no record of your marriage or marriage prep. If your husband is unwilling to provide those 2 things he brings it on himself. As for those who claim authority over your marriage they are full of it but there is nothing which can be done about that. Protestants in your situation are given an exception by which the Church grants a blanket sacrament based on their limited access to catholic teaching prior to marriage. Catholic cannot use that exception. Catholics who marry in the Church both complete marriage prep and proclaim their marriage publicly in the Church, your husband has done neither. Completing these catholic requirements today is no different than had they been done 26 years ago. In the convalidation your paperwork will probably use current dates, with a radical sanation the earlier date may be used for part of the paperwork.

Hope that helps

You may want to try this 1) request records of both your sacraments from the parishes. If no impediments exist 2) schedule a visit with the diocese (not parish) marriage ministry, 3) ask them to assist you to complete the 2 standard requirements and accompanying paperwork.

There may be no problems in the marriage. Many simply believed that they bestowed marriage upon each other, and a convalidation is simply doing the same action over again, in which case it is pointless. They view it similar to having a second baptism; the second is meaningless and has no effect.

Based on all of the stuff we have been through, this is my husbands point exactly!

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