Spouses as Ministers of the Sacrament of Marriage?

Canada? It is legally recognized in a few states in the US, but not in mine (although in a long term relationship, the Court might make a “workaround”).

Thanks for responding; your post wasn’t clear to me.

Ah, it has been way too long. My recollection is that in Oregon, mixing finances over a long period of time may result in a proceeding, similar to a divorce, of a distribution of property. Beyond that, it no longer involves me. Too much water under the bridge and over the dam.

yeah, that.

too much information, and too few reasons to use it over the years . . .

When I said, ‘That is not really a marriage anyway.’ I was thinking more about what the Church teaches. I didn’t know anywhere accepted two people living together as if they were married.

I think you may have a lot of company in not seeing two people who, for whatever reason, could not at least exchange vows in front of a justice of the peace. And while there are few states which recognize common law marriages, I suspect there are more who may not specifically “accept” it, but will find a way to deal with property disputes when a couple “breaks up”. Additionally, the states are not even slowed down significantly when it comes to children born of a long term relationship without a marriage license; “rights”, such as visitation have been expanded well beyond the boundaries of husband and wife, as often the issue of what may be in the best interest of the children comes into play.

I do not see why those who want to be married cannot at least go through the requisite civil proceedings of their resident jurisdiction.

I do not believe that those who choose to co-habit should be granted the benefits of marriage if they are not prepared to take any steps to become married.

Of course, while some civil jurisdictions may grant these couples the same legal rights are married couples, they will only be regarded as living in a state of mortal sin by the Church.

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What the Church teaches about the form of marriage applies to Catholics.

It doesn’t teach anything about the form of marriage non Catholics contract.

The Church accepts non Catholic marriages as valid.

Not as if they were married, married. Depends on the jurisdiction what has to transpire, but yes people can be married by living together and saying so, without a license or ceremony in some places.

You are missing the point. They ARE married.

Some reject the idea that the should have to obtain a license from civil government. They believe it’s their natural right without interference from the state.

Others don’t see the need to pay fees, or don’t want to or can’t afford to, etc.

Lots of reasons, I’m sure.

They would be regarded as married. Again, the Church recognizes civil forms of marriage. And common law is a valid marriage in 8 US states and probably some other places.

Then they shouldn’t want the benefits that come from the government either imo.


Given the changes of the last few years, I have more and more sympathy for this view.

Given what civil marriage means in the US currently, I’d probably support the idea of the church not requiring it as a condition of matrimony . . .

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If I was to make a guess, I would suspect that underlying it all is stubbornness to authority.

Given in general an inequity particularly in the area of money, I can understand why the courts would step in to the matter; at law it is under the theory of equity.

And as St. Paul said, we are all sinners.

Yes, the Church does accept the marriage of non-Catholics as valid but only if there is some form of marriage ceremony. I am talking about common law marriage a term used to refer to a man and a woman who live together as if they were married. The Catholic Church does not consider that to be marriage. She considers it to be living in sin.

I did not know until this thread that the civil law in some jurisdictions accepted this as a form of marriage. I live in the UK and it is not recognised here. You are just two people co-habiting. It is my understanding that whilst a civil jurisdiction may regard such couples as married the Church does not.

I disagree that I am missing the point. I do not reject that some civil jurisdictions may accept co-habiting couples as married I am only saying the Church does not.

Yes, I am sure they all have their reasons. The problem with this is if we take it to its natural conclusion why should we register births and deaths and have to pay the state a fee. Why do we have to have driving licences? I think the majority would consider that marriage is not just a private affair it has public consequences. Similarly, they should not expect the state to step in and help them, e.g. if they require some kind of social security benefit. I do not think you should refuse to contribute to the state’s income and later expect to receive funds from its expenditure

It is my understanding that the Church only recognises civil marriages if there has been some form of public ceremony. I do not believe she recognises two people co-habiting as married even if the state recognises they are married simply because they co-habit.

Then please provide the Church document that says this.

Again, missing the point. People in common law marriages aren’t “cohabiting as married”, they ARE married. It is NOT “simply because they cohabit”. Not at all.

It is because they have declared themselves married. It doesn’t require a license or a particular ceremony, but it is NOT simply because they cohabit.

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In my state, if you hold yourself out as being married and live together than it is a common law marriage. No exchanging of vow necessary.

make that, “not recognized here any longer

THere’s a reason it’s called “Common Law marriage” . . .

I will have to ask you to explain. I do not understand the point you are making.

In English Law, common law, i.e. law by custom and practice, not found in an Act of Parliament or secondary legislation, makes no provision for marriage. Calling co-habitation in England common law marriage is a mis-nomer. I have witnessed a judge tear a strip off a solicitor for referring to co-habitation as common law marriage.

I am not ignoring this post by not immediately answering it. I am researching the matter to give the best answer I can.

As you have requested I provide a source to support the position I am taking can you please reciprocate and cite where the Church says it recognises a couple as married if they live together without any formalities because their civil jurisdiction permits this.

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That depends whether the Church does recognise this form of civil marriage. I believe she does not and hence my stance. As stated in my last post I am making enquiries into this.

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You are asking me to prove a negative basically.

The Church accepts civil marriage. Common law marriage is a type of civil marriage. If it’s your position that the church explicitly excluded a type of civil marriage then there would have to be a document stating such. Which I’ve asked you to provide.

OTOH, if it accepts civil marriage and does not distinguish types of civil marriage of course there isn’t going to be a document stating the non-exclusion of certain types of civil marriage.

Dignitas Conubii doesn’t distinguish either. So I think it’s up to up to show where the Church specifically distinguished common law as not a marriage.

Civilly it is, and it requires a divorce. A common law married person cannot enter another marriage else they commit bigamy.

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