Theology of Marriage

I have a question about the theology of marriage.

In the Roman Catholic Church our theology is that the bridegroom and the bride are the ministers of the sacrament. They administer the sacrament to each other. I understand this so I’m not asking for this to be explained.

Outside the Roman Catholic Church the theology is different. In the Eastern churches and in Anglicanism the theology is that the priest is the minister of the sacrament. I would be grateful if this thread didn’t degenerate into an argument about the validity of Eastern and Anglican theology. Two points: first their marriages are recognised as valid and the second point is Eastern churches includes our Eastern Catholic churches, with perfectly valid theology.

Why is the theology of marriage in the Roman Catholic Church different from other parts of Christendom?

Again, may I please emphasise:
*]I don’t doubt or lack understanding of Roman Catholic marriage theology; I just wonder why it’s different.
*]Please let’s not make this about the invalidity of Eastern Orthodox or Anglican theology. It’s a question about why we Romans have a different theology.

I think the Catholic way of viewing the sacrament of marriage is down to the - ‘til death do us part’ content and the fact that it is based upon a particular intimacy which has a significant physical content between two people.

The priest and other witnesses are just that, witnesses - albeit that the priest is an important witness as he is the Church’s official witness.

About 45 years ago my maternal grandmother ‘communicated’ with me {she had died a time before as had her ‘former’ husband]. Interestingly and initially confusingly she identified herself by using her maiden name - after a few seconds the significance clicked, it made sense in view of the 'til death do us part content of the marriage promise.

The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludvig Ott has the following quote as to the Eastern Orthodox:

In Greek-Orthodox Theology the view that the contract of marriage is distinct from the Sacrament of Matrimony has become dominant since the 19th century. Most of the Greek-Orthodox Theologians regard the bi-lateral consent of the bridal pair as the matter, and the prayer and blessing of the priest as the form of the Sacrament, and accordingly hold the priest to be the dispenser of the Sacrament. Some modern Russian Theologians would place the whole sacramental sign in the religious rite performed by the priest.

I don’t think “until death us do part” is unique to the Roman Church. Indeed, that isn’t the crux of the question. I’m asking why is our theology regarding the ministers of the sacrament different.

I understand that the Eastern Orthodox churches have a different theology regarding this sacrament. What I’d like to understand is why this difference in theology. Originally, I asked why is our theology different. I suppose the question would be similar if I asked why do Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican churches have a different theology from us?

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