Under Old Canon Law


#1

This pertains to Church Law as it existed in 1967.

If a divorced Protestant (who wasn’t married in the Catholic Church) wanted to marry a Catholic, would he need his first marriage anulled?

I know that he would today, but did the Church recognize those marriages back then?


#2

In short, yes. Marriages between two protestants has always been seen as a valid marriage.


#3

In short, yes. Marriages between two protestants has always been seen as a valid marriage.

Unless the marriage was between you (a protestant) and your first spouse (a catholic) AND the marriage was NOT performed in a Catholic Church.

IF your first spouse WAS a Catholic and you then married outside the catholic Church, then the first marriage would have been invalid.


#4

[quote=Sean O L]Unless the marriage was between you (a protestant) and your first spouse (a catholic) AND the marriage was NOT performed in a Catholic Church.

IF your first spouse WAS a Catholic and you then married outside the catholic Church, then the first marriage would have been invalid.
[/quote]

I don’t believe that is correct (though I maybe mistaken). I believe the Church assumes that most protestant marriages are valid. Therefore, one would have to go through an annulment to prove that it wasn’t.


#5

Hi Tietjen,

I don’t believe that is correct (though I maybe mistaken). I believe the Church assumes that most protestant marriages are valid. Therefore, one would have to go through an annulment to prove that it wasn’t.

Yes, you are correct - the Church DOES recognize the marriages of two protestants as being valid - and that is how rwoehmke responded in post #2

However, I was presenting the question as to whether axolotl’s FIRST spouse was (not protestant but) Catholic AND married outside the Church, in which case, the marriage would not have been valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O L
*Unless the marriage was between you (a protestant) and your first spouse (a catholic) AND the marriage was NOT performed in a Catholic Church.

IF your first spouse WAS a Catholic and you then married outside the catholic Church, then the first marriage would have been invalid.*

Of course, IF THAT was the case, and the person who he/she NOW wishes to marry - then, they could and should make further enquiries to the local Diocesan Center or the local Parish Priest.


#6

Oh, this isn’t really for me, I’m still on my first marriage.

Actually, it sort of is. It’s for my peace of mind, in knowing that my FIL (protestant) is, once again, wrong.

And it’s been bugging me for ten years.:slight_smile:


#7

[quote=Sean O L]Hi Tietjen,
Yes, you are correct - the Church DOES recognize the marriages of two protestants as being valid - and that is how rwoehmke responded in post #2

However, I was presenting the question as to whether axolotl’s FIRST spouse was (not protestant but) Catholic AND married outside the Church, in which case, the marriage would not have been valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O L
*Unless the marriage was between you (a protestant) and your first spouse (a catholic) AND the marriage was NOT performed in a Catholic Church.

IF your first spouse WAS a Catholic and you then married outside the catholic Church, then the first marriage would have been invalid.*

Of course, IF THAT was the case, and the person who he/she NOW wishes to marry - then, they could and should make further enquiries to the local Diocesan Center or the local Parish Priest.
[/quote]

Are you sure about that? I understand that vows made before God, no matter the Church, are considered sacred. The Church may not have blessed the marriage, but wouldn’t they have still considered it necessary for an annulment.

Notworthy


#8

[quote=NotWorthy]Are you sure about that? I understand that vows made before God, no matter the Church, are considered sacred. The Church may not have blessed the marriage, but wouldn’t they have still considered it necessary for an annulment.

Notworthy
[/quote]

SeanOL is correct.

The Church assumes that a marriage between two non-Catholics is valid. I suppose that if there were a divorce and one person later became a Catholic, then that person would be able to seek an annulment if he wished.

Catholics are bound to marry under the auspices of the Church. If a Catholic marries outside of the Church without receiving a proper dispensation from the Bishop, the marriage is invalid.


#9

Marriage is between a BAPTIZED woman and a BAPTIZED man. So the real question isn’t that they were Protestant, but whether they were baptized. A marriage between a baptized person and a non-baptized person is not a valid marriage.
I am married to an Evangelical Christian and my priest made him produce a baptism certificate from the 1st Baptist Church along with a letter detailing how he was baptized (whether the words “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” were used.)
Also my catechism from 1945 lists marriages between two baptized non-Catholics as valid.


#10

[quote=mommyjo2]…A marriage between a baptized person and a non-baptized person is not a valid marriage…
[/quote]

My understanding has been that such a marriage is not sacramental, but is indeed valid.


#11

[quote=neophyte]My understanding has been that such a marriage is not sacramental, but is indeed valid.
[/quote]

How can a marriage be valid but not sacramental? Marriafe is a sacrament.
Do you mean valid legally- i.e., you would have to get a civil divorce, but not an anullment?

A baptized person marrying a nonbaptized person is a diriment impediment.


#12

mommyjo2 wrote:

How can a marriage be valid but not sacramental? Marriafe is a sacrament.
Do you mean valid legally- i.e., you would have to get a civil divorce, but not an anullment?

A baptized person marrying a nonbaptized person is a diriment impediment.

Canon 1055 § tells us that Marriage is 1st a Covenant (that is a Contract) and 2nd - which, for baptized persons, been raised to the dignity of a Sacrament.

That being said, marriages between two pagans, two protestants, a pagan and a protestant, etc IS still a valid Contract and IS a valid marriage, but NOT a Sacramental Marriage (with the Graces which flow from the Sacrament.)

Canon 1073 tells us that Diriment Impediments “renders a person incapable of validly contracting a marriage.” Also, Canon 1086 § backs this up. **BUT, **Canon 1086 §2 tells us that such an impediment CAN be dispensed - and this is normally within the power of a local bishop under the provisions of canons 1125 and 1126.


#13

That being said, marriages between two pagans, two protestants, a pagan and a protestant, etc IS still a valid Contract and IS a valid marriage, but NOT a Sacramental Marriage (with the Graces which flow from the Sacrament.)

BIG oooops!!! Correction: Marriage between two protestants (being two baptized persons) IS, of course a valid Sacramental Marriage.

Many apologies


#14

this discussion is a perfect example of why I consider leaving the forum. OP asked a perfectly straightforward question, which could be easily answered by someone with access to and knowledge of Canon law in effect in 1967. In fact, only one poster has cited Canon Law, and did not specify if it was the old or revised version.

The rest of the posters have given all sorts of opinions, not backed up by a source, at least half of which are wrong, incomplete or misleading, and which do not address OP’s specific question. What a waste of time. no wonder this forum runs so slow with all this clutter. Some posts solicit opinions and invite argument. This one asked a specific question which has an ascertainable factual answer, which probably should have gone to AAA, but why waste time with opinions which are not germane, and which broadcast misinformation?


#15

Annie, you’re right. I will try AAA, I don’t know why I didn’t, probably because they get backed up over there.


#16

Groan…

Ever got up in the morning and wished you had gone to bed the previous night earlier? It is now c. 7 AM Friday morning and I just HAVE to add a further Ooooops:

Inasmuch as some of the Baptisms of Protestants are valid and some of them are not (in the eyes of the Church), then the marriages between validly Baptized prorestants are valid and Sacramental marriages Those marriages between protestants between protestants whose baptisms are NOT recognized by the Church as valid - those marriages are considered to be valid, but not sacramental.

A list of such Baptisms was provided at Fr. Joe Horn, O.Praem’s “100% Catholic Forum” at

[/font]http://holyjoe.net/phpBB2_new/viewtopic.php?t=990

Furthermore, it is ALWAYS prudent to ask an Expert – and in the final analysis, if it is vitally important, one must always direct the enquiry to one’s local Ordinary.

I just hope that this is of some assistance.


#17

puzzleannie wrote:

OP asked a perfectly straightforward question, which could be easily answered by someone with access to and knowledge of Canon law in effect in 1967. In fact, only one poster has cited Canon Law, and did not specify if it was the old or revised version.

Actually, my quoting Canon 1055 as below would alert anyone with some knowledge of canon Law that I was quoting from the 1983 Code:

Canon 1055 § tells us that Marriage is 1st a Covenant (that is a Contract) and 2nd - which, for baptized persons, been raised to the dignity of a Sacrament.

However, the 1917 Code conveys the same points in Canon 1012 §1:

“Canon 1012. §1. Christ Our Lord elevated the very contract of marriage between baptized persons to the dignity of a sacrament.”

and §2 of the same 1917 Code continues:

Therefore it is impossible for a valid contract of marriage between baptized persons to exist without being by that very fact a sacrament."

Furthermore, rather than “a perfectly straightforward question” - the truth is that the matter is very much a complicated matter!

As for mommyjo2’s

A baptized person marrying a nonbaptized person is a diriment impediment.

I must point out that the Bouscaren & Ellis’ “Canon law, A Text and Commentary” (1957) on the 1917 Code of Canon Law ( a copy of which I do possess) proves that the matters raised are definitely very much complicated!!!

For example: Listed on p. 474 are "twelve or thirteen (sic.) diriment impediments - only one of which might apply in this instance, i.e., “disparity of cult (c. 1070)” - which is the marriage between a non-baptized person and a baptized person.

However, the 1917 Code does provide for dispensation “if the danger is removed” ( Op. cit. p. 523.) However, the commentary does differentiate on being “baptised in the Catholic Church, or converted to it from heresy or schism” and being baptized in an ecclesial church (such as Anglican, Baptist, etc.) THESE DAYS where it is acknowledged that such a baptism makes the person a Catholic - who may later loose that distinction upon accepting the formal positions of the particular ecclesial church.

Not a straight-forward question at all!


#18

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I needed a bibliography attached to my post.
My info comes from the 1917 version of The Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as the catechism, “My Catholic Faith” by Louis Morrow, 1949


#19

mommyjo2 wrote:

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I needed a bibliography attached to my post.
My info comes from the 1917 version of The Catholic Encyclopedia, as well as the catechism, “My Catholic Faith” by Louis Morrow, 1949

They certainly help, mommyjo2!

However, you appear to have mis-read then – for the mis-reading has led to make the false claims that

  1. “Marriage is between a BAPTIZED woman and a BAPTIZED man. So the real question isn’t that they were Protestant, but whether they were baptized. **A marriage between a baptized person and a non-baptized person is not a valid marriage. **

,
But, despite THAT erroneous statement, the claim continues with the opposite:

Also my catechism from 1945 lists marriages between two baptized non-Catholics as valid.

and

How can a marriage be valid but not sacramental?

Marriafe is a sacrament.
My copy of “My Catholic Faith”, by Most Rev. Louis Laravoire Morrow, S.T.D., My Mission House, Kenosho, Wisconsin, is not the original 1949 version; it is the “Thoroughly revised, 1959” edition.

The Impediments to matrimony are listed and explained on pp. 362- 363.

Diriment impediments are discussed and firstly described thus:

“1. Diriment (also called annulling or nullifying) impediments render an attempted marriage altogether null and void, invalid. Dispensations are only rarely granted

for diriment impediments. Should an attempt at marriage be made without dispensation there is no marriage.”

“Such an invalid marriage must be either dissolved, or the **impediment removed by a dispensation, **and the marriage performed validly. If a marriage is dissolved, the contracting parties are free to marry other partners, if they so wish.” (p.363)
Thus, it is clear that the bishop is saying that, while dispensations may be rarely granted, nevertheless, the impediment may be removed and the marriage performed validly.

Under “Disparity of Worship” the bishop explains:

”7. Disparity of worship. This is marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptised person.

If a Catholic attempts to marry an unbaptised person without a dispensation, his marriage is null. Examples of the unbaptised are: Mohammedans, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, infidels, etc.
Note: the “etc.” at THAT time (as also at THIS time) include those persons whose baptisms are performed by “ecclesial churches” or sects the validity of which are not recognized by the Church as valid (incorrect or non-Trinitarian form, or matter, etc.)

Pages 363 – 365 contain data on “Dispensations from Matrimonial Impediments”

“‘’’

  1. Dispensations are granted when there is sufficient reason or need. The bishop and the parish priest have the authority to investigate each case.

Not all impediments are granted dispensation with equal ease. Prohibitive impediments are more easily granted that diriment ones.

**Very rarely can a dispensation be obtained **from solemn vows or from major orders, when one of the contracting parties is unbaptised, or when the proposed marriage is between such close blood relations as uncle and niece, aunt and nephew.”

The above emphasis illustrates that a proposed marriage between (say) a laicised priest (or a nun) wishing to marry an unbaptised person may be obtained but very rarely. Presumably, then it would be easier for a lay Catholic to get a dispensation to marry an unbaptised person.

Many thanks for supplying the reference, for it helps to un-ravel the matter.


#20

[quote=Sean O L]puzzleannie wrote:

Actually, my quoting Canon 1055 as below would alert anyone with some knowledge of canon Law that I was quoting from the 1983 Code:

Not a straight-forward question at all!
[/quote]

thank you, for the entire post, someone who actually cited canon law, showed the comparison between old and new, and referenced to appropriate paragraphs, also your previous comment about contacting the local ordinary was right on target. yes, someone familiar with both would realize where you are based on the paragraph numbers, but the point was that obviously most of us in the discussion, including OP, do not have access to both or either.

like all marriage questions, you are quite right that there really is not straight-forward answer because each case is unique, and must be referred to the competent authority, as we never tire of repeating.

also, do not apologize for your ooopses, like citing specific bible verses in support of a specific position, it is also dangerous to cite isolate canon law statements, as there are several relevant sections, and you must read and interpret all the relevant law to make a judgement. Which is why we have canon lawyers.


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