[quote=Loren 1of6]My brother eloped last weekend. He and his girlfriend got married in Vegas and then called our parents to share the good news. My father was concerned that they are not “really” married because they did not marry in the Church.
I say that the Church assumes validity when a couple marries elsewhere. I think that my brother and his new wife are in a valid marriage, but not necessarily a sacramental one. Their marriage can become sacramental when they both realize what Catholic marriage means and have their union blessed by the Church.
Am I on track, or have I not even gotten to the station yet?
If either is Catholic they may very well be in a valid Marriage, a valid civil and legal Marriage. But not in a valid spiritual Marriage. There may be a legal contract, but no Spiritual Bond. If either of them are Catholic they must Marry according to the Marriage laws of the Catholic Church. Which include Marriage preparation, the understanding of Catholic Marriage as a Sacrament, usually public announcement prior to, witnesses and a witness of the Church, usually a priest or deacon Etc. Their Marriage at this point is probably legal, but most likely not valid in view of the Church. They should speak with their pastors, go to confession and avoid any behavior that would suggest they were validly Married until they straighten this out.