[quote=anjel13]I’m sorry, but I have a hard time with this. If this is the church’s teaching, I don’t know if I agree with it. I have a hard time believing that marriage isn’t seen as a sacrament just because the couple isn’t married in the Catholic Church. I believe that God see’s me and my husband as married, whether the church see’s that or not. Really what difference does it make spiritually or sacramentally if they see our baptismal certificates and validate it themselves.
The question is not really whether God or the Church sees you and your husband as married or not (as I said before, the Church recognizes the general validity of a marriage until proven otherwise). The question is really whether or not the Grace of God has been bestowed on your marriage.
For the special grace available through matrimony to be received (by Catholics), it must be done in accordance with the prescripts of the Church, just as with the other sacraments. Just as the sacrament of the Eucharist cannot be confected without following certain requirements of form (a validly ordained priest, words of consecration, intent to consecrate), neither can the sacrament of Marriage be imparted without its own requirements (validly ordained minister, 2 witnesses, appropriate location).
This teaching of the Church is not meant to be some sort of withholding of grace. Nor is it an attempt to coerce the faithful into blind obedience. The requirements of the Church are simply the recognition that the Church cannot be a conduit of God’s Grace without following Tradition.