Validity of Marriage


Is the act of conjugal love a requirement toward the validity of a marriage?

(CCC 1652 “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.”)



But if one has not performed such an act, it does not mean that the couple can get an annulment (unless one of the two refuses to have children, which is not what I mean by not having yet consummated the marriage). That is, if you decide a few days after you get married that you no longer love the person or some other strange thing (before the husband and wife have consummated it), you cannot say: we have not yet consummated, so I can get an annulment.


I found three canons in the Code of Canon Law that seem to appy to your question:Canon 1061 §1 A valid marriage between baptised persons is said to be merely ratified, if it is not consummated; ratified and consummated, if the spouses have in a human manner engaged together in a conjugal act in itself apt for the generation of offspring. To this act marriage is by its nature ordered and by it the spouses become one flesh.

Canon 1142 A non-consummated marriage between baptised persons or between a baptised party and an unbaptised party can be dissolved by the Roman Pontiff for a just reason, at the request of both parties or of either party, even if the other is unwilling.

Canon 1681 Whenever in the course of the hearing of a case a doubt of a high degree of probability arises that the marriage has not been consummated, the [marriage] tribunal can, with the consent of the parties, suspend the nullity case and complete the instruction of a case for a dispensation from a non-consummated marriage; eventually it can forward the acts to the Apostolic See, together with a petition, from either or both of the parties for a dispensation, and with the Opinions of the tribunal and of the Bishop.


Thanks for the replies! The cannon references were of great help.

In short, it appears that it is not REQUIRED but can be a basis for annulment, (lack of) ratification, etc, IF either party takes issue.

Happy New Year and May God Bless You!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit