Validity of Marriages

Are marriages between protestants valid if they were only married civilly?

“Valid” is a poor choice of words. In Catholic canons valid refers to the understanding and intent of the person asking for a sacrament. Protestants would not be under catholic canons so “valid” would have a different meaning. When a Protestant man and woman marry each other and neither promises marriage to another party the catholic church will recognize their marriage. If they are baptized and only one marriage the marriage is recognized as a sacrament. The “witness” being “civil” would not be a factor because marriage is conferred by the spouses not the witness.

hope that helps.

From my point of view, civil marriages are not sacramental. While it holds true that this depends on the intent (will) of BOTH parties involved in marriage (husband and wife), it all depends on whether they ask for God’s blessings and not of the State’s.

Here in the Philippines, (civil, legal) couples married via civil wedding still opt to go to a “church” wedding. This only indicates that somehow, civil marriage is not spiritually “legal.”

More on Matrimony: scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c3a7.htm

yes if they are otherwise free to marry and intend what marriage entails and are capable of making that contract. If they are both baptized the marriage is sacramental as well.

The Church assumes all marriages are valid unless proven otherwise. It also says that marriages between baptised couples are sacramental.

So, in your example, if both are are baptised and neither has been a Catholic, their marriage is both valid (assuming all of the other aspects of validity are present) and sacramental.

Exactly :thumbsup:

Thanks. :frowning:

Marriages between two baptised persons, even if its a civil marriage, are valid and sacramental.

Why is this sad? It is beautiful that the Church puts such honor on marriage.

In order for the Sacrament of Marriage to be a valid Sacrament, all of the following are necessary:

valid matter - a baptized man and a baptized woman

proper form - which is generally the marriage ceremony of the Church, led by a priest in a church; dispensations from this form are available from the Bishop, but without such a dispensation, the marriage would not be valid.

consent to the marriage as a Sacrament, not merely to marriage as a social custom

consummation

A marriage cannot be ‘valid’ but not the Sacrament of Marriage. Validity refers to whether or not a Sacrament is truly a Sacrament. For example, an invalidly baptized person does not have the Sacrament of Baptism; the person is unbaptized. Merely natural marriages are not available to a baptized man and a baptized woman.

Doctrinally, there are a number of questions about the validity of marriage that have not been answered definitively by the Magisterium. It is not clear if a marriage between two baptized Protestants is a valid Sacrament of Marriage. They lack the proper form. Also, the consent might not be to marriage as a Sacrament, as a lifelong commitment, if as Protestants they do not consider divorce and remarriage to be forbidden. On the other hand, two baptized persons cannot have a merely natural marriage. So they would be living in sin if they do not have the Sacrament.

This is true for Catholics. Kendy did not ask about Catholics. She asked about non-Catholics. Non-Catholics are not bound by Catholic canonical form.

Marriags between the unbaptized, natural marriages, are also valid. Valid does not refer exclusively to those marriages which are sacramental. Certainly, if both parties are baptized then the marriage is also a sacrament.

This is inaccurate. The Church states clearly that marriage between the baptized is, by its nature a sacrament.

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

Canonical form is only binding on Catholics:

Can. 1108 §1. Only those marriages are valid which are contracted before the local ordinary, pastor, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and before two witnesses according to the rules expressed in the following canons and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in cann. ⇒ 144, ⇒ 1112, §1, ⇒ 1116, and ⇒ 1127, §§1-2.

Can. 1117 The form established above must be observed **if at least one of the parties contracting marriage was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it **and has not defected from it by a formal act, without prejudice to the prescripts of ⇒ can. 1127, §2.

Very wide latitude exists regarding valid consent:

Can. 1096 §1. For matrimonial consent to exist, the contracting parties must be at least not ignorant that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.

§2. This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.

Can. 1101 §1. The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words and signs used in celebrating the marriage.

The Church accepts the marriages of non-Catholics (baptized and unbaptized) as valid. The Church does not convalidate marriages of non-Catholics entering the Church. Unless a case is presented that the marriage is invalid, such a person is NOT “living in sin.”

Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Right. I now understand, too: Marriage is valid even it is “civil” but only becomes sacramental once both parties are baptized under the Church. If only one is baptized, still can become sacramental once dispensation is given by the local Bishop.

As long as neither is Catholic (or if one is Catholic the Bishop must dispense from form in order for there to be a wedding outside the Church) and both are free to marry

A vaild marriage is sacramental if both are validly (trinitarian) baptized.

No, in order to be sacramental, BOTH must be validly baptized.

Attracted to a divorce man. He’s willing to go through the annulment process, but I am not sure what the grounds would be.

No. a valid marriage is sacramental if it is between two baptized persons

He will not have that rough a go of it, just get him to complete the paperwork. He was not properly prepared for the sacrament of marriage, he could not be as the Church has authority over sacraments and he married without the Church.

He is as available to you as your best friend’s husband. He is NOT available to date, so, squash that attraction and find a man who is free to marry.

Where are you getting your information from? This is a civilly married protestant . Perfectly acceptable and usually presumed as valid by the church.We have no way of knowing any of what you wrote about from the information in this thread. You imply that no civil marriage can be valid or sacramental if undertaken by a non catholic.

Kendy,
He is not free to date so , don’t date. You can give him a book on annulments that he can look at. You can only have a very chaste friendship.

amazon.com/Annulment-Wedding-Church-Declare-Marriage/dp/0809138441

Then he needs to make an appointment with a Priest to discuss how to start proceedings.

The word posted was divorce?

. Perfectly acceptable and usually presumed as valid by the church.We have no way of knowing any of what you wrote about from the information in this thread.

She asked is the marriage valid if preformed in a civil sitting the answer was approperate for that question

You imply that no civil marriage can be valid or sacramental if undertaken by a non catholic.

? I have no idea how you would get that out of the posts? The Church uses the word “valid” in a different definition than a Protestant would.

Kendy,
He is not free to date so , don’t date. You can give him a book on annulments that he can look at. You can only have a very chaste friendship.

amazon.com/Annulment-Wedding-Church-Declare-Marriage/dp/0809138441

Then he needs to make an appointment with a Priest to discuss how to start proceedings.

Hey Seatuck
If he is in a valid sacramental marriage what good will the book do him?

He has to be the one to decide if he is in an invalid marriage. You can’t decide it just because he is divorced. It may be he will read that book and realize his marriage is probably valid. I have no way of knowing.

Divorce does not mean invalid. Sometimes divorce happens just because of sin.

You said

He will not have that rough a go of it, just get him to complete the paperwork. He was not properly prepared for the sacrament of marriage, he could not be as the Church has authority over sacraments and he married without the Church.

How can you say he will not have that rough a go of it? He has to prove his marriage was invalid and the divorce is not just a result of sin. This is no simple matter. How do you know he was not properly prepared for the sacrament? Protestants are capable of understanding it and being prepared.Your statement implies that protestants are not properly prepared because they are protestant.
What did you mean when you said “he married without the church”? As a protestant he did not need a church.

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