A friend (aquaintance) of mine recently posted on facebook that she has a vetitum against her, but if she pays $850 or more, it can be lifted.

She isn’t Catholic and she is remarried. Her first husband (ex husband) remarried in the Catholic Church and so that is how the vetitum came about.

My question is why would she have to pay money? :confused: Everyone’s comments on her status were about how the Catholic Church makes God look like a pocketbook and forgiveness can be bought…and oh the wonderful Martin Luther…ugh:shrug:

I know very little about this topic area. I believe a vetitum is imposed to delay a marriage until a given condition has been fulfilled, for instance, till the removal of the obstacle to a marriage arising from a preceding betrothal to another person. It may be that your friend has a defect in her status from a prior marriage etc. that makes her eligibility for marriage pending satisfaction. It sounds like her Catholic husband found something in her past and wanted to “red flag” it so other Catholics would not fall for her misrepresentations of being eligible for marriage. This is probably why he never married her - and since he went through the process of getting a church ruling he is probably annoyed that she mislead him about her eligibility for marriage in the Catholic Church. He may have requested it be held in the Church record for future Catholic"suitors" to save them other Catholics the time and emotional energy of falling for her false pretenses of eligibility. I think this is fairly rare.

I doubt it is a simple matter of paying to have it removed - it would be a fee to re-open a case of inquiry and see if the conditions that prevented her prior eligibility for marriage have been removed (perhaps the death of a prior Catholic spouse?).

Interesting though that the Church uses these still - but not in the least surprising that some protestant would take it as an opportunity to polemicize it into a cash cow opportunity for the church when its a real spiritual deficiency caused by invalid single vice marital status. I doubt that $850 would even cover the true costs of the administrative actions and investigators time to resolve the case.


I believe you are right. In her case, from what I remember, she and her first husband were married in the Catholic church. Due to certain circumstances, they were divorced (her fault). So, he is Catholic and has since remarried and I’m assuming in order to be able to do so had to get his first marriage (with her) annulled. Because of the circumstances it caused her to have a vetitum. She isn’t Catholic and has already remarried as well so in her mind it really is a moot point, but she made some statement about paying $850 to have the vetitum removed.

I asked her if it was to actually remove it or open the case back up…waiting for a response.

I think this is the deal:

Vetitum Ecclesiæ

A prohibition, in the form of a precept, imposed by ecclesiastical authority on a particular individual, would also be a personal impediment if it had a general character; it affects only the capacity of an individual. This precept is imposed to delay a marriage until a given condition has been fulfilled, for instance, till the removal of the obstacle to a marriage arising from a preceding betrothal to another person.

(From :slight_smile:

I know that for people in genuine financial need the Church will usually waive all or part of the costs of an annulment if necessary - I’m sure the same would happen with the charge associated with proceedings to lift the vetitium. No-one is denied Church process for lack of financial capacity.

Your friend is confused. A vetitum is a restriction on a future marriage placed by the judge which accompanies a declaration of nullity. There are many different scenarios, but for example, if two parties married and one of them was not open to having children. The marriage later ends in divorce, and an annulment is sought. The judge will declare that the marriage was invalid because one party was not open to having children. A vetitum will then be placed upon the person who excluded children. The vetitum is there so that the person will not enter into another invalid marriage. Usually, a vetitum will state that the person will only be allowed to enter into marriage with the written approval of the tribunal. If that person wishes to marry he/she simply approachs the tribunal and asks that the vetitum be lifted. The tribunal will investigate whether he/she is open to children. If so, then the vetitum will be lifted and the person allowed to marry.

I have never heard of a tribunal charging money to lift a vetitum. The $850 was probably the cost of the annulment. The lifting of the vetitum is covered under that initial cost.

Yours in Christ,

I thought it sounded a little fishy. Of course, the info came from a facebook status so it isn’t like it is necessarily all the facts. It just really urked me when I saw that because I found it hard to believe that she had to pay to get something like that lifted and then all would be fine. It makes more sense that the annulment would cost that. (Really if you think about $850 is nothing compared to divorce lawyers and such.)

Thanks for all the info everyone!

In some cases a vetitum might include the requirement that the person receive some sort of professional counseling for the problem that invalidated the original marriage. Could she be referring to the cost of the counseling?

Does anyone know if a vetitum applied to a non-Catholic has any impact on a marriage contracted with someone else who is not Catholic?

IOW, does it mean that her present marriage, which would normally be considered a valid marriage by the Catholic Church, is now considered invalid? Or does the vetitum apply only if she wishes to marry a Catholic in the Catholic Church?

Ask your friend to provide the evidence from an official Church document. If she is so willing to slam the Church in a public place, she would be wise to not make unfounded accusations.

Marrying under a vetitum only makes the marriage illicit, not invalid. I think this is true for both Catholics and non Catholics.

A marriage involving at least one Catholic only, and for lawfulness only. Only the supreme authority (i.e. the Holy See) can add a nullifying clause to a such a prohibition, so that such a marriage would also be invalid. See canon 1077, para. 2.

I’m assuming that her current marriage is invalid in the Catholic Church until the Vetitum is removed.

Not according to the canon lawyer above. It could be illicit, but not invalid.

The OP doesn’t say, but since the vetitum is not lifted she’s likely not remarried in the Catholic Church, in which case I doubt that she cares one way or the other. If her husband is not Catholic the vetitum is not binding.

I’m the OP…I thought I had said it, but maybe not. Her first marriage was to a Catholic. They got divorced. Since then both have remarried. He filed for an annulment so that he could be remarried in the Catholic Church. This caused a vetitum to be put on her. When she remarried, she did not remarry a Catholic and did not remarry in the Church. She doesn’t care about the Vetitum or about every marrying in the Catholic Church. She made a statement about how it costs $850 to remove it and was making some anti-Catholic comments about the Church and using money to forgive anything. I was curious why the Church would charge $850 to supposedly remove it. But it sounds like from everyone’s response that it wasn’t $850 to “forgive” or remove the vetitum, but probably to pay for the process or whatever.

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