what is Marriage

When the tribunal goes back and investigates someone who was previously married they must be looking for certain “spiritual” if that’s the right word, elements. In a civil marriage consent and legal capacity to consent is required. What is the church looking for in previous “marriages” that might not be there?

Not really ‘spiritual’ elements. What makes a marriage is the consent of the couple (which is more in-depth a question than it might seem at first blush), a lack of impediments to marriage, and, for Catholics, the proper form of marriage.

So if one part was non-catholic then “form” would not be an issue if they were previously married. This is all rhetorical I am not doing anything. But am interested in the subject.


If you are interested in the topic, then I suggest the book Annulment: The Wedding That Was by Michael Foster. It’s a good explanation of marriage, impediments, and nullity. It will give you a more comprehensive and cohesive explanation than you might be able to get asking questions randomly. Also, on a forum like CAF tangents and inaccuracies in answers can derail marriage/nullity questions.

Ok Well the one thing that really concerns me and I’ll leave it at that; is the persons who divorce and get remarried outside the church. I don’t know why they would but it has happened. I understand can no longer take the body and blood. I guess they can still go to absolution. But if you are denied the body and blood Jesus said “You have no part with me”. So what does this mean? That’s it?


We can receive the Eucharist when we are in a state of grace.

Two people in a civil marriage due to previous marriage(s) are committing adultery. They are free to go to reconciliation and receive the Eucharist as soon as they stop committing adultery. If they do not want to stop committing adultery, then of course they must refrain from the Eucharist like everyone else who is not in a state of grace.

They can go to Reconciliation and receive absolution if they are sorry for what they have done, stop committing adultery, and make firm amendment of purpose.

But, then, resuming the sacramental life would also mean they could receive the Eucharist.

It is their sin that separates them from the Body, not the Church. The Church is the path back to the sacraments-- through Reconciliation. But, of course, one must be sorry for one’s sins and intend to stop sinning before one can go to Reconciliation.

Ok so their living together is not a sin? It’s certainly not a very good idea.


I assume you mean “living together as brother and sister”? That’s not the end of the story, of course, and that’s the reason why this is a prudential judgment on the part of the couple’s pastor, and not just an automatic rule.

There are still a number of issues that determine whether a return to the sacraments while ‘living as brother and sister’ is possible For example:
*]Does this situation present a temptation to the couple, and place them in the ‘near occasion of sin’?
*]Does their living situation lead others into the sin of scandal?

If either of these is present, then the pastoral solution of ‘living as brother and sister’ is not prudent and should not be applied…

Sin of scandal? I know it’s wrong and one should have nothing to do with it. But I didn’t know it was a sin. Venial?


It is not looking to disprove the marriage. The church ALWAYS assumes the marriage is valid until something is presented which disproves that claim.

A valid marriage is a co-sacrimental event before God, witnesses and the church body by a male and female who are free to consecrate each other into the sacrement by freely giving of themselves to the other. It is a representation of the church and Jesus in heaven, but occurring on this earth.

So you can go through that and pick out the issues which might not occur.

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