What's the deal with divorces?


In a different thread, divorces was discussed.

What is a divorce under the Pauline privilege and/or Petrine priviliege? How is this different from an annulment?


An annulment means the marriage never happened in the first place. For example lets say two people wanted to get married, but one of them was already married to someone else, the couple goes ahead and has a wedding ceremony and makes their vows. That marriage would be invalid regardless of the fact they went through the process to get married because one of them was not able to get married.

The Pauline privilege is when two people who are not Christians get married, and later one becomes Christian, if the unbeliever abandons the Christian spouse then the Christian can get a divorce. Since they were not both Christians their marriage was not able to be elevated to the status of a sacrament and can be dissolved.

Im not sure what the Petrene privilege is.


This is what I found about the Petrine Privilege:

“The implementation of this procedure is reserved to The Pope. It involves the circumstance where one of the parties in the marriage is unbaptized and the other is baptized. Either party wants to become Catholic or wants to marry a Catholic. This marriage can be dissolved, permitting the person to become Catholic or to marry a Catholic. Thus, the Pope may act in favor of the Christian faith. Another example may be that a Methodist lady who is married to an unbaptized man falls in love with a Catholic man. The Pope may dissolve the marriage of the Methodist to facilitate her marriage to the Catholic man This is done *in favor of the faith *of her Catholic fiancé.”


In effect, both the Pauline Privelege and the Petrine Privelege are special cases of declarations of nullity (“annulments”), in that they formally declare that there was no sacramental marriage. (This is plainly shown to be the case once it is established that at least one spouse was unbaptised.) Neither these nor any other declaration of nullity affects whether there is or was a marriage under civil law (the church has no jurisdiction over civil law).

It is not correct to say “the marriage is dissolved”. Sacramental marriage is indissoluble. What is happening is simply a formal declaration that a sacramental marriage has never existed between these two people.

In cases where two baptised persons (even if they are non-Catholics) marry according to the correct forms and procedures for a sacramental marriage, nobody, not even the Pope, can annul the marriage.


Not quite. The annulment process does not look to see if a marriage is sacramental.

All marriages are presumed valid - whether the parties to it are baptized or not.

The Pauline Privilege and Favor of the Faith (aka Petrine Privilege) are canonical dissolutions of valid marriages -** not decrees of nullity. ** So it it quite correct to say that “the marriage is dissolved” in these cases.

You are right to say a “[valid] Sacramental marriage is indissoluble.” Both parties must be baptized for a sacramental marriage.

[edit]: I perhaps over state my case a bit. The tribunal does look very carefully at the baptismal status of the couple and hence at the sacramentality of the marriage.


An Annulment declares that no valid Marriage took place. The Pauline Privilege dissolves a natural marriage in favor of the faith of the person who was newly Baptized a Catholic Christian. I thought that the Petrine Privilege involved a non-consumated Marriage. I’ll have to check that. But it is reserved only to the Pope.


Can. 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.


Can. 1143~1 In virtue of the pauline privilege, a marriage entered into by two unbaptised
persons is dissolved in favour of the faith of the party who received baptism, by the very
fact that a new marriage is contracted by that same party, provided the unbaptised party


I don’t think 1042 is favor of the faith. For favor of the faith at least one of the parties cannot have been baptized before or during the marriage. Canon 1042 by comparison allows for both to be baptized. Canon 1042 applies to a Ratum et non consumatum case, I believe.


make that 1142


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