Why does the Catholic Church ask about emotional problems on a wedding inquiry form?

I was looking over marriage forms and I do not understand why the form has the question. Have you ever been under the care of a physician or psychiatrist for mental or emotional problems? With the statement, affirmative response should be investigated and Chancery consulted. Do they see psychological problems as an impediment to marriage?

Code of Canon Law:

Can. 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:

3/ those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.

The important thing to remember is that it is the mutual **consent **of the couple that makes a marriage valid. Without the ability to validly exchange consent then there can be no valid marriage.

Someone who suffers from severe emotional problems might not be able to give proper consent to enter into a marriage. This does **not **mean that everyone who has had an occasional bout of depression or even intense depression is incapable of exchanging consent in marriage. The impediment only exists if the mental illness issue so pervades the person’s life and choices that a free consent to a life long commitment is impossible.

The occasions when mental illness is an actual impediment to marriage is fairly rare, but it does happen. To safeguard the emotional and spiritual well being of both parties to the potential marriage the Church wants to be as certain as possible that the proper consent is able to be exchanged. That is why the Diocese usually takes this matter out of the hands of the local pastor (for whom it could be awkward to address this situation).

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