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New Marriage Rules

New Marriage Rules

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Published by Quo Primum
The canon law quoted in the text was changed in 2009:

Canons connected with marriage

The change in the other three canons consisted in the elimination of the clause "and has not by a formal act defected from it" (nec actu formali ab ea defecerit) from the following canons:[4]

1086 §1 "A marriage is invalid when one of the two persons was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, and the other was not baptised."[5]

1117 "The form prescribed above is to be observed if at least one of the parties contracting marriage was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1127 §2."[6]

1124 "Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptised persons, one of whom was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the catholic Church."[7]

What is meant by the phrase "defected from it (the catholic Church) by a formal act" (not just de facto) was spelled out in a notification from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on 13 March 2006. On the precise meaning of the phrase, see the article Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica.

From the entry into force of the 1983 Code of Canon Law until the entry into force of the motu proprio Omnium in mentem, a marriage contracted in violation of any of these canons by a Catholic who had made a formal act of defection from the Church was considered valid in the eyes of the Church, whether that person was or was not reconciled with the Church, since the canons explicitly exempted such persons from their provisions. The motu proprio removed that exemption, so that a person who, for instance, after the entry into force of the motu proprio, contracts a merely civil marriage after formally defecting from the Church but who is later reconciled to the Church is considered free, in the eyes of the Church, to marry someone else in the Church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnium_in_mentem

The canon law quoted in the text was changed in 2009:

Canons connected with marriage

The change in the other three canons consisted in the elimination of the clause "and has not by a formal act defected from it" (nec actu formali ab ea defecerit) from the following canons:[4]

1086 §1 "A marriage is invalid when one of the two persons was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, and the other was not baptised."[5]

1117 "The form prescribed above is to be observed if at least one of the parties contracting marriage was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1127 §2."[6]

1124 "Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptised persons, one of whom was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the catholic Church."[7]

What is meant by the phrase "defected from it (the catholic Church) by a formal act" (not just de facto) was spelled out in a notification from the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on 13 March 2006. On the precise meaning of the phrase, see the article Actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia catholica.

From the entry into force of the 1983 Code of Canon Law until the entry into force of the motu proprio Omnium in mentem, a marriage contracted in violation of any of these canons by a Catholic who had made a formal act of defection from the Church was considered valid in the eyes of the Church, whether that person was or was not reconciled with the Church, since the canons explicitly exempted such persons from their provisions. The motu proprio removed that exemption, so that a person who, for instance, after the entry into force of the motu proprio, contracts a merely civil marriage after formally defecting from the Church but who is later reconciled to the Church is considered free, in the eyes of the Church, to marry someone else in the Church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnium_in_mentem

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Published by: Quo Primum on Aug 07, 2008
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07/30/2013

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NEW MARRIAGE RULES (1983) To summarise

:
Catholic + Catholic, in a Catholic ceremony—valid, sacramental marriage. 2. Catholic + Catholic, in a non-Catholic ceremony—invalid. 3. Catholic + non-Catholic Christian, in a Catholic ceremony—valid, sacramental marriage, but permission is required from the Bishop or his delegate. 4. Catholic + unbaptised, in a Catholic ceremony—valid, natural marriage, provided a dispensation is obtained from the Bishop or his delegate. 5. Catholic + non-Catholic Christian, in a non-Catholic ceremony—valid, sacramental marriage, provided a dispensation from canonical form is obtained from the Bishop or one who has a mandate from him. 6. Catholic + Orthodox Christian, in an Orthodox ceremony—valid, sacramental marriage; licit if approved by the Catholic authority; otherwise illicit but still valid.1 7. Catholic + unbaptised, in a non-Catholic ceremony—valid, natural marriage, provided the dispensations are obtained from the Bishop or one who has a mandate from him. 8. Non-Catholic Christian + non-Catholic Christian, in any ceremony— valid, sacramental marriage, provided divine law is observed. 9. Non-Catholic Christian + unbaptised, in any ceremony recognised by the State—valid, natural marriage, provided divine law is observed.2 10.Unbaptised + unbaptised, in any ceremony recognised by the State— valid, natural marriage, provided divine law is observed. * * *
1.

Divine law binds all people. Church law binds only Catholics. The essential divine law here, i.e., God’s law, is that both the man and woman must not be already validly married to someone else, and do not positively exclude an essential property of marriage. In marriage law, “Catholic” means someone who was baptised a Catholic or received into the Church, and has not defected from it by a formal act (Can. 1086 §1). By “Christian” is meant someone validly baptised, not simply one who professes Christian faith.

1 2

Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, can. 834 §2 Nos. 8 & 9 apply to Protestants but not to non-Catholic Eastern Christians, who may be bound by their own Church’s legislation for their marriage to be valid: Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, can. 780, 781.

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