Natural marriage

Last updated
Scale of justice, canon law.svg
Part of a series on the
Canon law of the
Catholic Church
046CupolaSPietro.jpg Catholicismportal

Natural marriage is the name given in Catholic canon law to the covenant "by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring", and is distinguished from a sacramental or Christian marriage, in which the two parties involved are baptized. [1] [2] [3] [3] [4]

Valid baptism a condition for Christian marriage

Since only the baptized can receive the other sacraments, the marriage of someone who has accepted Christian beliefs but has not been baptized is non-sacramental. Similarly, the marriage of a person whose baptism the Catholic Church judges to be invalid is a non-sacramental natural marriage. Examples of such baptisms considered invalid are those of the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. [5]

A marriage of two baptized Protestants, even if the church or churches they belong to and they themselves deny that marriage is a sacrament, and even if they contract marriage only civilly and not in church (they are not bound to observe the form that is obligatory for Catholics), [6] is a sacramental marriage, not a merely natural marriage. [7]

Transformation into sacramental marriage

The marriage that a non-baptized person, of whatever religion or belief, contracts, even with a baptized person, is a non-sacramental natural marriage. However, if the non-baptized person or persons are later baptized, the existing marriage automatically becomes sacramental and no longer merely natural. [8]

Conditions for natural marriage

If a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, the marriage is subject to Catholic canon law on impediments to marriage. If no Catholic is involved, the only impediments that apply are impediments affecting the very definition of marriage (such as if consent, diversity of sex, ability to consummate the marriage are lacking, or in the presence of an already existing marriage bond) and impediments that are considered part of natural law (such as a father-daughter relationship). [6] [9] [10] [11]

Any marriage that is non-monogamous (polygamy), [12] non-heterosexual (same-sex marriage), [12] or involves males under 16 years old, females under 14 years old [13] (see marriageable age) or non-humans (zoophilia) [12] is an invalid marriage according to natural law.

Natural marriage and divorce

"The Catholic Church does not recognize or endorse civil divorce of a natural marriage as of a sacramental marriage". [14] However, a natural marriage, even if consummated, can be dissolved by the Church when to do so favours the maintenance of the faith on the part of a Christian, cases of what has been called Pauline privilege and Petrine privilege. In these cases, which require intervention by the Holy See, the Church admits real divorce, actual dissolution of a valid marriage, as distinct from the granting by merely human power of a divorce that, according to Catholic theology, does not really dissolve the marriage bond.

Related Research Articles

Confirmation rite where baptism is confirmed in several Christian denominations

In Christian denominations that practice infant baptism, confirmation is seen as the sealing of Christianity created in baptism. Those being confirmed are known as confirmands. In some denominations, such as the Anglican Communion and Methodist Churches, confirmation bestows full membership in a local congregation upon the recipient. In others, such as the Roman Catholic Church, confirmation "renders the bond with the Church more perfect", because, while a baptized person is already a member, "reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace".

Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place. In legal terminology, an annulment makes a void marriage or a voidable marriage null.

Marriage in the Catholic Church

Marriage in the Catholic Church, also called matrimony, is the "covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring", and which "has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptised." Catholic matrimonial law, based on Roman law regarding its focus on marriage as a free mutual agreement or contract, became the basis for the marriage law of all European countries, at least up to the Reformation.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, sometimes referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, a distinction is made between the internal forum, where an act of governance is made without publicity, and the external forum, where the act is public and verifiable. In canon law, internal forum, the realm of conscience, is contrasted with the external or outward forum; thus, a marriage might be null and void in the internal forum, but binding outwardly, i.e., in the external forum, for want of judicial proof to the contrary.

A lapsed Catholic is a baptized Catholic who is non-practicing. Such a person may still identify as a Catholic and remains a Catholic according to canon law.

Valid but illicit and valid but illegal are descriptions applied in Catholic Church to an unauthorized celebration of a sacrament or an improperly placed juridic act that nevertheless has effect. Validity is presumed whenever an act is placed "by a qualified person and includes those things which essentially constitute the act itself as well as the formalities and requirements imposed by law for the validity of the act".

Pauline privilege in Christianity, allowance by the Church of the dissolution of marriage of two persons not baptized at the time of the marriage, based on 1 Cor 7:15

The Pauline privilege is the allowance by the Roman Catholic Church of the dissolution of marriage of two persons not baptized at the time the marriage occurred. The Pauline privilege is drawn from the apostle Paul's instructions in the First Epistle to the Corinthians.

Disparity of cult, sometimes called disparity of worship, is a diriment impediment in Roman Catholic canon law: a reason why a marriage can not be validly contracted without a dispensation, stemming from one person being certainly baptized, and the other certainly not baptized.

Ligamen is, in Roman Catholic canon law, an existing marriage tie, which constitutes an impediment to the contracting of a second marriage.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, an impediment is a legal obstacle that prevents a sacrament from being performed validly and/or licitly. The term is used most frequently in relationship to the sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders. Some canonical impediments can be dispensed by the competent authority as defined in Canon Law.

In the Catholic Church, a declaration of nullity, commonly called an annulment and less commonly a decree of nullity, is a judgment on the part of an ecclesiastical tribunal determining that a marriage was invalidly contracted or, less frequently, a judgment determining that ordination was invalidly conferred.

Acts 19:2-7 is the account of a rebaptism. Rebaptism in Christianity is the baptism of a person who has previously been baptized, usually in association with a denomination that does not recognize the validity of the previous baptism. When a denomination rebaptizes members of another denomination, it is a sign of significant differences in theology. Churches that practice exclusive adult baptism, including Baptists and Churches of Christ, rebaptize those who were baptized as infants because they do not consider infant baptism to be valid.

Petrine privilege, also known as the privilege of the faith or favour of the faith, is a ground recognised in Catholic canon law allowing for dissolution by the Pope of a valid natural marriage between a baptised and a non-baptised person for the sake of the salvation of the soul of someone who is thus enabled to marry in the Church.

Canon 915, one of the canons in the 1983 Code of Canon Law of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, forbids the administration of Holy Communion to those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared or who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin:

Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, excommunication, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it presupposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Catholic Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offense.

Sacraments of the Catholic Church seven visible rituals that Catholics see as signs of Gods presence, consisting of those of initiation (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), of healing (reconciliation, anointing of the sick), and of service (holy orders, matrimony)

There are seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, which according to Catholic theology were instituted by Jesus and entrusted to the Church. Sacraments are visible rites seen as signs and efficacious channels of the grace of God to all those who receive them with the proper disposition. The sevenfold list of sacraments is often organized into three categories: the sacraments of initiation, consisting of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist; the sacraments of healing, consisting of Penance and Anointing of the Sick; and the sacraments of service: Holy Orders and Matrimony.

In the canon law of the Catholic Church, a person is a subject of certain legal rights and obligations. Persons may be distinguished between physical and juridic persons. Juridic persons may be distinguished as collegial or non-collegial, and public or private juridic persons. The Holy See and the Catholic Church as such are not juridic persons, since juridic persons are created by ecclesiastical law. Rather, they are moral persons by divine law.

Canon 844 is a Catholic Church canon law contained within the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which defines the licit administration and reception of certain sacraments of the Catholic Church in normative and in particular exceptional circumstances, known in canonical theory as communicatio in sacris.

The term ratum sed non consummatum or ratum et non consummatum refers to a juridical-sacramental category of marriage in Catholic matrimonial canon law. If a matrimonial celebration takes place (ratification) but the spouses have not yet engaged in intercourse (consummation), then the marriage is said to be a marriage ratum sed non consummatum. The Tribunal of the Roman Rota has exclusive competence to dispense from marriages ratum sed non consummatum, which can only be granted for a "just reason". This process should not be confused with the process for declaring the nullity of marriage, which is treated of in a separate title of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

References

  1. Code of Canon Law, canon 1055
  2. Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 776
  3. 1 2 Adolfo N. Decanáy, Canon Law on Marriage (Ateneo University Press 2000 ISBN   978-97-1921710-7), p. 2
  4. Catholic Marriage and annulments
  5. Churches with Valid, Doubtful and Invalid Baptisms
  6. 1 2 Code of Canon Law, canon 11
  7. Decanáy (2000), p. 4
  8. Can. 1055 §2, 1983 Code of Canon Law
  9. Eileen F. Stuart, Dissolution and Annulment of Marriage by the Catholic Church (Federation Press 1994 ISBN   978-1-86287136-6), p. 148
  10. Joseph Domfeh-Boateng, The Catholic Church: Easy Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (Xlibris Corporation 2014 ISBN   978-1-49317435-5), p. 131[ self-published source ]
  11. Dacanáy (2000), p. 20
  12. 1 2 3 Can. 1055 §1, 1983 Code of Canon Law
  13. Can. 1083 §1, 1983 Code of Canon Law
  14. Sebastian S. Karambai, Ministers and Ministries in the Local Church (St Pauls BYB 2005 ISBN   978-81-7109725-8), p. 411, footnote 38