This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Pre-Marriage Seminar – The seminar will be scheduled during the canonical interview or you may inquire at the parish office. It continued a type and figure of marriage in the New Law. Doubtful marriage cases are decided in courts provided by the canon law for that purpose. Former difficulties arising from quasi-domicile are done away with by a month’s residence, even when taken in fraudem legis; the ordinary or the parish priest is the authorized witness of the Church, and he or a priest, delegated by him by name, can assist validly at any marriage within his territory, even though the parties come from without it; though, of course, such ordinary or parish priest needs, and should ask for, letters of permission from the proper authority to assist licitly at such a marriage. The Church safeguards the sacramental contract by unremitting solicitude and directs the consciences and conduct of those who marry by moral teaching and canonical legislation. The morganatic wife and her children receive, by agreement or stipulation, a dowry and means of support, the amount being in some countries at the discretion of the king or prince, in others fixed by law. The motives that prompt consent may be improper, but still they are compatible with the freedom required, and hence do not nullify the contract. Catholics are required by Canon Law to be married in a Catholic Church, according to the Catholic form of marriage. Under the 1983 Code of Canon Law, ecclesiastical impediments only apply to marriages where one or both of the parties is Catholic. Such a court has no power to legislate, but adjudicates according to the laws and the precedents of the Roman courts. The parties to the marriage fully consent to transfer to each other the conjugal rights, but, by agreement or vow, oblige themselves to abstain from the actual use of those rights. The Church derives her power to legislate in matrimonial affairs, not from the State, but from Christ; and acts, not on sufferance, but by Divine right. When the death of either party is not proved by such evidence as is required by canon law, there is no permission to re-marry. But that is quite different from granting a divorce in the case of a valid consummated marriage. ; I Cor., vii, 2 sqq. Certain defects of body, particularly impotency, disqualify likewise. First, the children born in such wedlock have no right to the title or crown of their father, since those who are to succeed him ought not to suffer from the social disadvantages arising from the inferior rank of their father’s morganatic wife. (3) The party or parties giving consent in the act of marriage might be in error as to the person or quality of person whom they are actually marrying. The parties contracting really administer the sacrament to themselves. The Church, on the other hand, justly expects the State to treat her laws such as those of celibacy, with respect (see Schmalzgrüber, vol. Canonical Form requires that a Roman Catholic marry before two witnesses and the ceremony be presided over by the Local Ordinary, pastor, priest, deacon, or a lay person with the faculty (permission) to assist at the ceremony in conformity with the laws of the Church. Circumstantial laws are enacted by the Church, and may vary or be repealed. II, n° 8, p. 348, February 26, 1910). To many, it appears to be merely a form of “Catholic divorce,” a covert way to get around the Church’s teaching that marriage is for life. It is likewise erroneous to consider the priest the minister of the sacrament; he is the authorized witness of the Church to the contract. Catholics of the various Eastern rites, who are in union with the Holy See, are exempt from the law; likewise all non-Catholics, except those who have been baptized in the Church, but have fallen away. Again, the mutual rights acquired and given in marriage being exclusive and perpetual, any condition added by both or one party to frustrate marriage in its natural consequences nullifies the contracts. Those who marry do so by signifying their consent to be man and wife. ; Luke, xvi, 15 sqq. This implies that they must each possess a sufficient understanding of what it is that they are consenting to. A true marriage is one duly contracted and capable of being proved in the ordinary way; a presumptive marriage, when the law presumes a marriage to exist; a putative marriage, when it is believed to be valid, but is in reality null and void, owing to the existence of a hidden diriment impediment. Socialists entertain this same view of marriage; they deprecate excessive state control of the marriage contract, but would impose the duty of providing for, and educating, children on the State. 7, 30 April, 1910, p. 300). In every diocese presided over by a bishop and especially in every metropolitan see, the canon law requires a matrimonial court. Thus, in ancient canon law, if a freeman married a woman whom he believed to be free while in fact she was a bondwoman, his marriage was null and void, unless, after discovering his error, he continued to live and cohabit with her. The Sacred Congregation of the Rota recently decided a marriage to be valid at’ which the consent of one party was given verbally, and that of the other by letter. (For the procedure in case of appeals from countries under the jurisdiction of Propaganda, see Sacred Congregation of Propaganda.). Canonical form as an element of validity of marriage has not always existed. (1910). She cannot repeal or change that law. Current canon law establishes that if there is absence of form—unless permitted by law—marriage is null. There are three basic requirements for a valid Catholic wedding: 1. Some theologians regard a marriage in which only one party is baptized as a sacrament. The nature of the contract as well as its consequent duties and properties are independent of the will of the parties contracting. Natural law protects the marriage contract; it requires that the object of the consent shall be, not only naturally capable of the contract, but personally intended. 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