Marriage ideas have marriage consequences

March 3, 2013 § 61 Comments

According to the laws, let the consent alone suffice for those whose union is in question; and if, by chance, this consent alone is lacking in the marriage, everything else is in vain, even if solemnized by intercourse itself, as attested to by the great Doctor John Chrysostom, who said: “What makes a marriage is not intercourse, but the will.” — Pope Nicholas I, Ad consulta vestra, November 13, 866 AD, (quoted in Denzinger)

First, it is necessary to distinguish between sacramental Christian marriage and pagan[1] marriage.

Christian marriage is what takes place when a baptized Christian man marries a baptized Christian woman.  Pagan marriage is everything else in the wider world that is marriage-like.  Pagan marriage does not share the essentials of Christian marriage.  It is a merely natural, not sacramental, phenomenon.

The essentials of Christian marriage between a man and a woman are not complicated.  An average ten year old can understand them.  They include

  1. Permanence/indissolubility  (No matter what.  No “out” for adultery, abuse, etc.)
  2. Unity (One man, one woman.  Monogomous marriage is the only possible kind of Christian marriage)
  3. Sexual exclusivity
  4. Openness to children

When a Christian man and woman consent to marriage, they consent to (at least) these essential things.

And there is the rub.  When a Christian attempts “marriage” while at the same time denying any of the essentials of marriage – when his idea of marriage does not correspond to the essentials of sacramental, Christian marriage – he is not consenting to marriage.  This is the case even when he keeps his denial to himself, perhaps in order not to rock the boat.

Someone with the wrong idea of marriage who attempts to marry fails in the attempt.  As with the case of an invalid confession, the outward appearance of a sacrament does not guarantee the presence of the sacrament.

And lots of modern Christians have wrong ideas about marriage.

____________

[1] Following an old convention for convenience, I use “pagan” to refer to non-sacramental non-Christian marriages.

§ 61 Responses to Marriage ideas have marriage consequences

  • Vanessa says:

    Copied and altered from the previous thread:

    The marriages Jesus is referring to didn’t involve baptized Christians, so they weren’t sacramental, but only pagan. Polygamy is allowed under natural law, but divorce was an exception to natural law, which He mentions with His reference to Moses.

    Marriage is a sacrament only under the New Law, where we are bound to the rules described by St. Paul in Ephesians, where marriage is a reflection of the relationship of Christ and His Church, and where the “two become one flesh”, as it was in Paradise (“the beginning”). We are closer to the Divine Law now, because Jesus told us that it should be so (see Matthew 19), so the standard is higher.

    It is not merely that we are not supposed to engage in polygamy as Christians, but that such marriages aren’t even possible for us and are simply acts of adultery, which is why they can be declared null.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    It is not merely that we are not supposed to engage in polygamy as Christians, but that such marriages aren’t even possible for us and are simply acts of adultery

    Yep. And a Christian who attempts to enter into “marriage” with the explicit understanding that this is possible hasn’t consented to marriage; because his understanding of what he is consenting to is essentially defective.

  • Vanessa says:

    Then it’s not just Catholics in invalid marriages, and the cause isn’t just purposeful sterility or entertaining the remarriage option. Some Prots are dabbling with approving polygamy now, in a sort of ghettoization of the Church. Which means they’re abandoning 1, 2, and 3 on your list.

    *shudder*

  • Zippy says:

    Well, and what happens when a Christian who supports same-sex “marriage” attempts to get married (to a woman) himself? When he uses the term “marriage”, he doesn’t mean what the Church means by it. So how can he possibly be consenting to what the Church means by it?

    This is why I think pervasive invalidity is very likely, in addition to — and without excusing — the “moving of the goal posts” in the tribunals.

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t know. It just seems like a big intellectual jump to go from “supports same sex marriage”, “supports the legalization of divorce for XYZ reasons”, or “entertains the validity of polygamous marriages”. or “uses condoms”, or “struggles with fidelity”, to “the marriage is invalid”.

    The validity seems to speak more to the specific instance of their particular marriage and their intentions in that regard, than to their political views or general sinful behavior. Otherwise, no non-Catholic could have a sacramental marriage, which we know isn’t true. There seems to be room for doctrinal or personal error without the particular marriage being invalidated.

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t know if it was clear to everyone from the other thread, but priests preside over marriages and courts over annulments because of canon law, not because they are essential aspects of the sacrament. At our confirmation, we take a sacred oath of fealty to canon law, so only Catholics are bound to this rule.

  • Cane Caldo says:

    How does this not blow baptism by a non-Christian/non-Catholic right out of the water?

    More importantly, as no one has the mind or heart of God, and therefore cannot fully encompass the meaning and purpose of marriage (in their own life, much less universally!) how can anyone get married?

    Really, I’m question the ability to generate such a list, and have it be useful with regards to a Mystery. Again, the catholic idea is that we get the full mystery whether we want it or not; whether we like it or not. When we take communion unworthily, we really are taking condemnation on yourself because it really is the substance of the body and blood of Christ.

    It’s my position that everyone has done so of both the mass, and marriage. If lust in the heart is adultery, then all are guilty of transgressing 1 and 2. We must then say that ALL marriages are annulled. This makes sense of why Christ and St. Paul warn AGAINST marriage–we know not what we do when we enter into it. Indeed, we are told annulment is the case, as there will be no marriage on the New Earth. Yet, for now, we should make no distinction between Jew or Greek (pagan), and let our “yes” be our “yes”, and our “no” be our “no”.

    To juridically say of marriage, baptism, or any of the sacraments “that wasn’t a marriage” (when sometimes literally hordes of people would testify that it was) here on Earth, is to undercut the law.

    But if we were to not pronounce annulments, then we cannot be guilty of adding our sin to theirs.

  • Velvet says:

    What of converts? I married an unbaptized man in a marginally Christian ceremony. He later received Christ, became Catholic and is quite orthodox but he was anything but when we celebrated our pagan union, and even following his conversion we weren’t particularly religious. That came later.

    So by your reasoning is our marriage and those like ours valid or no? And bear in mind some things are done, pre-conversion, that cannot be undone, so there are deficits, lets say, that would prevent some converts from meeting all the criteria. How is that reconciled?

    I offered my personal example but am interested in your answer in a broader context.

  • sunshinemary says:

    Though I’m no longer Catholic, my concept of marriage matches what you’ve written. The fact that I do not believe in divorce for any reason (because I believe divorce is literally impossible in the Christian sense) and because I’m strongly opposed to the use of artificial birth control, I’m at odds with probably 90% of Protestants.

    Based on #1 and #4, therefore, probably 90% of Protestant marriages are invalid.

    Out of curiosity, what happens in Catholicism when you have converts? Do they get “re”married if they had previously not accepted these basic marriage tenets?

  • sunshinemary says:

    Velvet, we cross posted on the convert idea.

  • Zippy says:

    Velvet and sunshinemary:
    If a couple convert and their marriage status is in doubt, the Church makes convalidation available to remove all doubt. Convalidation is like conditional baptism: both make no presumption about current sacramental status (under the law the Church is required to presume marriage validity unless a tribunal rules otherwise), but they “make it right” if it isn’t right.

  • Vanessa says:

    My parents had their marriage convalidated after my father crossed the Tiber.

  • Zippy says:

    Cane:
    Your understanding of the sacraments is not the Church’s understanding of the sacraments, obviously. And your understanding of mystery leaves no room for knowledge: that fact that marriage is a mystery, meaning our understanding of it can never be complete, does not imply that we cannot know anything essential about it at all.

    I’ve mentioned before that Protestantism has a positivism problem (sola scriptura is essentially positivist), and it becomes manifest in how mysteries are approached: lack of complete knowledge is thought to preclude the possibility of definite concrete knowledge at all.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    It just seems like a big intellectual jump to go from “supports same sex marriage”, “supports the legalization of divorce for XYZ reasons”, or “entertains the validity of polygamous marriages”. or “uses condoms”, or “struggles with fidelity”, to “the marriage is invalid”.

    Yes, it depends. If (e.g.) in supporting same sex “marriage” the person is taking a strictly political stand, that may not be an attack on essential Unity (one man, one woman). The person understands that there is legal marriage and there is Christian marriage, that they are different, and affirms that Christian marriage is only between one man and one woman.

    If on the other hand he is outraged that same sex couples are not given Christian marriages, his understanding of one of the essential elements of (sacramental Christian) marriage is defective. If that is the case, it is hard to see how he could ever validly consent to marriage.

  • […] For a Catholic (and entirely Biblical) perspective, see Zippy Catholic on Marriage ideas have marriage consequences. […]

  • Velvet says:

    I understand convalidation, but it doesn’t really answer the question. Why is more grace afforded the unknown marital condition of the post matrimonial convert by way of “making it right” , than the cradle or otherwise pre-matrimonial subscriber?Unless someone was certifiably bonkers at the time wouldn’t that make that person merely a sinner, perhaps not in full communion at the time as Vanessa suggested, but no more or less than a philandering spouse, etc. at some random point on the marriage timeline. I realize I am tangling this thread with the last, but I’m trying to understand how we can arrive at anullment as legitimate relief from what amounts to simple sin. Shouldn’t the directive be “how about you stop sinning” ? It seems like offering some sort of retroactive kings x based on ones spiritual state at the time of the ceremony kind of defeats the purpose of the implied permanency .

  • Zippy says:

    Velvet:
    I don’t know if I am parsing your question correctly, but validity has nothing to do with sinning before, during, or after the wedding vows (which is where the sacrament takes place).

    Validity has everything to do with both parties giving free consent to marry the other. If that did not take place, no marriage took place.

    My argument is that you can’t consent to X – it is literally impossible – without correctly understanding what is essential to X.

    Consider someone who consents to drink the liquid in front of him, but has no knowledge that it is arsenic. It cannot therefore be said that he consented to drink arsenic.

    And a person can’t consent to marriage without knowing that marriage is this thing and not some other thing. If the person consents to some other thing – some thing lacking one or more of the essential components of marriage – then he has not consented to marriage. He has consented to something that he might label marriage but which is not in fact marriage.

    Much as two homosexuals literally cannot marry because of the essence of what marriage is, a person with a defective understanding of what marriage is, is literally incapable of consenting to it.

    The matter of the sacrament is bride and groom both giving free consent to marriage. Misunderstanding or willful disagreement about what is essential to marriage necessarily implies a lack of free consent to it.

  • Saint Velvet says:

    Misunderstanding or willful disagreement about what is essential to marriage necessarily implies a lack of free consent to it.

    If we applied your reasoning to the other Sacraments – say, infant baptism, or First Communion, both of which happen in immaturity but are considered legitimate, even absent complete understanding of what is being consented to on the part of what is usually a child – then how many of those are invalid? The Water, or The Body and the Blood, are all that matter in those moments, right, even if the parents and Godparents who are advocating on behalf of the child in their renunciation of Satan, etc, aren’t entirely spiritually sound or in complete understanding of the affair?

    Transubstantiation means one thing, ultimately, it is not open to interpretation, but arriving at the fullness of understanding is not a matter for a third graders consideration, though he takes the Sacrament anyway. That he does not have the ability (by way of maturity or training or the benefit of spiritual nuance) to fully grasp his condition doesn’t invalidate it, or make it a “less than”, does it? Why would that be the case in marriage? What one does or does not understand at the time the Sacrament is administered is irrelevant to the obligation one is called to fulfill.

    So, in undertaking marriage, is it unreasonable to imagine that a) it is nigh impossible to completely understand the gravity of the Sacrament of marriage no matter how well versed a person or a couple is on the conditions (which is why it is celebrated by a Priest rather than a couple just pronouncing that they’re hitched) and b) that the Holy Spirit is present on such occasions for a very practical purpose? MInds and hearts change, gratefully, sometimes for the good, often for the bad, but a marriage isn’t invalid because of what amounts to immaturity, is it? And what of those of us who “got it” later on? Should I call my lawyer?

  • Zippy says:

    Saint Velvet:
    With marriage, the matter of the sacrament is consent (see the OP). This is not true of other sacraments.

    So, in undertaking marriage, is it unreasonable to imagine that a) it is nigh impossible to completely understand the gravity of the Sacrament of marriage no matter how well versed a person or a couple is on the conditions (which is why it is celebrated by a Priest rather than a couple just pronouncing that they’re hitched) and b) that the Holy Spirit is present on such occasions for a very practical purpose?

    That’s a straw man though. The thing one must consent to is marriage; a ten year old can understand its essential elements.

    The problem is that many modern people label things “marriage” even when an essential element is missing. If they then consent to this not-marriage thing, there has been no marriage.

  • Saint Velvet says:

    a ten year old can understand its essential elements.

    So what person at the age of majority could legitimately claim they didn’t understand what they were getting into unless they were suffering from mental defect?

    If they then consent to this not-marriage thing, there has been no marriage.

    This contradicts your assertion that a ten year old should be able to understand these things. Can we safely assume so, or no? It’s why the language is so utterly important to those who would seek to re-define marriage, rather than simply call it something else.

  • Zippy says:

    Saint Velvet:
    This contradicts your assertion that a ten year old should be able to understand these things.

    No it doesn’t. Anyone with an IQ over 60 is fully capable of understanding indissolubility. But many Protestants (and likely many Catholics too, though generally less overtly) label “marriage” a thing which actually is understood to be dissoluble under certain conditions. So when they consent to that thing, they are not consenting to marriage.

  • Zippy says:

    It’s why the language is so utterly important to those who would seek to re-define marriage, rather than simply call it something else

    This has already happened though. Lots of people now understand marriage to be conditionally dissoluble. Many understand it to be true marriage even when the generation of children is ruled out. Others believe that sacramental marriage to more than one person at a time is possible (see the comments of the previous post for an example).

    So for many people this redefinition of the word “marriage” has already happened. When baptized Christians attempt these redefined things, what takes place is not a marriage.

  • Elspeth says:

    I was a baptized “Christian” who married an unbeliever (now a baptized believer). An unbeliever who, incidentally, had more integrity and understanding of marital permanence in his pinky finger than I had in all of my vast knowledge of Christian truth from the cradle.

    I prefer to err to this default: two consenting adults who understand the concept of “till death do us part” and take those vows are married. Permanently. If they are Christians, there is no out. And certainly no remarriage.

  • Hurting says:

    Zippy…

    Thank you for keeping this topic alive. It needs the disinfectant of sunlight in our Church.

  • I second Hurting. This discussions are valuable.

  • Chris says:

    Zippy, I respectfully disagree. As I just posted — having read your post but not the comments (which are of a very high standard) when I married my Christian bride — who had converted at university — was not baptized, and as far as I can tell has never been baptized.

    I’m more worried about her not being baptized, frankly, than if my divorce was licit or not.

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    Okay, so let’s say that most Catholic marriages, like most marriages in the world today and throughout human history, are sacramentally invalid and at best merely natural. My wife and I married as (baptized) protestants with full intention to use contraception, and probably a bunch of other defects. Should we therefore seek convalidation? If so, what parish will give it to us? And if so, then what of all those Catholics who don’t have the “married as protestants–so please convalidate” out?

    Are you saying 90% of all self-identifying Catholics require convalidation? And if so, doesn’t the Church, ya know, actually need to make some sort of (at least canonical) allowance for it??

    If not that, then what exactly are you saying? That, the closer one looks at it, there is seemingly no depth to how screwed up we are? Well, no duh!

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    The reason consent is essential, correct me if I’m wrong Zippy, is that the marrying couple themselves are the ordinary ministers of matrimony. And in order for any sacrament to be valid, it is necessary (but not sufficient) that the minister intend what the church intends by the sacrament. If that is so, then are there Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Matrimony? If so, who, and where can I find one?

  • Zippy says:

    Steve:
    I haven’t an inkling what the percentages are, and I’m not qualified to give individual advice to anyone. But my understanding of convalidations is that they are pretty easy to get, and no particular reason is necessary other than a bare possibility of invalidity. In practice I expect “just to make sure” is fine. Does that conflict with your understanding?

  • Zippy says:

    Steve:
    If that is so, then are there Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Matrimony? If so, who, and where can I find one?

    Hah! A near-universal question, that. 😉

  • Scott W. says:

    If that is so, then are there Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Matrimony? If so, who, and where can I find one?

    And if EMHC’s are any guide, it would appear that you would at least twenty of them to do anything. 😀

  • Anymouse says:

    I actually find this to be a pretty interesting discussion. I would tend to agree with Zippy’s basic point, even if that is uncomfortable to many. Our society today has profoundly more willingness to openly flout the truth about marriage.

  • Laceagate says:

    The reason consent is essential, correct me if I’m wrong Zippy, is that the marrying couple themselves are the ordinary ministers of matrimony. And in order for any sacrament to be valid, it is necessary (but not sufficient) that the minister intend what the church intends by the sacrament. If that is so, then are there Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Matrimony? If so, who, and where can I find one?

    That’s my understanding, as well. A natural marriage precludes a valid marriage, so if two heterosexual consenting people who aren’t lying to each other OR withholding anything from each other get married, why isn’t that enough?

  • Ian says:

    Hi Zippy,

    Regarding point 2, how does that square with the polygamous marriages (‘marriages’?) permitted by the Catholic Church and mentioned by Bruce Charlton here: http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2013/01/roman-catholic-polygamy-temporarily.html

    Thanks.

  • Zippy says:

    Ian:
    I have broad and deep Magisterial sources going back to the Church Fathers against the validity of polygamous sacramental Christian marriages. These sources are strong enough and unanimous enough in my opinion to involve infallibility of the ordinary Magisterium.

    Polygamous pagans have always had to give up all but one of their wives to join the Church, which long ago used to be a not infrequent concern.

    Following your link and Bruce’s, I skim to find some people in comboxes somewhere on the Internet claiming that the Church “officially” created a polygamy dispensation in Paraguay for a time. I see a few claims that some scholar somewhere is the reference.

    I can’t count the number of times people have told me that the Church “officially” taught this or “officially” taught that, where the evidence trail dead ends somewhere other than the Magisterium.

    Until I actually see an authoritative Magisterial document of some kind, I am going to consider the Paraguay thing to be in that category.

  • Chris says:

    Zippy: the Reformed agree with you. (Won’t quote it here). My understanding is that the teaching of the church has always been one man, one woman, not two or ten.

    It is one of the marks of the heterodox to allow for polyamory in all its forms — from the Cathars to the Mormons.

  • vishmehr24 says:

    Are the vows not an essential part of the Christian marriage?
    The wife vows obedience and the husband vows to love, honor and cherish her.

    The interesting thing is that the vows do not seem derivable from biologic complementarity.

    Another interesting thing is Hindu pagans too have almost identical vows.

  • Scott W. says:

    Here is the New Advent entry: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm

    Scroll down to “Minister of the sacrament; matter and form”

    What stands out to me is:

    Matrimonium facit consensus, i.e. Marriage is contracted through the mutual, expressed consent.”

    And:

    “As it is certain, therefore, from the point of view of the Church that marriage as a sacrament is fulfilled only through the mutual consent of the contracting parties, it is a matter of secondary consideration, how and in what sense the matter and form of this sacrament are to be taken. The view that most correctly explains this is perhaps the one that is generally prevalent today; in every contract two elements are to be distinguished, the offering of a right and the acceptance of it; the former is the foundation, the latter is the juridicial completion. The same holds true of the sacramental contract of marriage; in so far, therefore as an offering of the marriage right is contained in the mutual declaration of consent, we have the matter of the sacraments, and, in so far as a mutual acceptance is contained therein, we have the form.”

  • Ian says:

    Thank you for your response, Zippy.

  • Steve Nicoloso says:

    my understanding of convalidations is that they are pretty easy to get, and no particular reason is necessary other than a bare possibility of invalidity. In practice I expect “just to make sure” is fine. Does that conflict with your understanding?

    Well, I don’t have an understanding at all. I am a convert and whilst I have witnessed the preparations (on most Saturdays) in my parish for marriages, and witnessed almost every Sunday preparations for baptisms (including 3 of my own children–not counting the 5 who were baptized before we actually formally entered the Church), I have never heard of a convalidation occuring in my parish. Of course, perhaps it is embarassing, although I don’t know why it would be: Nothing quite as “embarassing” as being baptized on the Easter Vigil (we have 5 this year BTW woo hoo!)…

    I have absolutely no frame of reference.

    If we, the convert couple with 8 kids, are getting convalidated, then what hope is there for most couples in our parish, in our (mostly Catholic) homeschool co-op? What message does it send, assuming it is sent at all? I suppose a true message is good and proper no matter what the consequences, but as far as I know we have a “presumption of validity” (baptized Christians), even though we did not agree in the finer points with what the Church intends by Matrimony. Those finer points (contraception) are no small deal, but if they apply to us then they probably apply to ~90% of Catholic marriages.

    Maybe we’re better off just not having sacramental marriages, and living as tho’ we do.

  • Zippy says:

    Steve:
    I believe many convalidations are very “low key” events. I wouldn’t expect them to be terribly noticeable as a parish activity.

    I hear what you are saying … it is almost as if we live in extraordinary times or something. Perhaps this is similar to how ordinary folks felt during the Arian heresy or the Great Schism.

  • […] they were married each of their concepts of marriage was correct in the essentials, with one exception: Bill was under the impression that it was permissible to divorce if Carol ever […]

  • […] discussion on the sacrament of marriage is being hosted over at Zippy Catholic (see here, here, here, and here). The question at hand is whether modern ideas about marriage (i.e., its […]

  • […] in the taxonomy of marriage, sacramental Christian marriage between baptized followers of Christ is not the only kind of marriage.  Marriages among pagans are also true marriages; they are in fact not dissoluble by the civil […]

  • I agree with what you’ve written regarding the sacred marriage ceremony. For me, a marriage is a divine sacrament & the merging of two souls.

    I do not support divorce for any reason and what actually was said ”with reference to Moses” was: Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

  • […] Seems like the Archbishop Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (for my Protestant friends, that used to be called the Holy Office of the Inquisition) has been reading  my blog: […]

  • […] I take it for granted on this blog that the Council failed in this endeavor. The Catholic faith is not only less intelligible to moderns, it is now less intelligible even to Catholics. There are plenty of examples that can be cited here, plenty of polls, plenty of anecdotes, but I think the most damning piece of evidence in this regard is the recent admission of Abp. Müller, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, that the common understanding of marriage as an exclusive, indissoluble, sacramental union has so dissolved that many, perhaps even most, marriages today are invalid. (For more on this line of reasoning, see Zippy Catholic’s characteristically excellent post on the topic here). […]

  • […] these days about making a possible “pastoral exception” that endorses[1] divorced and “remarried” Catholic couples persisting in their adulterous relationships but still receiving communion. […]

  • […] presented, through praxis, with ideas about marriage (and in particular indissolubility) that are false and misleading — possibly to the point where, when they attempt “marriage,” it will be […]

  • […] about the truth of Sacramental Christian marriage (it is after all not complicated: it is something a ten year old can understand); and in conjunction with this there should be widespread promotion of convalidation in order to […]

  • […] given that marriage ideas have marriage consequences, it follows that, just as there are unquestionably large numbers of sacrilegious receptions of the […]

  • […] sacrilege.  Someone who attempts sacramental marriage while in rebellion against any of the essentials of sacramental marriage commits sacrilege, fails to actually marry, and instead creates a state of ongoing moral atrocity […]

  • […] does “pastorally” as opposed to what she says doctrinally in the fine print may have wrong ideas about marriage; probably in many cases to enough of an extent that they attempt marriage invalidly.  At least […]

  • I see what you’re getting at here. Basically, if a member denies one of the conditions, then it’s not marriage. It’s a purely legal arrangement, which is a sin for the person who didn’t consider the conditions.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    Marriage is not a civil contract, it is a SACRAMENT. To ridicule, diminish, or pervert this sacrament is profane in the eyes of God. Those who do so, in a just society, would justly pay the penalty. Their blood would be upon them.

  • Zippy says:

    Marriage is both a contract and a sacrament, according to the Magisterium of the Church:

    Let no one, then, be deceived by the distinction which some civil jurists have so strongly insisted upon – the distinction, namely, by virtue of which they sever the matrimonial contract from the sacrament, with intent to hand over the contract to the power and will of the rulers of the State, while reserving questions concerning the sacrament to the Church. A distinction, or rather severance, of this kind cannot be approved; for certain it is that in Christian marriage the contract is inseparable from the sacrament, and that, for this reason, the contract cannot be true and legitimate without being a sacrament as well. For Christ our Lord added to marriage the dignity of a sacrament; but marriage is the contract itself, whenever that contract is lawfully concluded. – Pope Leo XIII, Arcanum divinae sapentiae

  • Patrick says:

    I recently learned that a legitimate marriage exists after the vows are said, but before the consummation. If the consummation never takes place the marriage can be dissolved by the Church.

  • Zippy says:

    Patrick:
    True, marriage is dissoluble prior to consummation. IIRC the time when it was done as a practical matter was when one of the parties chose to enter permanently celibate religious life (e.g. to become a nun).

  • Patrick says:

    I was surprised by it because I always thought sacramental marriage was the consummation (paired with an understanding of lifelong commitment). But marriage actually exists before consummation, so it’s evidently something slightly different than what I thought.

  • […] the case of uncertain consent to marriage there is also a simple sacramental solution: convalidation.  This is how the Church has always […]

  • […] is what makes “gay marriage” into a kind of step backward for progressives. Unlike the heterosexual sham which came before, it is impossible for the homosexual sham to maintain outward appearances. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Marriage ideas have marriage consequences at Zippy Catholic.

meta

%d bloggers like this: