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Where does arrange marriage fall within Catholic teaching?  I refer especially to arranged marriage for political gain (ie marrying off a princess to a prince to cement an alliance).  Someone (as in a person, not Someone 1776 lol) told me that he thinks it is misuse of a Sacrament and might even mean that the people involved did not really consent.  What do you all think?
I suppose that people could be under so much pressure to marry that it is not real consent, but I do not think that arranged marriages necessarily involve lack of consent.
Arranged marriages have been practiced for millennia in every kind of culture. The Church herself has tolerated them since the beginning, as far as I know.

As long as both parties freely consent, the marriage is valid. Of course, the problem comes with the "freely" part since many daughters and sons were simply coerced into marrying out of fear and filial piety towards their parents. Sometimes they didn't even have much of a choice since the betrothal had been promised since childhood. Trent tried to address this issue by laying down the role of free consent of both parties in order for the sacrament to be valid but no-one paid any real attention in Christendom since the custom was way too entrenched in society to be successfully wiped out just out of religious care.

These arranged marriages only fell into disuse more recently as Western society became industrialised and sharply urban, the power of aristocracy and bourgeoisie waned, the middle and working classes grew in dimension, life became more secular and the old remants of feudalism were engulfed by the triumph of capitalism.
Arranged marriages are valid and acceptable, but to be honest, the matter of consent can raise some very hairy questions in individual cases.

What's really ridiculous, yet was still practiced in Christendom until relatively recently (and is still legal in Texas), was marriage by proxy; that is, with either the bride or groom physically absent from the ceremony. Catherine of Aragon wed her first husband, Prince Arthur by proxy. Same with Napoleon and Marie Louise.
(01-16-2012, 10:14 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Arranged marriages are valid and acceptable, but to be honest, the matter of consent can raise some very hairy questions in individual cases.

What's really ridiculous, yet was still practiced in Christendom until relatively recently (and is still legal in Texas), was marriage by proxy; that is, with either the bride or groom physically absent from the ceremony. Catherine of Aragon wed her first husband, Prince Arthur by proxy. Same with Napoleon and Marie Louise.

Well, if you could burn heretics in effigy or unearth their corpses for trial and "execution," why not marry by proxy?

We've come a long way since then.
(01-16-2012, 10:23 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]Well, if you could burn heretics in effigy or unearth their corpses for trial and "execution," why not marry by proxy?

We've come a long way since then.

I can understand putting corpses on trial for fun.

Proxy marriages don't do much for the whole "sanctity of marriage" thing, though. I think that ironically, our society has become more monogamous in recent centuries than it was in the early modern period. True, there is much more divorce, but adultery within marriage is also much more taboo. Yes, even for those who may be very politically and socially liberal otherwise. Look what happened to Clinton. Before the Victorian period, though, it would be stranger if he didn't have a mistress.

The difference is that today we put a lot more emphasis on choice and consent in marriage. Therefore, you're expected to be happy with your spouse.
(01-16-2012, 10:42 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Therefore, you're expected to be happy with your spouse.

A subversive concept if there ever was one!
The marriage of my mother's parents was an arranged marriage.
(01-16-2012, 10:14 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Arranged marriages are valid and acceptable, but to be honest, the matter of consent can raise some very hairy questions in individual cases.

What's really ridiculous, yet was still practiced in Christendom until relatively recently (and is still legal in Texas), was marriage by proxy; that is, with either the bride or groom physically absent from the ceremony. Catherine of Aragon wed her first husband, Prince Arthur by proxy. Same with Napoleon and Marie Louise.

This reminds me of a question I have had for some time.  In my Baltimore Catechism, there was a passage where it seemed to imply that if a priest was not reasonably accessible, a man and woman could marry themselves.  Being the Baltimore Catechism, it also gave the example of a couple who were on an oil rig in the desert and wanted to marry, but a priest was not available for some time.
I don’t see an inherent problem with arranged marriage, but it seems very risky to me. Hit or miss kind of thing, you don’t know what you are getting until after you’ve said your vows. Scary!
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