Validity of Marriages in "Forgotten" canonical assignment cases
I am somewhat confused by the following issue:
Suppose an Eastern Catholic man, let's say a Melkite, moves to a region with only Latin-rite Catholic Churches, and thus practices as a Latin-rite Catholic. He has his children baptized by the Latin priest without discussing his canonical situation, and the children are not informed of his Melkite assignment. First, I am correct in thinking that the son is canonically Melkite, right?

But since the son doesn't know it, suppose he gets married in the Latin church without the permission of his Melkite bishop (since he doesn't know he is a Melkite). Is this marriage valid? Further, suppose he is married not by a Latin priest but by a deacon?  Then is his marriage automatically invalid

And furthermore, suppose many generations go by in this situation. Is the original man's male-line great-great-great-great grandson still a canonical Melkite if his family has been living as Latins for generations?  And thus subject to the same rules about marriage validity?

And if so, how would a person of mixed ethnicity and potentially doubtful genealogy ever know if his marriage was valid?  (To be clear, while these might seem like "could God create a rock so heavy..." "gotcha" questions, I don't mean them that way at all. I am just trying to understand how the differing rules of the different Catholic Churches work together. And I imagine that often enough, an immigrant from one region to another ends up practicing in a church that is not his canonical church, perhaps without even realizing the importance of what has occurred.

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Validity of Marriages in "Forgotten" canonical assignment cases - by Optatus Cleary - 02-16-2016, 03:16 PM

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