Receiving Eucharist while cohabiting/sleeping together in civil marriage
#31
I was trying to avoid the complications arising from the distinction between a "natural" marriage and the Sacramental marriage. However, for anyone with a mind to exploring the distinction this might be a good start:

Moral and Canonical Aspect of Marriage

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09699a.htm
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#32
(12-27-2015, 03:42 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: A baptized Catholic cannot validly marry outside of the Church. Period.
That would seem to be a very convenient escape clause for an annulment (divorce) for millions of Catholics (or their "partners") in mixed marriages or any married outside the Church.

A "natural" marriage is a binding contract instituted by God even if it is not a Christian Sacramental marriage.

That our friend here started at the wrong end does not invalidate the contract. Unless there is a real impediment he (they) are married and it is wise and good for them to cement the union with the Sacrament.
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#33
(12-27-2015, 06:10 PM)Oldavid Wrote:
(12-27-2015, 03:42 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: A baptized Catholic cannot validly marry outside of the Church. Period.
That would seem to be a very convenient escape clause for an annulment (divorce) for millions of Catholics (or their "partners") in mixed marriages or any married outside the Church.

It is.

A Catholic cannot validly contract marriage outside of the Church. Period. End of story.

That is because by Baptism a Catholic is bound by Ecclesiastical Law. Baptism makes him, a "citizen" of the Church. Just like a citizen of a country is bound by the just laws of that country, a Catholic is bound by the laws of the Church.

If the Church has the power to legislate over a certain matter, it can bind Catholics on that matter.

The Church has the power over the marital contract of Catholics. She exercises that power by setting the conditions for what constitutes a valid marriage contract. Those conditions include the need for witnesses, and the need for the Church to witness the marriage via a delegated cleric.

That law is crystal clear :

Code of Canon Law (1983) Wrote:Can.  1108 §1. Only those marriages are valid which are contracted before the local ordinary, pastor, or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and before two witnesses according to the rules expressed in the following canons and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in cann. 144, 1112, §1, 1116, and 1127, §§1-2.

Code of Canon Law (1983) Wrote:Can.  1117 The form established above must be observed if at least one of the parties contracting marriage was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and has not defected from it by a formal act, without prejudice to the prescripts of can. 1127, §2.

Benedict XVI, Omnium in mentem Wrote:Art. 4. The text of can. 1117 of the Code of Canon Law is modified as follows:

"The form prescribed above must be observed if at least one of the parties contracting the marriage was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it, without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1127 § 2".

Art. 5. The text of can. 1124 of the Code of Canon Law is modified as follows:

"Marriage between two baptized persons, one of whom was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism, and the other a member of a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church, cannot be celebrated without the express permission of the competent authority".

(12-27-2015, 06:10 PM)Oldavid Wrote: A "natural" marriage is a binding contract instituted by God even if it is not a Christian Sacramental marriage.

Indeed. That is quite true. Any merely natural marriage is binding.

The marriage of a Catholic is not a merely natural marriage, and ecclesiastical law specifies the Natural Law, determining the conditions for a valid contract. Those conditions include a "Church Marriage", without which the marriage is null.

A Catholic cannot contract a merely civil marriage. Period.

(12-27-2015, 06:10 PM)Oldavid Wrote: That our friend here started at the wrong end does not invalidate the contract. Unless there is a real impediment he (they) are married and it is wise and good for them to cement the union with the Sacrament.

Incorrect.

Because at least one is a Baptized Catholic, they could not validly marry outside of the Church. They are, simply, certainly and absolutely not married. They are living together in sin (or at least the unnecessary near occasion of grave sin -- itself a grave sin), and thus cannot approach the sacraments until they remove this occasion.

In short, they cannot be receive the sacrament of Penance until they stop cohabitating because they would not have sufficient purpose of amendment to make for a valid sacrament, they could not approach the Eucharist because they are living in sin. They could validly marry, but without confession it would be a sacrilegious reception of the sacrament.
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#34
All right, I'll concede since I'm not full bottle on all the pernicketies, but I'm having serious difficulties trying to get my head around the idea that a "natural" marriage contract is nonexistent if, and because, one or both parties is Baptised (esp. Catholic).

I can see that the idea would have some rather pragmatic disciplinary advantages in predominantly Catholic cultures... but in the wider neo-pagan world... something like a box full of snakes and lizards, perhaps.
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#35
This article is much more to my liking as it is apparently written by some rational thinker(s) rather than by a bunch of lawyers quoting apparently conflicting statements or decrees.

I think it is important to note that the opinions of theologians and papal decrees are not necessarily infallible statements of some doctrine of Faith or Morals.

What constitutes a marriage and a Sacrament.

Sacrament of Marriage

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09707a.htm
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#36
(12-28-2015, 02:41 AM)Oldavid Wrote: This article is much more to my liking as it is apparently written by some rational thinker(s) rather than by a bunch of lawyers quoting apparently conflicting statements or decrees.

I think it is important to note that the opinions of theologians and papal decrees are not necessarily infallible statements of some doctrine of Faith or Morals.

There is no question, though. There is not a single conflicted statement.

Once a Catholics always a Catholic, and always bound by the Church's law regarding marriage. Catholics cannot validly contract a marriage unless it is witnessed by the Church.

That's the clear, unambiguous, universal, and certain discipline of the Church. It is not mere legalistics. It's the discipline and doctrine of the Church.
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#37
This could be developed into an interesting argument about Natural (or Divine) Order, matter and form, authority and law... but that would be beyond the scope of this thread.

Without reasonable argument explaining other possibilities, and an authoritative definition of its real intent, we must assume that present Church Law in this matter says what it intends and means what it says. 
Quote:A

The Church being the Divinely appointed custodian of all sacraments, it belongs to her jurisdiction to interpret and apply the Divine law of marriage. She cannot repeal or change that law. Marriage is, in its essential requirements, ever the same, monogamic and indissoluble. The contract validly made and consummated is dissolved by death alone. However, the Church must determine what is required for a valid and licit marriage contract. Doubt in so grave a matter, or uncertainty as to the form and duties of marriage, would be disastrous for the temporal and spiritual good of individuals and of society. 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 procedure of her courts in cases where the validity or legality of a marriage is involved, is ordered by admirable insight. 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. She recognizes the duty of the State to take cognizance of Christian marriage, in order to insure certain civic effects, but her jurisdiction is superior and of Divine origin.

B

The laws of the Church governing Christian marriage are fundamental and unchangeable laws; or accidental, circumstantial, and changeable laws. The natural law, Divine revealed law, and the Apostolic law of marriage are interpreted by the Church, but never repealed or dispensed from. Circumstantial laws are enacted by the Church, and may vary or be repealed. Hence disciplinary laws regulating solemnities to be observed in marriage, and laws defining qualifications of parties to marry, are not so rigid as to admit of no change, if the Church sees fit to change them, owing to difference of time and place; the change too may affect the validity or the legality of a marriage. The Church, therefore, has laid down the conditions requisite for the validity of the matrimonial consent on the part of those who marry, and has legislated on their respective rights and duties. The marriage bond is sacred; married life symbolizes the union between Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:22 sqq.) and the Church protects both by such rules as will maintain their Christian characteristics under all circumstances.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09699a.htm
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#38
(12-28-2015, 12:18 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: There is no question, though. There is not a single conflicted statement.

Once a Catholics always a Catholic, and always bound by the Church's law regarding marriage. Catholics cannot validly contract a marriage unless it is witnessed by the Church.

That's the clear, unambiguous, universal, and certain discipline of the Church. It is not mere legalistics. It's the discipline and doctrine of the Church.
No. There's substantial conflict even within this quote below.  A marriage without the stipulated banns, witnesses, presence of a priest, etc. are considered "clandestine" and the Council declares them "invalid or null and void" but , at the same time, acknowledging that if there are no prohibitive impediments the marriage is illicit but "valid".
Quote: Clandestinity (in Canon Law)

Strictly speaking, clandestinity signifies a matrimonial impediment introduced by the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIV, c. i) to invalidate marriages contracted at variance with the exigencies of the decree "Tametsi", commonly so called because the first word of the Latin text is tametsi. The decree reads:

  "Those who attempt to contract matrimony otherwise than in the presence of the parish priest or of another priest with leave of the parish priest or of the ordinary, and before two or three witnesses, the Holy Synod renders altogether incapable of such a contract, and declares such contracts null and void."

The Council of Trent did not transmit any historical record of this question. While upholding the validity of clandestine marriages "as long as the Church does not annul them", the council asserts that "for weighty reasons the holy Church of God always abhorred and prohibited them" (Sess. XXIV, De reformatione matrimonii). That this sentence strikes the keynote of unending antipathy on the part of the Church towards clandestine marriages can be gathered by a brief review of the historical attitude of the Church.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04001a.htm

See. It's not quite as open and shut as you'd like to believe.

Not only that but "Timetsi" is not quite "universal" in character since it was ordered to be promulgated individually in dioceses and parishes. Where it was promulgated it was to be enforced. Where it was not promulgated it did not apply. That says to me that it was intended to put a stop to certain abuses like marriages of convenience, "marriages" to minors, "marriages" of clergy, "marriages" under duress, etc.

Anyhow, laws are interpreted by lawyers.
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#39
(12-28-2015, 09:00 PM)Oldavid Wrote:
(12-28-2015, 12:18 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: There is no question, though. There is not a single conflicted statement.

Once a Catholics always a Catholic, and always bound by the Church's law regarding marriage. Catholics cannot validly contract a marriage unless it is witnessed by the Church.

That's the clear, unambiguous, universal, and certain discipline of the Church. It is not mere legalistics. It's the discipline and doctrine of the Church.
No. There's substantial conflict even within this quote below.  A marriage without the stipulated banns, witnesses, presence of a priest, etc. are considered "clandestine" and the Council declares them "invalid or null and void" but , at the same time, acknowledging that if there are no prohibitive impediments the marriage is illicit but "valid".

The Church has the power to determine what constitutes a valid contract, and who can enter into it, and under what conditions they can enter into it. The only divine aspects are the nature of marriage, the ends of marriage, the indissolubility of a valid contract.

The Church has changed the aspects it has power over throughout time, owing to the changing condition of society.

For instance Trent, as you note, made clandestine marriages invalid (so long as the local Ordinary promulgated that decree), because of the nature of marriage as a social institution and the grave problems that clandestine marriages had caused.

The exact practice on certain points was local until 1907. In 1907, Pope St. Pius X unified the Latin Church's marriage laws in Ne Temere. This was incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law. It was slightly modified in 1970 by Matrimonia Mixta which returned some of the power in the cases of mixed marriages to the local Ordinary.

Since 1907 all clandestine marriages of Catholics are invalid everywhere. Not illicit. Invalid.

(12-28-2015, 09:00 PM)Oldavid Wrote: See. It's not quite as open and shut as you'd like to believe.

If you want to go into a long history of the marriage law of the Church during the last millennium, then that gets complicated, and it is not "open and shut".

As for the last 100 years, and the OP's case in particular, it's not complicated and it is unambiguous.

He is not married (except perhaps according to civil law). He is presently living in sin and the unnecessary near occasion of fornication, self-admittedly is regularly engaging in acts which only married people may engage, etc. It's no wonder that a good priest is following the traditional Catholic moral doctrine, considers them to be unrepentant habitual sinners and denies them the sacraments.

(12-28-2015, 09:00 PM)Oldavid Wrote: Anyhow, laws are interpreted by lawyers.

Laws are interpreted by the lawgiver. Lawyers argue about them to try to convince a judge.
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#40
Perhaps canon law should be modified to allow for the validity of irregular forms of marriage involving Catholics, in order to address these pastoral needs (like the increasing cost of getting married, due to social expectations that the ceremony and reception require huge expenditures). Prior to Trent, as I understand it, a clandestine marriage might be contracted through parties agree that they will marry, then performing the marital act at some subsequent time. This is a situation that would apply to most couples who engage to be married but have difficulty remaining continent for the duration prior to marriage, which might stretch on even longer than a year or so in modern times. The actual ceremony or solemnization might then be performed conditionally, but I am unsure if the sacrament of matrimony has ever been administered conditionally or even if that is even a possibility.

I am reminded of an acquaintance, a Jewish woman of the Bobover sect, who told me stories about accidental or prank marriages contracted between teenagers at her high school, using things like borrowed pencils and erasers as dowries or gifts to be exchanged. In each such incident, the kids would have to go before a Beth Din to have the marriage dissolved, even if it were never physically consummated.

That's not exactly what I think we should aim for, of course, but I think it should be much easier for Catholics to contract a valid marriage.
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