Cardinal Muller, Private Judgment Decides Whether Marriage Is Valid Or Not
#1
According to Cardinal Gerhard Müller a Catholic may conclude that the marriage he contracted in front of the Church was invalid although he has no canonical proof for this.

Talking to the ultraliberal Vatican Insider (December 31) Müller claimed that if such a person enters another liaison, the second liaison would be the one valid before God. https://gloria.tv/article/rwt8znqMnbbB1WhX2bjSGSqtA 

                                                        Cardinal Muller swings back and forth like a pendelum, but this should convince everyone now, that he is most definitely not on our side.
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#2
Cardinal Muller seems to be just another politician. He’s just not a loud crowd pleaser like Cd. Dolan or Pope Francis.
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#3
(01-01-2018, 05:33 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: Cardinal Muller seems to be just another politician. He’s just not a loud crowd pleaser like Cd. Dolan or Pope Francis.

That’s as good a description as I have ever heard.

The interview in its entirety with Cardinal Müller is Here
"Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  Matthew 9:10-14
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#4
This isn't something new. The Cardinal came up with this ludicrous idea several months ago and published it then, but he has become more clear in what he is saying.

In a small bit of defense, the Cardinal is correct that there are not only a few cases where a marriage is truly invalid, and even a reasonably high likelihood of such could be known, but there is no sufficient canonical proof. 

For instance, a man may know that he simulated his consent (he said the words, but never intended to be bound to an exclusive and perpetual marriage). He never told anyone this, and acted for years as if he were a good and faithful husband. He then wants out and says (truly) that he simulated consent and the marriage is invalid. He is right, but because there is no way to show this was the case (we's have to take his no-so-disinterested word), there is little if any chance to prove this.

In such a case Church Law and moral theology demands that this marriage be considered as valid : 

CIC/83 Wrote:Can. 1060. Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Canons 1671 and 1673 provide the only way of removing this doubt for the baptized : an ecclesiastical tribunal.

The Cardinal is wrong then, not in seeing that there is a problem, but in trying to find a solution to a problem that has no solution. To prove a marriage invalid one needs proof, but in absence of proof, one cannot magically conjure proof into existence. Sadly, that's what the Cardinal wants to do to save Amoris Lætitiæ from being heretical or nearly so.

In doing so he ignores the distinction between the internal and external fora. The internal forum is the forum of the conscience (and thus of things that deal with it, like Confession). The external forum is the publicly demonstrable. There is a clear wall of separation between the two, so that the internal forum cannot inform the external forum in any way. What the man in the above example knows in his conscience cannot proof anything in the external forum.

In fact, in such a case where he knows in his conscience his marriage is invalid, he commits grave sins by living as if he were married (due to his knowledge of a invalid contract internal forum), but also cannot legitimately separate, and has a duty toward his spouse, even a duty to render the marriage debt (due to the legally valid contract in the external forum). His only recourse, to which he is morally obliged, is to fix the marriage by renewing his consent properly.

In the meantime, he has done a grave injustice to his spouse, and for that he owes restitution (principally by fixing the marriage and then ensuring

There's no "out" to this one.

Sadly, the Cardinal's logic sounds just like the Pharisaical legalism that tries to find the loopholes : "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel."

And tellingly enough, what do such erudite scholars do when it comes to those who try to maintain the traditional Catholic Faith: "I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city..."
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#5
A marriage is either valid or not--the tribunal does not make it one way or the other.  Marriage tribunals are not infallible so there is conceivably a situation where the tribunal could get it wrong and the individual party could be right or even simply that a person in good conscience could disagree with the tribunal. There is nothing contrary to the faith about this.

The question is whether the more prudent policy is for pastors to favor an individual's judgment over that of a tribunal, especially when said pastor is usually not given all the facts or only hears one side of the story. The reason the Church has not done it this way historically is there is a much greater risk of self-deception and abuse and greater likelihood of error, and less protections for the rights and interests of the other party, when doing it this way, rather than sticking with the judgment of a neutral and properly trained--if fallible--tribunal.
[Image: catherinesiena-1.jpg]
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#6
(01-02-2018, 04:52 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: A marriage is either valid or not--the tribunal does not make it one way or the other.  Marriage tribunals are not infallible so there is conceivably a situation where the tribunal could get it wrong and the individual party could be right or even simply that a person in good conscience could disagree with the tribunal. There is nothing contrary to the faith about this.

And what happens when the tribunal grants an annulment - particularly in these dioceses which grant 100% of them - and the person then remarries, but the first marriage was actually valid? I suppose there wouldn't be any sin if the person didn't know otherwise.
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#7
(01-02-2018, 05:06 PM)Paul Wrote:
(01-02-2018, 04:52 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: A marriage is either valid or not--the tribunal does not make it one way or the other.  Marriage tribunals are not infallible so there is conceivably a situation where the tribunal could get it wrong and the individual party could be right or even simply that a person in good conscience could disagree with the tribunal. There is nothing contrary to the faith about this.

And what happens when the tribunal grants an annulment - particularly in these dioceses which grant 100% of them - and the person then remarries, but the first marriage was actually valid? I suppose there wouldn't be any sin if the person didn't know otherwise.

A person relying in good faith on a tribunal of course does not sin. I could also see the possibility of someone in good conscience believing the judgment of nullity to be erroneous (say, knowing the other party deceived the judge) and choosing to live a continent life as a matter of conscience. Obviously, a person who knowingly deceived the tribunal to get an annulment would sin by attempting to marry again.

But ultimately, it is my understanding that the very situations where an upright conscience might take precedence over the judgment of the Church is in these human decisions...
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#8
(01-02-2018, 04:35 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: This isn't something new. The Cardinal came up with this ludicrous idea several months ago and published it then, but he has become more clear in what he is saying.

In a small bit of defense, the Cardinal is correct that there are not only a few cases where a marriage is truly invalid, and even a reasonably high likelihood of such could be known, but there is no sufficient canonical proof. 

For instance, a man may know that he simulated his consent (he said the words, but never intended to be bound to an exclusive and perpetual marriage). He never told anyone this, and acted for years as if he were a good and faithful husband. He then wants out and says (truly) that he simulated consent and the marriage is invalid. He is right, but because there is no way to show this was the case (we's have to take his no-so-disinterested word), there is little if any chance to prove this.

In such a case Church Law and moral theology demands that this marriage be considered as valid : 

CIC/83 Wrote:Can. 1060. Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.

Canons 1671 and 1673 provide the only way of removing this doubt for the baptized : an ecclesiastical tribunal.

The Cardinal is wrong then, not in seeing that there is a problem, but in trying to find a solution to a problem that has no solution. To prove a marriage invalid one needs proof, but in absence of proof, one cannot magically conjure proof into existence. Sadly, that's what the Cardinal wants to do to save Amoris Lætitiæ from being heretical or nearly so.

In doing so he ignores the distinction between the internal and external fora. The internal forum is the forum of the conscience (and thus of things that deal with it, like Confession). The external forum is the publicly demonstrable. There is a clear wall of separation between the two, so that the internal forum cannot inform the external forum in any way. What the man in the above example knows in his conscience cannot proof anything in the external forum.

In fact, in such a case where he knows in his conscience his marriage is invalid, he commits grave sins by living as if he were married (due to his knowledge of a invalid contract internal forum), but also cannot legitimately separate, and has a duty toward his spouse, even a duty to render the marriage debt (due to the legally valid contract in the external forum). His only recourse, to which he is morally obliged, is to fix the marriage by renewing his consent properly.

In the meantime, he has done a grave injustice to his spouse, and for that he owes restitution (principally by fixing the marriage and then ensuring

There's no "out" to this one.

Sadly, the Cardinal's logic sounds just like the Pharisaical legalism that tries to find the loopholes : "Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel."

And tellingly enough, what do such erudite scholars do when it comes to those who try to maintain the traditional Catholic Faith: "I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city..."
Peace.....this Cardinal is using a lot of pretty words to cover up what he really believes - i dont think for a minute he believes what he is saying - he must be too weak to stand up and shout from the rooftops - Cardinal Burke does!  Oh, I just read that there are some Bishops in other countries who are not giving in to the new rule - marriage stays in tact with them!  God bless, angeltime
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#9
Dr Peters' comments on the Kazakhstani Bishops' statement.

Three notes on Kazakhstan ‘Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage’
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#10
(01-02-2018, 04:52 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: A marriage is either valid or not--the tribunal does not make it one way or the other.  Marriage tribunals are not infallible so there is conceivably a situation where the tribunal could get it wrong and the individual party could be right or even simply that a person in good conscience could disagree with the tribunal. There is nothing contrary to the faith about this.

That's all well and good, but an individual does not have any authority to make such a decision. The Church, through tribunals, does have the authority to consider and decide such questions, giving moral certainty to the parties, so they can act on the verdict without trouble of conscience (unless something says that there was some obvious issue with that verdict).

The tribunals decision does not create or affect the marriage except in law. The decision means that a putative marriage either loses (if proven invalid) or retains (if non proven invalid) the legal presumption of validity guaranteed by Canon Law.

That legal presumption is precisely what prevents a second marriage without a tribunal or administrative processes establishing nullity. Canon Law presumes any apparent (first) marriage is valid, which means that until that presumption is gone there is a diriment impediment arising from previous bond (making any other marriage invalid).

(01-02-2018, 04:52 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: The question is whether the more prudent policy is for pastors to favor an individual's judgment over that of a tribunal, especially when said pastor is usually not given all the facts or only hears one side of the story. The reason the Church has not done it this way historically is there is a much greater risk of self-deception and abuse and greater likelihood of error, and less protections for the rights and interests of the other party, when doing it this way, rather than sticking with the judgment of a neutral and properly trained--if fallible--tribunal.

It's more than just policy. Natural justice (and of course then Supernatural Justice) demand that the judge be disinterested and objective, hence the legal axiom: Nemo judex in sua causa. Or as was said in Ex Parte McCarthy : It is "of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done."

The legal and moral hurdle is to sufficiently prove invalidity so as to overcome the legal presumption in favor of validity. If a man could, on his own authority, decide his marriage was invalid, he would effectively be exempting himself from a law to which he is subject not over which he has authority.

Traditionally you had not only rigorous tribunals, but each marriage case (where invalidity was not undeniable) was heard by at least two independent tribunals, and if these verdicts were split, by a third. Even then a petitioner or respondent could appeal such a decision all the way to the Rota. While errors were possible, this system, given its independence was unlikely to produce consistent declarations if nullity if there were any questions.

Now ... eh ... if this is what a former prefect of the Holy Office could suggest ... yikes.
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