Advice - Family Member's Marriage
#7
(09-29-2019, 07:57 PM)Paul Wrote:
(09-29-2019, 03:24 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: The Canons used to allow those who had formally left the Church to validly marry outside the Church. Since 2009 that has not be the cases. Once someone has been Baptized in the Catholic Church or received into the Catholic Church he is always a Catholic, and is bound to marry only according to the laws of the Church.

Why was this changed? Seems to me that someone's who's no longer a practising Catholic isn't going to care about the Church's rules anyway, and saying that his marriage will be invalid will just cause him to think it's yet another stupid rule and drive him further away, plus make him guilty of fornication. I suppose if such a person does come back, it's an easy annulment if things didn't work out in the meantime.

In fact, it was something added in 1983, but was so confusing that Pope Benedict XVI decided that we needed to return to the traditional discipline.

The Canon allowed valid natural marriages to a Catholic who had left the faith "by a formal act". That was never defined, so there were all kinds of different opinions as to what constituted such an act. If a Catholic left and became a Protestant? If he filed some "formal act" paperwork? If he simply married outside of the Church (and thus the whole law was meaningless)?

Various tribunals took different takes on this. The Irish bishops, for instance, required formal paperwork. American canonists generally thought that regular attendance at a non-Catholic religious service was sufficient, but no one was clear about what was "regular". 

That was explained by Pope Benedict who, Motu Proprio, changed the laws writing : 

Quote:Experience, however, has shown that this new law gave rise to numerous pastoral problems. First, in individual cases the definition and practical configuration of such a formal act of separation from the Church has proved difficult to establish, from both a theological and a canonical standpoint. In addition, many difficulties have surfaced both in pastoral activity and the practice of tribunals. Indeed, the new law appeared, at least indirectly, to facilitate and even in some way to encourage apostasy in places where the Catholic faithful are not numerous or where unjust marriage laws discriminate between citizens on the basis of religion. The new law also made difficult the return of baptized persons who greatly desired to contract a new canonical marriage following the failure of a preceding marriage. Finally, among other things, many of these marriages in effect became, as far as the Church is concerned, "clandestine" marriages.


The rationale for original rule is that once one is a Catholic it is impossible to not be a Catholic anymore. One can leave the Faith, become a heretic or schismatic, or simply stop practicing the Faith, but he still has the mark of Baptism on his soul, and is guilty for his apostasy, heresy, or schism and whatever other sins this leads him to. Thus for the Church to say that his marriage is invalid is not making him commit sin, and in general I don't think many, if any, would say that it was the Church's rejection of the validity of his non-Church marriage that was the impediment to his return. His previous sins are the cause of these sins.

The rational for changing it was poorly described, but most arguments for it centered around that it was somehow unfair to tell someone that the Church did not approved of his marriage outside the Church. That's simply silly. The Church has the duty to help Catholics protect their Faith. Letting people marry outside of the Church facilitates the destruction of their Faith.
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Messages In This Thread
Advice - Family Member's Marriage - by Stalwart - 09-23-2019, 04:12 AM
RE: Advice - Family Member's Marriage - by Paul - 09-29-2019, 07:57 PM
RE: Advice - Family Member's Marriage - by MagisterMusicae - 09-29-2019, 08:36 PM



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