In your opinion, is this marriage valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church?
#11
I apologize for the brief reply in such an important matter, but I just have a few minutes. I hope to elaborate more tomorrow.

In my opinion, the marriage is, prima facie, VALID.

In our desire to be legalistic, we should not ignore certain central, theological truths which are essential to Catholicism:

The fact that the husband lied about being a virgin does not mean that he was not essentially who he claimed to be when he got married. Sin does not destroy nature irreparably (this would be a deeply protestant view). Through repentance, confession and a pious life wit regular sacraments, grace and sanctity may be indeed recovered, no matter how gravely we may have sinned. In his earlier life the man may have lied, stealed, fornicated or even killed. This past does not mean that he had a different, corrupt nature when he got married. It may well mean that he was just shameful about it, or afraid of being rejected by the woman he genuinly loved. In many cases, hiding a negative past is not only morally allowed, but even a necessity, in order to preserve a newly attained life, provided the purposed of such hiding is the protection of the new kin from scandal.

To claim that a man or a woman are forever unworthy of marriage because they have previously lost their virginity is just as absurd as to say that, because they have sinned, they are not able to recover the grace. Or, using more upfront words, that God will not forgive this sin. Just think of the myriad of saints and martyrs that conquered Glory after a disastrous life. Will we reject sharing Heaven with them because they sinned earlier? That much pride do we have of our own sanctity?

Of course a completely different story would be the case in which the man lied not just about his past sins, but about his ongoing ones (i.e. if he is unfaithful to his wife and continues to have affairs with other women), or if he just doesn’t care about chastity, and he was just pretending in order not to lose her, which plainly deceiving intentions. In this case there may be some basis for a marriage nullity, albeit from a different source: his lack of will (or capacity) to assume the essential obligations of marriage, present at the very moment of his vows. All in all, what matters is who he really was -in will and capacity- when he gave his consent for marriage, not the sinful actions of his past.

In any case, I am nobody to pass a judgement of a particular case, which should be submitted to the competent ecclesiastical court and advised by a good priest.
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#12
(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: I apologize for the brief reply in such an important matter, but I just have a few minutes. I hope to elaborate more tomorrow.

In my opinion, the marriage is, prima facie, VALID.

In our desire to be legalistic, we should not ignore certain central, theological truths which are essential to Catholicism:

The fact that the husband lied about being a virgin does not mean that he was not essentially who he claimed to be when he got married. Sin does not destroy nature irreparably (this would be a deeply protestant view). Through repentance, confession and a pious life wit regular sacraments, grace and sanctity may be indeed recovered, no matter how gravely we may have sinned. In his earlier life the man may have lied, stealed, fornicated or even killed. This past does not mean that he had a different, corrupt nature when he got married. It may well mean that he was just shameful about it, or afraid of being rejected by the woman he genuinly loved. In many cases, hiding a negative past is not only morally allowed, but even a necessity, in order to preserve a newly attained life, provided the purposed of such hiding is the protection of the new kin from scandal.

To claim that a man or a woman are forever unworthy of marriage because they have previously lost their virginity is just as absurd as to say that, because they have sinned, they are not able to recover the grace. Or, using more upfront words, that God will not forgive this sin. Just think of the myriad of saints and martyrs that conquered Glory after a disastrous life. Will we reject sharing Heaven with them because they sinned earlier? That much pride do we have of our own sanctity?

Of course a completely different story would be the case in which the man lied not just about his past sins, but about his ongoing ones (i.e. if he is unfaithful to his wife and continues to have affairs with other women), or if he just doesn’t care about chastity, and he was just pretending in order not to lose her, which plainly deceiving intentions. In this case there may be some basis for a marriage nullity, albeit from a different source: his lack of will (or capacity) to assume the essential obligations of marriage, present at the very moment of his vows. All in all, what matters is who he really was -in will and capacity- when he gave his consent for marriage, not the sinful actions of his past.

In any case, I am nobody to pass a judgement of a particular case, which should be submitted to the competent ecclesiastical court and advised by a good priest.
A woman who lied about her virginity would be stoned to death in the old testament.
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#13
(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: In my opinion, the marriage is, prima facie, VALID.

Your qualifications to make said judgement?

I've studied Canon Law and moral theology at a graduate level, and even then do not consider myself capable of giving an reliable opinion here, which is why before replying I asked a traditionalist priest.

(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: The fact that the husband lied about being a virgin does not mean that he was not essentially who he claimed to be when he got married.

Fr Halligan (and other canonists) agree, so long as virginity was not a sine qua non condition. If she truly meant, "I will only consent to marry a virgin," and conditioned here consent on this, and he lied about his virginity, then it is an error of person.

That makes sense with other contracts. If I said casually to a dealer I don't want a diesel car, he showed me a few cars, but then one he showed me was actually a diesel and I did not realize it, and decided it was the best one and bought it, it would be a valid contract.

If I wrote in the sales contract, "I agree to purchase a car only if it is not a diesel" then the contract would be invalid if the dealer sold me a diesel car.

So the question is not about sin, but about the conditions she put on the contract, and whether she was intending to refuse consent if he was not a virgin. That would invalidate according to the priest I spoke to and the manual he pointed me towards.

(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: To claim that a man or a woman are forever unworthy of marriage because they have previously lost their virginity is just as absurd as to say that, because they have sinned, they are not able to recover the grace.

Yeah ... no one said this.

(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: In any case, I am nobody to pass a judgement of a particular case, which should be submitted to the competent ecclesiastical court and advised by a good priest.

And yet the very opening line of your post was exactly that passing of judgement.
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#14
(11-30-2020, 10:09 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: In my opinion, the marriage is, prima facie, VALID.

Your qualifications to make said judgement?

I've studied Canon Law and moral theology at a graduate level, and even then do not consider myself capable of giving an reliable opinion here, which is why before replying I asked a traditionalist priest.


(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Well I do not have your high studies on canon law and moral theology allowing me to make any ex cathedra statement; I am just giving my opinion considering that this is what our friend asked for. I am not passing a formal judgement. That\s what I clarify at the end of my post. God bless you. Wrote: The fact that the husband lied about being a virgin does not mean that he was not essentially who he claimed to be when he got married.

Fr Halligan (and other canonists) agree, so long as virginity was not a sine qua non condition. If she truly meant, "I will only consent to marry a virgin," and conditioned here consent on this, and he lied about his virginity, then it is an error of person.

That makes sense with other contracts. If I said casually to a dealer I don't want a diesel car, he showed me a few cars, but then one he showed me was actually a diesel and I did not realize it, and decided it was the best one and bought it, it would be a valid contract.

If I wrote in the sales contract, "I agree to purchase a car only if it is not a diesel" then the contract would be invalid if the dealer sold me a diesel car.

So the question is not about sin, but about the conditions she put on the contract, and whether she was intending to refuse consent if he was not a virgin. That would invalidate according to the priest I spoke to and the manual he pointed me towards.

(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea It is highly debatable if the virginity of the bride/groom is a condition to be validly included in a marriage contract, rendering it null if not met. A person which has lost his/her virginity is perfectly capable of assuming all the ends and obligations of marriage. What if someone expresses his/her desire to marry "only if he/she has never sinned against glutony"? This as opposed to the diesel versus non diesel car, which refers to the actual and present nature of the matter acquired with the contract. God bless you again. Wrote: To claim that a man or a woman are forever unworthy of marriage because they have previously lost their virginity is just as absurd as to say that, because they have sinned, they are not able to recover the grace.

Yeah ... no one said this.

(11-30-2020, 06:37 PM)KurutzeMaitea Wrote: In any case, I am nobody to pass a judgement of a particular case, which should be submitted to the competent ecclesiastical court and advised by a good priest.

And yet the very opening line of your post was exactly that passing of judgement.
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#15
KurutzeMaitea “It is highly debatable if the virginity of the bride/groom is a condition to be validly included in a marriage contract, rendering it null if not met. A person which has lost his/her virginity is perfectly capable of assuming all the ends and obligations of marriage. What if someone expresses his/her desire to marry "only if he/she has never sinned against glutony"? This as opposed to the diesel versus non diesel car, which refers to the actual and present nature of the matter acquired with the contract. God bless you again.”

You’re chasing a red herring.

The man deceived his fiancée by malice to make her consent to marry him.  That invalidates the contract.

If he had merely withheld his status regarding virginity then arguably the union would be valid.
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#16
I find it incredible people find themselves qualified to even make such a decisive conclusion.

At best, you should pose it as a mere opinion and follow it up with those who are more qualified.

It's not elitist or snobbery, people go to school for this stuff for a reason.
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#17
(12-01-2020, 12:01 PM)yablabo Wrote: The man deceived his fiancée by malice to make her consent to marry him.  That invalidates the contract.

You keep using that word, malice, but has that really been shown here?

A generally accepted definition of "malice" is a desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another.  Where is that mentioned in the OP, or the OP's follow-ups?

Is being ashamed of one's past, and the fear of undoing potential plans for a marriage, really malice? Is there another canonically accepted definition of that word? Otherwise, I guess I'm just not seeing the malice, which is a requirement under Can. 1098.
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#18
(12-01-2020, 12:52 PM)Bonaventure Wrote:
(12-01-2020, 12:01 PM)yablabo Wrote: The man deceived his fiancée by malice to make her consent to marry him.  That invalidates the contract.

You keep using that word, malice, but has that really been shown here?

A generally accepted definition of "malice" is a desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another.  Where is that mentioned in the OP, or the OP's follow-ups?

Is being ashamed of one's past, and the fear of undoing potential plans for a marriage, really malice? Is there another canonically accepted definition of that word? Otherwise, I guess I'm just not seeing the malice, which is a requirement under Can. 1098.

Malice is legally determined by the use of unjust force, unjust coercion or false pretense.  It is contrasted with an accidental deception due to errors, mistakes or misunderstandings that are allowed to persist.

The man used false pretense to elicit his fiancée’s consent to marry.  That is a deception wrought by malice.
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#19
(12-01-2020, 02:18 PM)yablabo Wrote: Malice is legally determined by the use of unjust force, unjust coercion or false pretense.  

If you're going to rely upon a legal definition, as opposed to the ordinary definition and/or some other canonical definition, "false pretense" is not a condition per se to show malice.  To wit, and relying upon Black's Law Dictionary, 'malice' is defined by (1) the intent, without justification or excuse, to commit a wrongful act, (2) reckless disregard of the law or of a person's legal rights, or (3) ill will; wickedness of heart--maliciousness. Nowhere is 'false pretense' mentioned.

Further, and regarding the first point, it would appear that justification or excuse may apply in this situation.  Could one argue that being ashamed of one's past, coupled with the fear of undoing potential plans for a marriage, is justification or excuse?  Maybe.  If so, I don't think there is actual malice here, in either a general sense or a legal sense.  Canonically, maybe the term 'malice' has a different meaning than the definitions already provided.  However, short of that, I think it would be difficult to conclude that he acted with malice.
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#20
I wonder if this discussion of "legalese" is helpful to the OP?  Their question wasn't "does this couple have grounds for annulment" but is directed at easing concerns over the validity of a marriage both are happy in and want to remain in.  MagisterMusicae has provided a very easy solution for them: a simple renewal of their vows before a priest and two witnesses.  This is pretty simple.  I can recall a number of NO Masses where couples would do this (usually as part of an anniversary celebration).  There's really no need to concern the OP by acting like a moot court.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
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"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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