In your opinion, is this marriage valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church?
My opinion doesn't count for much, since if it were invalid, only a tribunal could determine this, but in trying to provide an answer I asked a traditionalist priest friend of mine.

He pointed me to Haligan's Administration of the Sacraments which was a standard seminary manual from 1962. In it we read (p. 431):

Quote:To be mistaken or in error about some quality of the person with whom marriage is contracted is accidental, e.g., that the person is rich, or healthy, or a virgin, or has a different name, etc., and does not of itself invalidate marriage either by natural law or positive law of the Church, even though the contract is based on it.

The reference for that statement is the 1917 Code's Canon 1083, which is the same in the 1983 at Canon 1097 :

Quote:§1. Error concerning the person renders a marriage invalid.

§2. Error concerning a quality of the person does not render a marriage invalid even if it is the cause for the contract, unless this quality is directly and principally intended.

Halligan goes on to say that an error on a quality of a person would invalid only if it were a sine qua non condition of the contract. 

So, the question about validity goes back to her true intent. Did she really mean and say that she would only consent marry someone who is a virgin? If he had said at that point in time, or during engagement that he was not a virgin would she have left him? Is there any proof that she said this except her statement?

The marriage might be invalid if she really meant that she would truly never have married him if he had revealed before marriage that he was not a virgin—if she made this a sine qua non condition of the contract. If she did, to prove it to a tribunal would require evidence beyond her own word and his (because they are interested parties).

A better solution, if she wants to solve the doubt and not pursue nullity is to approach a priest with delegation, explain the situation, ask him to witness their consent with two witnesses present. This would remedy any defect here. Recourse to a tribunal or the bishop or vicar would not be necessary if she wanted to simply fix the possible problem here.
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RE: In your opinion, is this marriage valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church? - by MagisterMusicae - 11-29-2020, 09:04 PM

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