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Q. 13

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by September 13, 2019 Canonical Teaching

Q. 13: A confirmed Catholic man went to marry an Anglican lady at the Anglican Church without permission. Now both of them are attending Catholic Church but not communicants.  They want to be receiving Holy Communion, what will it take for them? My parish priest said that they should go for marriage course after which they will be wedded again in the Church, is it correct?

A 13: A baptized and confirmed Catholic party who entered marriage with a baptised non catholic in a non-Catholic Church without recourse to the constituted authority for procurement of both permission for mixed marriage contracts marriage unlawfully; and without the observance of canonical form or dispensation from canonical form contracts marriage invalidly. In this case, there is lack of canonical form. A simple convalidation in accordance to Can. 1160 where the defect of form is remedied may be applied. According to Can. 1160, a marriage which is null because of defect of form must be contracted anew in canonical form in order to become valid, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 1127, §2. The parties need to exchange marriage consent in line with can. 1108 before the local ordinary, parish priest or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them and two witnesses. The other details of calling banns or public celebration are to be handled with caution. The particular law of each diocese is to be observed based on that. Sometimes, the Local ordinary will judge case per case on how to proceed but there must be a fresh exchange of consent in the canonical form. This can take place in a private chapel or even sacristy. In line with Canon 777, the non-Catholic needs catechesis before she can receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist.

The second approach is the radical sanation if the simple convalidation is not applied. The radical sanation according to Canon 1161 may also be applied as canonical form was not observed. In this case, a favour is granted by competent authority without the renewal of consent. The procedure for granting of radical sanation is contained in Canons 1161 -1165. A man who got wedded with his wife in Anglican Church and succeeds in bringing her to Catholic Church does not need to be burdened with all the paraphernalia for the preparation of marriage again. In fact, after receiving the Anglican party (of course with sufficient catechises) sanatio in radice can be requested without their participation since it can be requested by a 3rd party on their behalf.


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