Catholic marriage after civil marriagegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Here is my issue: I am Catholic and my husband is non-Catholic. We got married in Las Vegas and would now like to receive the sacrament of marriage in the Catholic Church. My uncle is a priest and we would like him to perform the ceremony at his Church in Missouri, however, we live in Oklahoma. We have recently moved and currently do not belong to any parish. Could someone please tell me the rules for getting married in another location or where I can actually read those rules for myself? I have been told that I need permission from my parish to get married in another parish. This seems crazy to me. Is it actually stated in Canon Law? I have also heard that we would be able to have our marriage blessed by the Catholic Church, is this an accurate statement?
Thanks in advance for your responses, Janine
-- Janine (email@example.com), August 20, 2004
Yes, it is stated in Canon Law: Canon 1115 - Marriages are to be celebrated in the parish in which either of the contracting parties has a domicile or a quasi-domicile or a month's residence or, if there is question of vagi, in the parish in which they are actually residing. With the permission of the proper Ordinary or the proper parish priest, marriages may be celebrated elsewhere.
The reasons for this are also stated in Canon Law: Canon 1063 - Pastors of souls are obliged to ensure that their own church community provides for Christ's faithful the assistance by which the married state is preserved in its Christian character and develops in perfection. This assistance is to be given principally:
1 ... by catechetical instruction ...so that Christ's faithful are instructed in the meaning of Christian marriage and in the role of Christian spouses and parents;
2 ... by personal preparation for entering marriage
3 ... by the fruitful celebration of the marriage liturgy ...
4 ... by the help given to those who have entered marriage, so that by faithfully observing and protecting their conjugal covenant, they may day by day achieve a holier and a fuller family life.
Can. 1064 - It is the responsibility of the local Ordinary to ensure that this assistance is duly organized.
In other words, the Church does not just "provide weddings". It has an essential role and a divine responsibility in every facet of marriage from initial instruction through sacramental marriage, to ongoing counseling and assistance. It would be contrary to this mission of the Church to simply marry people who are not known to them, and whom they are not likely ever to see again.
Also - Canon 1066 - Before a marriage takes place, it must be established that nothing stands in the way of its valid and lawful celebration.
Canon 1069 - Before the celebration of a marriage, all the faithful are bound to reveal to the parish priest or the local Ordinary such impediments as they may know about.
Obviously this would be very difficult to establish for strangers, some of whom may have requested marriage in another parish specifically because they are not known there, and various impediments to marriage may therefore not be known. Presiding at such a wedding would be contrary to genuine pastoral care.
Therefore: Canon 1108 - Only those marriages are valid which are contracted in the presence of the local Ordinary or parish priest or of the priest or deacon delegated by either of them ..."
As far as "having your marriage blessed", that term is frequently used but in such cases as yours is not really accurate. Actually you would have to be married in the Catholic Church, since the Church does not consider you currently married, so technically there is no "marriage" to "bless". However, barring any other impediments like previous marriages, this should certainly be possible under the usual terms for marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 20, 2004.