I am a Catholic & my fiancee is Anglican - can we get married in an Anglican church with a Catholic Priest "officiating"?

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My fiancee and I are planning to get married in an Anglican church. He is Anglican (baptised, confirmed, but not practising) and I am a Catholic who attends mass regularly. We are wanting to get married in a Anglican Church, but as well as have the Anglican Priest doing the ceremony, we would also like a Catholic Priest to "officiate" - so that our marriage will be accepted in the Catholic Church. The Anglican priest is completely happy with this and is very flexible - ie he can say my Fiancee's vowels and the Catholic Priest can say mine. However, in the Catholic Church's eyes, is this possible and is it allowed? I haven't approached a Catholic Priest yet regarding this, as I would like to get my facts straight beforehand. Any input / advice will be greatly appreciated.

-- Nicky Gayle (nixie1979@yahoo.co.uk), January 28, 2005


The relevant articles of Canon Law are:

Can. 1108 1 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, who, in the presence of two witnesses, assists, in accordance however with the rules set out in the following canons, and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in canon 144, 1112 1, 1116 and 1127 23.

2 Only that person who, being present, asks the contracting parties to manifest their consent and in the name of the Church receives it, is understood to assist at a marriage.

Can. 1127 2 If there are grave difficulties in the way of observing the canonical form, the local Ordinary of the catholic party has the right to dispense from it in individual cases, having however consulted the Ordinary of the place of the celebration of the marriage; for validity, however, some public form of celebration is required. It is for the Episcopal Conference to establish norms whereby this dispensation may be granted in a uniform manner.

3 It is forbidden to have, either before or after the canonical celebration in accordance with 1, another religious celebration of the same marriage for the purpose of giving or renewing matrimonial consent. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the catholic assistant and a non- Catholic minister, each performing his own rite, ask for the consent of the parties.

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), January 28, 2005.

Since your fiance is Anglican, you can approach your pastor in the Catholic Church and make your request known to him. It is possible for a Catholic to marry a baptised person of another denomination with a dispensation from canonical form. There is a second dispensation (mixed religion) that will also need to be granted. Your pastor can also make this request for you through your Bishop. As to the second part, as the previous reply indicated only one person will preside at your marriage. The request for the dispensation from canonical form mandates the Anglican minister/priest to preside at the marriage. A Catholic priest may particpate but not as a con-celebrant to the event. Talk to your pastoe about this I'm sure he will direct you properly in this matter.

-- Rev. Jim Attwood JCD (jimatt@seascape.ns,ca), February 01, 2005.

Why on earth when you are practicing your faith and your fiance is not are you even considering an Anglican Church.

PS Rev! remember there is no such thing as an Anglican priest.

-- Hugh (hugh@inpisred.com), February 02, 2005.


In response to your postscript above...

Even though the Catholic Church does not recognize the validity of Anglican Holy Orders, it is still permissible (and I believe encouraged, for the sake of ecumenism) to refer to Anglican priests or bishops as just that. For instance, Pope John Paul II addressed the participants at the International Meeting of Anglican and Catholic Bishops in the following manner:

"I greet with particular affection His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Dr George Carey, who together with you has called this special gathering.... I also greet in a special way my brother Aloysius Cardinal Ambrozic, and Anglican Bishop Terence Finlay of Ontario, who have welcomed all of you to Toronto, as well as all who have worked so hard to prepare this important meeting."

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl- comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_20000519_iarccum-mississauga_en.html

(remove spaces in URL as necessary)

-- Fr. Terry Donahue, CC (terrydonahue@usa.net), February 03, 2005.

"There is a second dispensation (mixed religion) that will also need to be granted."

Rev. Jim, did you really type this? Tsk tsk, mixed religion does not require a "dispensation", only "permission". Forgive me for asking, but do you really have a JCD?

-- Fr. Paul (pjdoucet@hotmail.com), February 12, 2005.

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