Notions of Ecclesiastical Nullity
- December 22, 2014
- Sara Benjelali
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The canonical marriage is according to canon 1055 a ‘consortium of life, ordered to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring “being the” indissolubility “an essential property of such marriages.
Therefore, if the marriage is the union, separation of the spouses is an anomalous situation as far as possible be avoided, because “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Does it mean that it is no possibility of “canonical separation or nullity” ?. No, in the Catholic Church the possibility of separation – that may affect only the community of life (separation in the proper sense) or the legal relationship (dissolution).
Canon 1141 states that ratified and consummated marriage can not be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death. This implies that it is possible to dissolve the marriage if: not while (sacramental between baptized) or not consummated (performed Fit conjugal act itself to sire offspring). In these cases you can petition the Roman Pontiff, at the request of both or one of the parties, even with opposition from the other, the dissolution of marriage. Among the most common assumptions (although there are others) are the following:
Pauline Privilege: When two people get married without being baptized, we speak of “natural marriage” is a valid sacramental marriage but it is not. When one spouse who has contracted natural marriage, converted and baptized, it is the dissolution of marriage in favor of faith, Pauline privilege implies precisely the power of the Church to dissolve non-sacramental marriages if its maintenance jeopardizes for the faith of the Christian spouse. To invoke this Pauline privilege must meet certain requirements: one spouse must receive baptism after marriage, while the other spouse does not purport to be baptized and kept away from the Christian faith; unbaptized spouse refuses to live peacefully with spouse baptized, endangering the faith of the latter. You can remarry christened with a catholic, if after inquiries husband unbaptized, it responds negatively or separated or not there interpellation without just cause.
Petrine Privilege: A privilege is usually applied in cases of polygamy and / or polyandry, ie, a man named married to several women not baptized in the Catholic faith, or a non-baptized woman married to several men not baptized in Catholic, decided to receive baptism: in principle should remain with the first wife / husband, but the Petrine Privilege allows if you find it hard to be the first husband / wife can keep one / a other / as, pushing himself to the / others, being dissolved the first marriage, basing this solution in the ministerial power of the Pope (what differentiates the Pauline privilege).
While marriage unconsummated: non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and unbaptized party can be dissolved for cause by the Roman Pontiff, so there are two requirements: inconsumación marriage (lack of conjugal intercourse after the conclusion of marriage, the exercise of sexuality between spouses is necessary for procreation and mutual conjugal love) and the existence of good cause (proportionately grave reason to the case). The solution of this type of marriage is through the so-called “super time waiver” which acts by way of grace giving it the Roman Pontiff.
Ratified and consummated marriage: We said the principle as a ratified and consummated marriage can not be dissolved by any human power, not even by the Roman Pontiff. What if the spouses can not live together for serious difficulties in coexistence ?, well because the marriage is valid and can not be dissolved, all that is left is the separation, ie breaking the communion of life, but remains the marriage, which prevents religious marriage contract again.
But we should not confuse the dissolution of marriage (a marriage can “dissolve” is it true or not) with the nullity of canonical marriage (it is a statement established by a judgment of the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, a marriage has been contracted invalidly). In other words, the Ecclesiastical Court does not annul marriages, but simply record a pre-existing nullity.
The Code of Canon Law identifies three causes (which in turn are divided into different types) that determine the nullity of canonical marriage:
Impairments: They are legal prohibitions for marriage, based on objective circumstances of the couple. These impediments are established by Pope and fixed in Canon Law.
Vices of consent: Filed with the understanding (ignorance or error) or the will (total or partial simulation – is excluded by one or both spouses fidelity, fecundity, indissolubility etc), contracted marriage on condition of force or fear)
Defects in shape: Defects in the external manifestation of consent and the requirements that canon law requires.
And what about the children after the judgment of marriage annulment? The invalidity shall not affect either the affiliation or legitimacy, since children are not “canceled” but is only marriage that is declared null, parents continue to maintain their obligations to children, with special attention to the Christian education.
Is it expensive to arrange marriage annulment? Many people have touched my office with the idea that marriage annulment procedure is expensive and viable only for rich, besides being a very long process. Nothing is further from reality, but usually we see on television that such requests is performed by celebrities, the reality is that 80% of people seeking annulment before the Ecclesiastical Tribunal are anonymous people, usually class average and with a deep Christian faith. In relation to time far it takes ten years in this process, as I have said several customers, the media generally between the first and second instance is 18-24 months. As for costs, each Court has stipulated rates, which was previously reported, the lawyers’ fees, experts and other professionals are paid by the applicant, but not a major cost civil divorce proceedings. Also you can ask the Court to pay the “half the cost”, if it is shown to be a truly needy person.