The questions of modern marriage are legion given
a divorce rate in excess of fifty percent, lack of Church hierarchy and heresy and schism
that abound today resulting in many false annulments or marriages into
schismatic sects. In this brief survey these questions are asked
Are most marriages valid?
The answer to that question resolves to several categories:
Let us consider 2 cases: 1. The Novus Ordo in the view of the
Catholic who rejects the Novus Ordo Church as a false religion and 2.
the Catholic who operates outside the jurisdiction of the Novus Ordo
Hierarchy of which there are two subcategories: a. those that do not
recognize the Novus Ordo jurisdiction and b. those that do.
The case of pagan or protestant marriages is glossed
over as it is assumed to be valid by virtue of the natural law since
outside the Church no form of ceremony is specified & assuming the
man and woman intend to procreate in a stable society. Marriage,
of course, can only happen between rational animals of the opposite
sex, which is exclusively a man and woman. The same invalidating
conditions below apply to all outside the Church except civil marriage
& disparity of cult.
Are Novus Ordo Marriages Valid? To be brief,
almost all of them are, even if most are displeasing to Almighty God,
provided there is no obvious impediment such as consanguinity, spiritual
relationship, civil marriage (Canon 1042, 1076-1080), marriage of children
(Canon 1067), impotence (Canon 1068), prior bond (Canon 1069), contracts
between baptized and unbaptized persons (Canon 1070), violations of
disparity of cult (Canon 1071: Canon 1060-64), clerics (Canon 1072),
religious (Canon 1073), Kidnapping (Canon 1074), Spoucide and previous
Adultery (Canon 1075), error of who the actual person is (Canon 1083)
or force or grave fear (Canon 1087).
What is the definition of Marriage?
Canon 1081.2 states “Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which each party gives
and accepts a perpetual and exclusive right over the body, for acts
which are of themselves suitable for the generation of children.”
order that matrimonial consent may be possible it is necessary that
the contracting parties by at least not ignorant that marriage is a
permanent society between a man and woman for the procreation of children.
2. Ignorance is not presumed after puberty.” (Canon 1082.1)
What does 'at least not ignorant marriage is a permanent society'&
'for the procreation of children' mean? Bouscaren and Ellis ask
What Degree of Knowledge is Required? A recent decision of the
Rota expressed this rather succinctly as follows: "It is
not necessary that the parties explicitly intend to assume all the rights
and duties which derive from the nature of marriage; but it is sufficient
that they in a general way intend to contract marriage as others do,
or as it was instituted by God." [Rota, 20 Jan, 1926. S.
R. Rota Decisiones, Vol 18. P4. Digest II, P. 296] It will be noted
that the first part of the is passage refers to the intention of the
will , the second to the knowledge requisite for consent. We may
1. Some knowledge of procreation is necessary; that is, that children
are procreated by mutual cooperation of husband and wife. It seems
certain that this must be known to be bodily cooperation, not a merely
mental one. [Capello De Matrimonio n. 582.]
2. Explicit knowledge of act of copula is certainly not required.
"Distinct and explicit knowledge, either of acts themselves, or
of the way in which the organs by which they are exercised or of their
juridical importance for the marriage contract is not required."
[Rota, 30 Jan, 1927. S. R. Rota Decisiones, Vol 19. p. 351. Digest
II, P. 298]
[Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Bouscarden and Ellis, Bruce Pub.
1945, p. 556]
Woywood and Smith concludes:
"Practically it will be difficult to declare marriage null and
void for lack of the necessary knowledge, because as the code states,
the law presumes that knowledge in persons who are of the age of puberty
(12 - girls; 14 - boys). The burden of proof rests with the person
who asserts that he did not have the necessary knowledge."
Canon 1084 concurs: “Simple error regarding the unity, or indissolubility, or sacramental
dignity, even if it gave rise to the contract, does not invalidate the
Does canon 1084 contradict Canon 1082.1? No. Canonists
demonstrate that to view marriage as a permanent society only means
one may be in error as to one's ability to break the society as Canon
1085 confirms, “The knowledge or belief that the marriage is null does not necessarily
exclude matrimonial consent.”
In other words it doesn't matter how much we feel the marriage is
null, the burden of proof is on the one making the assertion.
Canon 1086.1 states “The internal consent of the mind is always presumed to be in conformity
with the words or signs used in celebrating the marriage. 2. But
if one or the other party, by a positive act of the will , excludes
marriage itself, or rights to the conjugal act, or an essential property
of marriage, he contracts validly.”
Some may claim that marriage is nullified because the parties did
not intend to have all the children God wanted them to. The reason
the 1917 edition of canon law doesn't dwell on this, is it was due to
general acceptance of even schismatic, heretical and heathen sects that
marriage was for procreation, even if they incorrectly thought the bond
soluble. Hence, the law of the Church must address the common
error. At the 1930 Anglican Lambeth Conference this sect allowed
for contraception under certain circumstances and every other sect outside
the Church eventually followed suit. Hence we can see why the
1917 code doesn't dwell on this impediment.
Therefore we must interpret the above canons in harmony with previous
judgments. It is only necessary for validity that they know it
is for procreation of children, if they think they might limit the number
of children just as they erroneously thought they could break the bond.
To summarize: Canon 1014 tells us “Marriage enjoys the favor of law; therefore in doubt the validity
of marriage is to be upheld until the contrary is proved, with due regard
of the prescription of canon 1127.” Canon 1127 “In the case of doubt, the privilege of the faith enjoys the favor
The presumption is on the side of validity as canon 1035 states: ”all of those are
able to contract marriage who are not prohibited by law.”
Finally, while admitting
there are many impediments to the Novus Ordo marriage, for instance
not being sufficiently instructed in Christian doctrine (Canon 1020)
or on marriage and its impediments (canon 1018), nevertheless the canon
1036 states that the grave prohibitions do not invalidate the marriage
contracted. Unless the impediment was clearly a diriment (i.e.
that which invalidates), one would have to judge in favor of the marriage.
These general rules apply to the schismatic and heretic.
Validity of traditional
Given the virtual destruction
of the hierarchy and the scattering of the flock, what may we say about
traditional marriages outside of normal jurisdiction? Canon 1044
allows a priest and those who assist at the marriage in cases where
the local ordinary cannot be contacted or we may interpret where the
local Ordinary has apostatized, the powers of dispensation given in
Canon 1043 for the legitimization of children, disparity of cult, mixed
religion and for any impediment of law except affinity of direct line or sacred ordination.
Even those impediments which require dispensation from the Holy See
may be dispensed with immediately by the local ordinary (canon 1045)
if it cannot be put off without grave evil. Given we have not
Holy See functioning at this time we may presume this power of dispensation
applies to the clergy in general applying canon 1045 with precautions
in canons 1058-1080.
If there is no priest available for a situation in excess of one month, then
a marriage may take place in the presence of two witnesses (canon 1098).
What about those marriages that take place between “Catholics”
in heretical and schismatic sects such as the so called “Society of
Saint Pius X” (SSPX)? On first glance these marriages would seem
to be all invalid. Canon 1094 states:
“Only those marriages are valid that are
contracted in the presence of the pastor, or the local ordinary, or
a priest delegated by either, and two witnesses, according to the rules
expressed in the Canons that follow, with due regard for the exceptions
mentioned in Canons 1098 and 1099.”
I have already touched upon the exception of
Canon 1098 canons but this exception doesn't apply to the SSPX or like
groups who give lip service to the Novus Ordo Hierarchy. The second
exception is to those who are not Catholic at all. Canon 1099.2
doesn't impose any form of marriage on non-Catholics whether baptized
or not therefore in their case civil ceremonies can be considered valid.
There is a presumption of marriage as long as the parties believe it
is a permanent union and for the procreation of children as has been
discussed above in the Novus Ordo case.
Let us review the arguments put forward by
the SSPX who admit they do not have actual jurisdiction to do what they
are doing: They resolve into several categories.
Common error: Canon 209 states "In common error or in positive or probable doubt about either law
or fact, the Church supplies jurisdiction for both the external or internal
“If the error is purely
an error of fact, then it need not be probable; but if the mistaken
conclusion results from an error of law, the error is not sufficient
unless it has some probability” [Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Bouscarden and Ellis, Bruce Pub.
1945, p. 142 paragraph. 4].
Can the SSPX "faithful"
say they don't know or with some effort come to know that they have
been declared outside the Church? Don't they constantly hear about
the “negotiations” with Rome? In the case of marriage, it
is clear there can't be a simple case of mistaken identity as there
is in the confessional. Hence no argument in favor of error in
fact can be made. Therefore the SSPX attendee would have an obligation
to find out about what the law states. A simple ignorance of the
law argument is not sufficient as the canonists have observed above.
Positive or Probable Doubt of Law or of Fact: The definition of doubt
is a state of mind where judgment is suspended. This is not willful
ignorance, but a true indecision based on probable reasons for a proposition
or doubt of a law. Given the world wide apostasy and utter confusion,
we may make a case that those who wish to contract marriage may have
probable doubt as to the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo substitute Church
since there is ample evidence it is not Catholic. Furthermore
we have a decision of the Code Commission from 26-March-1952 (AAS 44-497)
stating “provision of canon 209 is to be applied in the case of a
priest who assists at marriage while lacking delegation.” [Canon Law:
A Text and Commentary, Bouscarden and Ellis, Bruce Pub. 1945, p. 143]
In this case we can definitely say the marriage is valid.
of sects such as the SSPX leading the couple to view the an apostate
church as the one founded by Christ such that they have the heretical
view that the Church's ordinary Magisterium may teach heresy & error
and are lead into schism by denying the jurisdiction of the Pope over
every individual would in no way effect the validity of the marriage.
These are in the same category as any other false Christian sect and
we would have to consider the marriage valid without the nuptial blessing.
Danger of Death: While admitting the arguments made by the SSPX
in danger of death because Canon 1098.1 does so, this is not the majority
of cases nor does it address the question of the validity of other sacraments
such as Confirmation.
The faithful for any just cause may request sacraments: Unlike
other sacraments, in the case of marriage, it is actually the man and
woman that marry each other affecting the sacrament and by law legitimate
authority is called on to witness the marriage provided there is no
grave inconvenience (in excess of one month). This argument depends
on the requestor and we must distinguish three categories:
The Catholics who recognizes a usurpation of the papacy, would validly
contract a sacrament since they do not deny the jurisdiction of the
pope or local ordinary but see that they don't exist, therefore Canon
1094 doesn't apply to these people since they do not have a functioning
hierarchy to witness.
The confused Catholic who sees an apostate Novus Ordo Church and wanting
to avoid heretics sees a probable doubt of law. While at least
materially an act of schism, which is to distinguish this category even
from actually being formal schismatic's, the couple would contract marriage
validly under the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in,
which were not envisioned by the Canonists. If we consider the
party formal schismatic's due to willful ignorance or a formal denial
of the Church's teaching on jurisdiction or adhesion to a non-Catholic
religion, then the marriage is certainly valid, even if without the
blessing of the Church. As has been stated above a decision of
the Code Commission from 26-March-1952 (AAS 44-497) stating “provision
of canon 209 is to be applied in the case of a priest who assists at
marriage while lacking delegation” makes certain the validity of marriage.
Some theologians place material heretics and schismatic's into the
category of not actual members of the Church [Fundamentals of Catholic
Dogma, Dr. Ludwig Ott, TAN Books and Publishers, 1974, p.311. Ch 5.19.3.b].
For “The members
of the Church are those who have validly received the sacrament of baptism
and who are not separated from the unity of the confession of faith
and from the unity of lawful communion of the Church.” Our Lord says
that those who are outside the fold, he must bring into the one fold
(Jn10:16). However this author believes contrarily other theologians,
such as Fr. Muller, who hold those who are truly material heretics as
members of the Church and those who are in formally adhere to sects
declared to be outside the Church to be formal heretics. As this
author doesn't believe the present usurpers are true popes, therefore
I am unwilling to declare every member of the Novus Ordo, SSPX, Society of Saint Pius V (SSPV),
etc. a formal schismatic and/or heretic, without a formal declaration
of the Church.
To support this argument, please consider no less a source than Saint Augustine in On Baptism (Against the Donatists), Book 4, Chapter 16: “…Let us therefore put the two cases in this way. Let us suppose that the one, for the sake of argument, held the same opinions as Photinus about Christ and was baptized in his heresy outside the communion of the Catholic Church; and that another held the same opinion but was baptized in the Catholic Church, believing that his view was really the Catholic faith. I consider him as not yet a heretic unless when the doctrine of the Catholic faith is made clear to him he chooses to resist it and prefers that which he already holds; and till this is the case, it is clear that he who was baptized outside is the worse. And so in the one case erroneous opinion alone, in the other the sin of schism also requires correction…”
The general rule is to accept the marriage as valid, save for clear
cases of diriment in the case of this particular sacrament. This
looseness of this interpretation doesn't apply to other sacraments such
as Penance or Confirmation since one can validly receive this sacrament
of marriage while not having the proper intention or proper jurisdiction
of witnesses, hence the reason why the so called orthodox have valid
first time marriages in most cases but not valid absolution or Confirmation
of adults. The whole tenor of canon law is to put the burden of
proof on demonstrating the marriages are not valid and not the other
What can the clergy today
legitimately dispense with today?
Again this question breaks
down to three categories: a.) ratified and consummated marriages;
b.) ratified and unconsummated; c.) unmarried with impediments.
Before we answer these questions,
let us consider some general principals on dispensation.
“He who makes the law
can dispense from the law; as also his successor or superior, and any
person to whom any of these may give faculty”(Canon 80).
Canon 81 gives an important
grant of power to Ordinaries to dispense with the general laws of the
1.) Recourse to the Holy
See to obtain a faculty is difficult. Difficult does not mean
moral impossibility, however today it is impossible.
2.) Delay occasioned by
such recourse will probably result in grave damage. The harm may
be private or public, physical or moral, or economic and financial.
The harm need not be extremely grave but today the circumstances are
such that the gravity is extreme.
3.) The dispensation is
one which the Holy See usually does grant and must be known from law
and the practice of the Roman Curia.
Catholics see that the conditions
for 1 and 2 exist. However, can a simple priest dispense?
Canonists say that Pastors have the power to dispense in marriage for
a.) both public and occult cases when the ordinary cannot be reached
and there is danger of death according to canon 1044 and b.) occult
cases only when the impediment is discovered and all is ready for the
marriage and the ordinary cannot be reached without danger of violating
the secret according to canon 1045.
The next question is, can
a simple priest in this apostate age that has no ordinary to report
to be considered a pastor? In this case, the answer must be affirmative,
since from the history of the Church, we know that the clergy continued
to operate when their bishop had apostatized. (e.g. Nestorius).
The priest recognizing clear and provable cases of nullity in previous “marriages” cannot be
said to be giving dispensation for but acting according to the law of
the Church in not recognizing what the Church does not recognize provided
there is absolute certainty. These may include consanguinity,
spiritual relationship, civil marriage of Catholics (Canon 1042, 1076-1080),
marriage of children (Canon 1067), prior bond (Canon 1069), un-dispensed
contracts between baptized and unbaptized persons (Canon 1070), violations
of disparity of cult* (Canon 1071: Canon 1060-64), prior marriage to
a clerics (Canon 1072) or religious (Canon 1073)*, Kidnapping (Canon
1074), error of who the actual person is (Canon 1083) or force or grave
fear (Canon 1087).
Caution in assuming nullity
must be applied to certain cases of disparity of cult and merely ecclesiastical
diriments such as in cases where it is morally impossible to ask for
For instance, if the two
parties are baptized, one Catholic and the other protestant and the
Catholic party believes they have a dispensation or due to the woeful
even culpable ignorance of those Catholics who contract marriage with
heretical &/or schismatic ministers then they the marriage should
be considered valid. Pope Benedict XIV's declaration “Matrimonia,
quae in locis” of 4 November 1741 states:
“But if by chance some marriage of this sort [Catholic with heretics], without observing the Tridentine form, has already been contracted
there, or may be contracted in the future (which God forbid!), His Holiness
declares that such a marriage, provided that no other canonical impediment
exists, must be considered valid, and that neither of the spouses, as long as the other one lives,
can in any way enter into a new marriage under the pretext that the
prescribed form was not observed;”
And he concludes about other regions “His
Holiness has thought that nothing new should be decreed and declared,
wishing that whenever a dispute arises concerning them, they be decided
according to the canonical principles of the common law, and by the resolution approved in similar cases at other times and published
by the Sacred Congregation of the Council, and so he has declared and
decreed and commanded that it be observed by all for the future.”
This declaration applies
to the protestant territories in Belgium and Holland but we may see
application in our day. Pope Benedict XIV declares this resolution
is approved in similar cases at other times.
Other cases of civil marriage
or marriage outside the Church where the Catholic knows he does not
have a marriage approved by the Church hierarchy, even if he or she
later realizes the Novus Ordo sect is not the Church, should be considered
In summary of the above
cases of "Catholics", validity depends on the state of the
person at the time of the attempted contract of marriage: 1.)
either by formal or practical apostasy, validity is assumed. By practical
apostasy it is meant no significant practice of the "faith"
even if the person is nominally Catholic - that is Catholic in name
only. 2.) by intending to be a Catholic but violating ones conscience
regarding marriage, one knows oneself to have not validly contracted
marriage as has been stated above.
Novus Ordo annulments for
such cases as SSPX marriages are therefore not valid judgments.
SSPX annulment tribunals are schismatic and therefore illicit but the
judgment on individual cases may or may not be valid.
Caution should be used in
assuming nullity for merely ecclesiastical diriments such as in cases
where it is morally impossible to ask for dispensation, especially in
danger of death. [Canon Law: A Text and Commentary, Bouscarden
and Ellis, Bruce Pub. 1945, pp. 484-485]
What about the traditional
bishops who cannot said to be ordinaries? Can they act?
This resolves into a major dispute today; one side would argue they
act completely illicitly since there is no papal approval to receive
consecration and the other would argue from the above exceptions mentioned
from no access to the Holy See that their actions are licit. This
author takes the later liberal opinion since from history we know that
canon 26 of the 4th Lateran council allowed prelates to make
other bishops where there was no ready access to the Holy See.
Although this legislation was rescinded by Pope Pius IX, due to changing
circumstances, we recognize that such a condition of lack of access
to the Pope now exists again. Since these bishops are not Ordinaries,
they are Bishops of No One; that is, they only rule over those priests
and faithful under their care such as an abbot of a monastery would
rule over those clergy, religious and persons on monastic lands. (Canon
309). I must note for modern English speaking audiences the word 'liberal'
is intended not to mean license (false liberty) but to mean what liberties
a Catholic may take in good conscience.
If we take this liberal
position then, the Bishop can act like an Ordinary with no access to
the Holy See. In this case he could only dispense in a very limited
way as a “bishop of no one” over those under his pastoral care.
We now return to our previous
categories to discuss what can the clergy do without access to the Pope
or Ordinaries: a.) ratified and consummated marriages; b.) ratified
and unconsummated; c.) unmarried with impediments.
Not even the pope himself
can dissolve ratified and consummated marriages sacramental marriages,
so it is obvious that no Ordinary or Bishop of No One or priest could
do so for what God has joined, no man may put asunder (Mt18).
"...let the faithful woman who has left an adulterous husband
and attracts another faithful one, be forbidden to marry; if she should
marry, let her not receive communion unless he whom she has left has
previously departed this world." Council of Illiberi, 300 A.D.
The cases of baptized -
unbaptized are null, therefore not ratified, so no dispensation is required
again provided there is certainty about the status of both parties.
Only the Holy See could allow such marriages and today's clergy should
not attempt to dispense what the Holy See usually would not dispense.
We have discussed above Catholic-Heretic marriages above and the Holy
See has allowed these, especially where Catholics are few and sufficient
precautions are taken. That leaves the non-sacramental marriages
of unbaptized persons which although ratified and consummated are not
sacramental. The Pauline privilege allows one who receives baptism
to contract a sacramental marriage provided the clergy ascertain that
the unbaptized spouse will not live peaceably, that is let the Catholic
convert practice their religion without persecution. In this case the
Holy See was wont to permit a Catholic marriage and the clergy may assume
the Pauline privilege in force.
Ratified but unconsummated
marriages are to be considered valid (c. 1069) until they are declared
null according to law and with certainty. Spiritual marriages
like those of Our Lady and St. Joseph are certainly marriage as St.
Joseph is referred to as the Most Chaste Spouse. Therefore lack
of consummation alone doesn't absolutely invalidate the marriage.
The most typical case of this type is impotence which we must distinguish
from sterility. These are broken up into several divisions:
1. Certain or Doubtful in
law or fact.
2. Antecedent or subsequent
3. Perpetual or temporary.
4. Natural or accidental;
congenital or acquired.
5. Absolute(all persons)
or relative (some persons).
6. Organic defect or functional
which is usually not permanent.
Impotence is essentially
anything that prevents copula. In general impotence before marriage,
especially if permanent, would invalidate the marriage. However
if there is a doubt, the presumption of marriage prevails. The
priest if discovering such an impediment should make careful inquiry
before witnessing however if there is a doubt in law or in fact, the
marriage should not be hindered. If the impotence is subsequently
cured in cases considered certain impotence of law and fact, the marriage
still needs to be ratified. If there is subsequent impotence,
this doesn't invalidate the marriage however care must be taken not
to pollute the marriage with acts that don't end in perfect copula.
Sterility, that is the inability
to generate offspring, is not considered invalidating if congenital
and not acquired as defined by the Holy Office. There is dispute
about acquired sterility (vasectomy or fallectomy) before marriage among
canonists. In the case of man the procedure is considered permanent
and although canonists dispute the topic, the "settled jurisprudence
of the Rota, holds the certainly vasectomized male to be certainly impotent"
and therefore the marriage would be considered invalid according to
the weightier authority.[ibid 528]. The modern controversy of
this judgment is it would bar men from marriage who have had this procedure.
What was a rarity 100 years ago affecting few persons is much more common
place today. Due to modern techniques of sterility reversal, this
impediment can be removed through surgery for both men and women which
should not be an objection to those persons who have truly converted
to the Catholic faith and accept the teachings of Pope Pius XI in Casti
Of course each case will
have its own particulars so one should consult competent clergy or commentaries,
especially in grey areas.
What are the rules by which
the clergy should act with regard to marriage today? Just as they
He must instruct the faithful on the purpose of matrimony and its
impediments (Canon 1018).
Before marriage is celebrated he must be morally certain of its valid
and licit celebration. (Canon 1019).
He must investigate any obstacles (Canon 1020) including free will
of both parties, their understanding of the purpose of marriage and
educate them in the rudiments of the faith.
Ensuring both parties are definitely baptized and where possible confirmed
Observing the banns of marriage if possible. (canon 1022-1026)
If doubts arise as to impediments (1030-1031) the following rules
Reasonable doubt of impediment a priest will investigate witnesses,
consult with his bishop, either ordinary or bishop of no one if applicable.
If an impediment is found it must be resolved and if public (not occult)
there should be no banns of marriage unless already begun. No
marriage can take place for those which cannot be resolved.
If there is a doubt of law then the impediment is not binding. If
there is a doubt of fact then the law is binding and the Ordinary has
the power to dispense according to canon 15.
If the impediment of divine law we may consider several cases:
Marriage with baptized non-Catholic where there is a danger of perversion
to the Catholic party or to the children. In this case the divine
law forbids but does not invalidate the marriage. Ibid p.483.
The example given by one priest in this apostate era was to insist on
instructions of the non-Catholic party for 6 months before marriage.
In this way the priest would often convert the other party, relieving
the impediment or determine if the danger to the Catholic spouse and
future children. If the non-Catholic party refused catechism,
then the priest presumed the danger sufficient and would not witness
the marriage. The priest must have a moral certainty of safety
of the spouse and children and have an oath in writing from the non-Catholic
party. The clergy should never attempt to dispense without the
Holy See cases of notorious apostates (c.1065) and public sinners (c.1066).
The clergy must stress the duty of the Catholic spouse to work for the
conversion of the non-Catholic (c.1062).
Vows: if the vow is private (c.1058) or sacred orders or solemn
religious profession [not yet received] (c. 1072, 1073) would not prevent
licit marriage as it would for sacred orders received or solemn religious
profession made. Ibid p.484. No clergy or solemnly professed religious
should attempt dispensation without the Holy See.
Consanguinity in all degrees in a direct line or first degree in a
collateral line are diriments and no clergy should attempt dispensation
without the Holy See.
Previous bond of marriage is a diriment as has been discussed above
and can in no way be dispensed.
The above rule of thumb
is certainly not exhaustive, but applies as a simple overview of the
modern problems of marriage. This author would encourage the consultation
of commentaries and those clergy properly trained in canon law.
For those who would argue
that the clergy today have no ability to act due to excommunication
for accepting Vatican II, it must be said that the faithful have a right
to request the sacraments. In this case the priest can by simple
confession be received back into the Church and has supplied jurisdiction
due to the needs of the faithful. Hence the above actions regarding
marriage for this clergy still apply.
For those who say the author
has no authority to speak on this topic, my only reason for studying
this issue is to address the consciences of mine and others I come in
contact and give only the Churches view and not my own. It is
hoped this short study will give some guidance to those who are in a
hard situation and desire to know what their rights and duties are and
what the Church has said on the topic.