The Sanctifying Function of the Church
» The Sacraments
» Matrimonial consent
The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
1. those who lack the sufficient use of reason;
2. those who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;
3. those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.
§1. For matrimonial consent to exist, the contracting parties must be at least not ignorant that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of offspring by means of some sexual cooperation.
§2. This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.
§1. Error concerning the person renders a marriage invalid.
§2. Error concerning a quality of the person does not render a marriage invalid even if it is the cause for the contract, unless this quality is directly and principally intended.
A person contracts invalidly who enters into a marriage deceived by malice, perpetrated to obtain consent, concerning some quality of the other partner which by its very nature can gravely disturb the partnership of conjugal life.
Error concerning the unity or indissolubility or sacramental dignity of marriage does not vitiate matrimonial consent provided that it does not determine the will.
The knowledge or opinion of the nullity of a marriage does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent.
§1. The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words and signs used in celebrating the marriage.
§2. If, however, either or both of the parties by a positive act of the will exclude marriage itself, some essential element of marriage, or some essential property of marriage, the party contracts invalidly.
§1. A marriage subject to a condition about the future cannot be contracted validly.
§2. A marriage entered into subject to a condition about the past or the present is valid or not insofar as that which is subject to the condition exists or not.
§3. The condition mentioned in §2, however, cannot be placed licitly without the written permission of the local ordinary.
A marriage is invalid if entered into because of force or grave fear from without, even if unintentionally inflicted, so that a person is compelled to choose marriage in order to be free from it.
§1. To contract a marriage validly the contracting parties must be present together, either in person or by proxy.
§2. Those being married are to express matrimonial consent in words or, if they cannot speak, through equivalent signs.
§1. To enter into a marriage validly by proxy it is required that:
1. there is a special mandate to contract with a specific person;
2. the proxy is designated by the one mandating and fulfills this function personally.
§2. To be valid the mandate must be signed by the one mandating and by the pastor or ordinary of the place where the mandate is given, or by a priest delegated by either of them, or at least by two witnesses, or it must be made by means of a document which is authentic according to the norm of civil law.
§3. If the one mandating cannot write, this is to be noted in the mandate itself and another witness is to be added who also signs the document; otherwise, the mandate is invalid.
§4. If the one mandating revokes the mandate or develops amentia before the proxy contracts in his or her name, the marriage is invalid even if the proxy or the other contracting party does not know this.
A marriage can be contracted through an interpreter; the pastor is not to assist at it, however, unless he is certain of the trustworthiness of the interpreter.
Even if a marriage was entered into invalidly by reason of an impediment or a defect of form, the consent given is presumed to persist until its revocation is established.
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