Canon Law Resources

Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus  – The new procedures regarding nullity of marriage.

On 8 September, 2015 Pope Francis published a major reform and simplification of the procedures regarding the granting of decrees of nullity in marriage cases. The original and official text may be found here

Amoris Laetitia

On 19 March, 2016 Pope Francis published reflection of marriage and the family. It is entitled Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love and is based on the Synod of Bishops held in 2014 and 2015. The text may be found here

Extracts from the Code of Canon Law.

Canon 1055

(1) The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership for the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

(2) For this reason a matrimonial contract cannot validly exist between baptized persons unless it is also a sacrament by that fact.

CANON 1057

(1) Marriage is brought about through the consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons who are capable according to law of giving consent; no human power can replace this consent.

(2) Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which a man and a woman, through an irrevocable covenant, mutually give and accept each other to establish marriage.

CANON 1060

Marriage enjoys the favor of the law; consequently, when a doubt exists the validity of a marriage is to be upheld until the contrary is proven.

CANON 1095
The following are incapable of contracting marriage:

1° those who lack sufficient use of reason;

2° those who suffer from a grave lack of discretionary judgement concerning the essential matrimonial rights and obligations to be mutually given and accepted;

3° those who, because of causes of a psychological nature, are unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

CANON 1096

§1 For matrimonial consent to exist, it is necessary that the contracting parties be at least not ignorant of the fact that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman, ordered to the procreation of children through some form of sexual cooperation.

§2 This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.

CANON 1097

§1 Error about a person renders a marriage invalid.

§2 Error about a quality of the person, even though it be the reason for the contract, does not render a marriage invalid unless this quality is directly and principally intended.

CANON 1098

A person contracts invalidly who enters marriage inveigled by deceit, perpetrated in order to secure consent, concerning some quality of the other party, which of its very nature can seriously disrupt the partnership of conjugal life.

CANON 1099

Provided it does not determine the will, error concerning the unity or the indissolubility or the sacramental dignity of marriage does not vitiate matrimonial consent.

CANON 1100

Knowledge of or opinion about the nullity of a marriage does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent.

CANON 1101

§1 The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words or the signs used in the celebration of a marriage.

§2 If, however, either or both of the parties should by a positive act of will exclude marriage itself or any essential element of marriage or any essential property, such party contracts invalidly.

CANON 1102

§1 Marriage cannot be validly contracted subject to a condition concerning the future.

§2 Marriage entered into subject to a condition concerning the past or the present is valid or not, according as whatever is the basis of the condition exists or not.

§3 However, a condition as mentioned in §2 may not lawfully be attached except with the written permission of the local Ordinary.

CANON 1103

A marriage is invalid which was entered into by reason of force or of grave fear imposed from outside, even if not purposely, from which the person has no escape other than by choosing marriage.