Following are some of the appropriate Canons regarding marriage:

  • c. 1055 §1 The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.
    • §2 For this reason a matrimonial contract cannot validly exist between baptized person unless it is also a sacrament by that fact
  • c. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility, which in Christian marriage obtain a special firmness in virtue of the sacrament.
  • c. 1057 §1 Matrimony is brought 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 mutually give and accept each other through an irrevocable covenant in order to establish marriage.
  • c. 1059 Even if one party is Catholic, the marriage of Catholics is governed not only by divine law but also by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of civil authority concerning the merely civil effect of the same marriage.
  • c. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.
  • c. 1061 §1 A valid marriage between baptized persons is called ratified only if it has not been consummated: it is call ratified and consummated if the parties have performed between themselves in a human manner the conjugal act which is per se suitable for the generation of children, to which marriage is ordered by its very nature and be which the spouses become on flesh.
    • §2 After marriage has been celebrated, if the spouses have cohabited consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.
    • §3 An invalid marriage is called putative if it has been celebrated in good faith by at least one of the parties until both parties become certain of its nullity.
  • c. 1095 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 unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.
  • c. 1096 §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.
  • c. 1097 §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.
  • c. 1098 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.
  • c. 1099 Error concerning the unity or indissolubility or sacramental dignity of marriage does not vitiate matrimonial consent, provided that it does not determine the will.
  • c. 1100 The knowledge or opinion of the nullity of a marriage does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent.

c.1101 §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 will exclude marriage itself, some essential element of marriage, or some essential property of marriage, the party contracts invalidly.
  • c. 1102 §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.
  • c. 1103 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.
  • c. 1135 Each spouse has an equal duty and right to those things which belong to the partnership of conjugal life.
  • c. 1136 Parents have the most grave duty and the primary right to take care as best they can for the physical, social, cultural, moral, and religious education of their offspring.

The above Canons have been reproduced with permission from the Code of Canon Law. Latin-English Edition.  New English Translation.  Canon Law Society of America ©1998

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