QUAERITUR: validity of SSPX marriage

From a priest reader:

Dear Father,

I have become acquainted with a family in my parish (Diocesan sponsored EF twice a week) and the parents were married in a SSPX chapel.  My question to you, after having posed this to three solid, traditionally minded priests, is this: What is the canonical status of that marriage?  Is the marriage considered valid but illict?  Is it similar to a protestant marriage that needs to be canonically regularized within Holy Mother Church? Or, is it considered invalid because those in SSPX are under different canonical standards than a non-Catholic?  Or, is it simply valid, end of story? 

Perhaps you have already addressed this issue and can direct me to a answer. Either way, your insight would be much appreciated. 

I have addressed this before, but repetita iuvant, as they say.

The marriage would be (most likely) invalid not because of a lack of form, but rather a defect of form.

Even though canonical form was followed, there was a defect affecting validity because the priest who officiated lacked delegation (c. 1111) from the parish priest or local ordinary.

Moreover, the priest (if he was a priest of the SSPX) is suspended a divinis.  He therefore cannot be delegated to officiate at a wedding (cc. 1109 and 1333).
 
Some argue that c. 144 (on common error and probable doubt) applies.  This argument is without merit, since it does not cover willful ignorance.
 
The couple in question should seek a sanatio in radice (retroactive convalidation). They can apply for this through the diocesan tribunal.

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49 Responses to QUAERITUR: validity of SSPX marriage

  1. Heather says:

    I don’t recall reading that the Church considered the Campos marriages to being invalid prior to their re-incommunication. [Gosh!]

  2. wsxyz says:

    Here is a good video about the sixth precept of the Church that, among other things, covers the topic from the SSPX point of view:

    http://www.traditionalcatholicmedia.com/flash/Misc/6thPreceptFrCooper_300k.html

    The argument made here is that only a traditional Catholic couple, for whom actively attending a Novus Ordo parish for the purpose of marriage is a “serious inconvenience”, can be validly married at an SSPX chapel, and that because of the ability of any priest to witness a marriage when such a “serious inconvenience” exists for an extended period of time. [Yah... but that would probably be wrong.]

  3. Sacerdos ignotus says:

    Common error refers to the error of the the majority of the congregation (not the priest). If they think the priest has faculties, he has them. [uuummmm.... no... he doesn't. Errors of judgment or knowledge on the part of crowds of people don't confer faculties.] Now it is possible that the majority of a SSPX congregation would believe, in good faith, that their priest has faculties.

  4. Ken says:

    Good point, Heather. And when the SSPX is fully reconciled with the Vatican, it will be interesting to see if the same action (or non-action) occurs with respect to marriage (and absolutions).

    There are those who are always looking to wag a finger at the SSPX, and there are those are are seeking to embrace them at best or work with them at worst. I am glad the Vatican at least falls into the latter category. Perhaps others here should follow the pope’s lead…

  5. Puzzled says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf,

    Did you ever take a stand concerning the Campos marriages, which the Vatican never commanded to be redone? [Was I supposed to?] It at least seems (doesn’t mean that it is the case) that you simply ignore this argument, which is inconvenient for your way seeing the FSSPX. [I don't feel in the least inconvenienced. Whatever happened in Campos before, there is now a ecclesial structure for Campos which can handle all questions of marriage, and which could do a sanatio if that was thought opportune.]

    It is not meant as an offense, but I would really like to know your opinion about that.

    Best wishes!

  6. But wouldn’t it depend on what year the marriage was? After all, the SSPX
    wasn’t excommunicate until 1988. Thus, marriages performed until 1988 would
    be valid, surely.

  7. “Comment by Seraphic Spouse — 7 July 2009 @ 12:20 pm “

    Not if clerics of the SSPX had already been suspended “a divinis.” The 1988 excommunication applied only to the principals involved.

  8. Bob says:

    The facts of the excommunication or of the suspension isn’t actually relevant.

    No priest or deacon, even if in good standing, can witness a wedding unless he is a parochus (Pastor in USA, Parish Priest in UK) or an Ordinary (Diocesan Bishop/Vicar General, etc.) or has been delegated by either of those. Even if the SSPX weren’t suspended and weren’t excommunicated they those couldn’t witness marriages.

    There is a provision for an extraordinary form of marriage (which is nothing to do with Extraordinary Form of the liturgy) which doesn’t require a priest or deacon, although if one is present he can bless the couple. This is used in circumatances were the couple cannot approach a validly delegated priest. Arguably faithful at the SSPX feel subjectively that they cannot approach such a priest and so could arguably marry validly in this way. That would need to be decided by a Tribunal or by a Confessor. [But even in he situation of the lack of a priest or deacon, the lay person still has to have proper delegation from proper authority to act as the Church's witness to the marriage. They can't just do it without permission.]

    There is the further problem of SSPX faithful who might need annulments, permissions, or dispesnations before they could marry licitly/validly. The SSPX might claim the authority to issue these but no reputable canon lawyer would say that the SSPX can grant an annulment, reserved to Marriage tribunals, or grant a dispensation, reserved to the Bishop or the Holy See.

    Marriages entered into with an annulment from the SSPX are definitely invalid (and objectively bigamous), marriages entered into with a dispensation from the SSPX are also definitely invalid.

    With regards to Campos, it is possible that a sanatio in radice was granted by the Holy See when it was reconciled. The couple don’t need to know about it (c.1164 CIC83). [right]

  9. Michael J says:

    Sorry Bob,
    I cannot accept the theory of secret convalidations of the Campos marriages. Firstly, because we cannot base our judgement on what the Holy See *could* have done, but on what we know to have been done. Secondly, and more importantly it means that the Holy See wanted the couples involved and everybody else to believe that the marriages were valid from the beginning. Digest that for a while. Are you really suggesting that the Holy See *wanted* people to believe a lie? [This is a misunderstanding of the purpose of a sanatio which people don't necessarily know about. I suggest you leave that alone.]

  10. Bob says:

    Michael,
    I’m not suggesting that the Holy See wanted the couple to believe a lie, I’m suggesting that they wanted to preserve the consciences of these people so as to protect their faith. Remember that in many (most?) cases of radical sanation at least one party to the marriage doesn’t know that its taken place.

    radical sanation is generally used in difficult situations where it is impossible to persuade both parties to renew their consent by simple convalidation (which is far easier than sanation). It is also the standard response to hidden defects of form. If a priest marries a couple and then discovers a lack of delegation (e.g. he thought it was in the post, but in fact it was never granted) radical sanation is the correct course of action, rather than needlessly worrying the couple.

    Remember than no-one is saying that the couples involved are knowingly invalidly married or that they are in a state of sin.

    The couples at the SSPX / Campos think they are validly married. In this case radical sanation is the canonically correct course of action.

  11. wsxyz says:

    Marriages entered into with an annulment from the SSPX are definitely invalid (and objectively bigamous), marriages entered into with a dispensation from the SSPX are also definitely invalid.

    Do you have any evidence that the SSPX issues annulments? I know they review annulments – because they believe that diocesan tribunals issue frivolous declarations of nullity (and I agree). But I have never heard that the SSPX independently issues declarations of nullity.

    With regards to Campos, it is possible that a sanatio in radice was granted by the Holy See when it was reconciled. The couple don’t need to know about it (c.1164 CIC83).

    Wouldn’t it be odd to secretly sanate thousands of marriages and then act like it never happened? Surely there would be documentation of such an occurance.

  12. Michael J says:

    Bob,

    Yes, you are specifically suggesting that the Holy See wants people to believe a lie. [No, I don't think that is what he was suggesting. I suggest, in turn, that you leave this alone and watch the conversation here develop.] You’ve offered several understandable justifications, but the bottom line is that if the couple were invalidly married – and were therefore not married – the Holy See does not want them to know about it.

    What would you call this, if not a lie?

  13. Bob says:

    wsxyz:

    1) http://www.sspx.org/Canonical_Commission/approach_to_declarations_of_nullity.htm

    This SSPX site is notes from a talk by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais about annulments granted by the “tribunals of the Society”. [The SSPX can't have tribunals. They might have "pretend tribunals", however.]

    2) As I said above many (most?) sanations are granted when only one party, or even neither, knows about the defect. It would not be surprising that it would be secret. Otherwise the couples would know about the defect and become troubled in conscience. [right] If it was done I would imagine that it would be done by the Apostolic Penitentiary and they would record it. [hmmm... I think the CDF would do that, if I remember correctly.]

    I am not saying that this definitely happened. I am simply saying that this is a likely scenario. If I knew that a parishioner was invalidly married through no fault of their own then this is the standard approach.

  14. Bob says:

    Michael -

    if you want to call it a lie then we’ll do so. [ummm... no... I don't think that is a good idea. But this rabbit hole is now CLOSED.]

    Regardless of what you call it, it is standard in radical sanation cases and even in the Confessional – priests are not always obliged to disturb the consciences of the faithful. even in that SSPX site I mentioned above Bishop Tissier de Mallerais tells the SSPX priests to leave a person in good faith, in he is in good faith, and only disturb him if he is doubting his marriage’s validity.

    People in Campos then and SSPX now are in good faith, I hope, and so should be left there and radical sanation does that.

  15. wsxyz says:

    http://www.sspx.org/Canonical_Commission/approach_to_declarations_of_nullity.htm
    This SSPX site is notes from a talk by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais about annulments granted by the “tribunals of the Society”.

    I ask: Did you bother to read this document? It is no more than what I already said: The SSPX will review a preexisting declaration of nullity and render a judgment whether or not that declaration is valid.

    In other words, the SSPX does not have annulment tribunals, they have de-annulment tribunals.

  16. Catholicus says:

    Actually one can apply directly to the Ecclesia Dei Commission for a radical sanation (aka sanatio in radice). Two different friends attempted marriage in Lefebvrite chapels in the mid ’80s Both later asked a priest friend who was working in Rome to submit their paperwork directly to Ecclesia Dei, which he did. Ecclesia Dei sent the notice of convalidation to my friends’ diocesan bishop, who in turn relayed it to the local pastor, who met with them to inform them of the result. This is a faster way to go about it than applying to the local diocese.

    One result of a radical sanation is that the children of such marriages are, by a legal fiction, regarded by the Church as having been born legitimately. This removes the need for a dispensation from the law forbidding religious profession by children born illegitimately.

    Radical sanation was the subject of a doctoral dissertation completed at Catholic University in the ’30s. Here are the details:

    The radical sanation of invalid marriages, an historical synopsis and commentary,
    Author: Robert J Harrigan
    Publisher: Washington, D.C., Catholic University of America, 1938.
    Series: Catholic University of America. Canon law studies, no. 116

  17. Bob says:

    WSXYZ:

    “It is a true jurisdiction, and not an exemption from the obligation to receive a judgment from the Church. Consequently, we have the power and the duty to pronounce true sentences, which have the potestatem ligandi vel solvendi. They, consequently, are imposed obligatorily on the faithful who request them. The proximate reason for this is that we must be able to tell the faithful what they must do to save their souls —quod debent servare.

    Our judgments are, consequently, not simply private opinions, for these could not possibly suffice when the public good is involved, as it is with every case in which the matrimonial bond is examined. In order to remove the doubt, our tribunals must have authority in the external form.”

    http://www.sspx.org/Canonical_Commission/legitimacy_and_status_of_our_tribunals.htm

    If that doesn’t describe a marriage tribunal granting annulments then nothing does.

    Catholicus – its good to hear that you can get a swift response from Ecclesia Dei. The vatican works very quickly in these matters. You can get your confessor to write to the APostolic Peniteniary and they will often reply within a few days.

    Fr Z – sorry for the rabbit hole.

  18. fuse says:

    Hello Bob!

    I have read your comments with great interest, but I think it is a grave error to cite c.1164 of the CIC83 as a possible solution the Holy See could have used. Why? This canon clearly applies to individuals respectively individual cases, which cannot be summed up by one act. So c.1161§3 says: “A retroactive validation is not to be granted unless it is probable that the parties intend to persevere in conjugal life.” But to figure out, if something is “probable”, there must be any clues (or even better: direct questions) about the individuals involved in that case. But there weren’t any inquieries or anything else by the Holy See to figure out in any case, if there was a probable intention. So by suggesting your solution, do you suggest that the Holy See knowingly violates the canon law? In such a matter the sanationes in radice evidently cannot be granted for a whole diocese – and by the way it isn’t something that is mass distributed like popcorn.

    fuse

  19. Tim Ferguson says:

    Actually, with regards to the situation in Campos, it is my understanding, based on information I received at the time of the reconciliation of the Priestly Society of St. John Mary Vianney, that the Holy See (specifically, the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei) did invoke c. 1165 and granted a general sanatio of the marriages performed by the priests of the Society. I do not have the details at hand, but I’m certain that the Apostolic Administration would be able to provide the information. [Thanks! I stand corrected.]

  20. Bob says:

    Fuse – if radical sanation was used it would certainly be being applied by analogy from the canons rather than directly. I agree that the canons do not consider the possibility of a mass sanation but that doesn’t mean the Holy see cannot do it. My point in mentioning c.1164 was to show that sanation can be granted whilst the parties are ignorant.

    Tim Ferguson seems to have some personal knowledge – I am only hyopthesing from my knowledge of canon law.

    Basically though there are three possibilities:
    1) They didn’t need sanation because their marriages were valid because the priests have special faculties because of the crisis in the Church. Canon lawyers would deny this possibility but like so much in the SSPX its impossible to really debate. If we admit a unique situation then its hard to deny any claim flowing from it. I would though think it possible, as I said above, to admit a moral imposisbility on the part of SSPXers to approach “Novus Ordo” priests, because of the subjective belief of crisis, resulting in their being able to take advantage of c.1116.1.2, getting married without a delegated minister.
    2) They got a sanation in a manner similar to what has been mentioned earlier.
    3) They didn’t need a sanation because SSPX / Campos are outside the Church and so not bound to the canonical form. This has been denied by the Holy See.

  21. Charlotte says:

    Sorry to be uneducated (and sorry if this is a rabbit hole kind of thing), but what is Campos? How about a quick dummies explanation? Thanks!

  22. Mr. WAC says:

    Regarding the SSPX and annulments, the last bullet of this document from their website explains that they consider themselves “supplied” with the necessary jurisdiction to judge cases of nullity on the first instance and review settled cases afresh:

    http://www.sspx.org/Canonical_Commission/questions_re_canonical_commission.htm

    Of course, this “authority” rests at the end of a string of exotic legal claims stemming from their weak pretensions of being in a state of emergency and “without recourse”. While they say that their decrees lack full juridical force, they are okay anyway for traditionalists, because (I’m not kidding) Marcel said so in 1991.

    The maintenance of this fairy land tribunal is one of the strongest arguments against any involvement with the SSPX.

  23. Bob says:

    Charlotte – Campos is a diocese in Brazil which effectively existed in two parallel forms – one linked to the SSPX and celebrating the Extarordinary Form, one like every other diocese celebrating the ordinary form. They were reconciled and established as the Personal Apostolic Administration of St John Vianney.

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Apostolic_Administration_of_Saint_John_Mary_Vianney

  24. Heather says:

    When one considers that half of the validly married couples in the USA are later found to have been invalid, I don’t think my odds are so much better in a diocesan Church. I’ll take my chances with the SSPX.

    As for the SSPX “tribunal”, they only review McNullments from the diocese at the request of the faithful attending their chapels and/or if they want to be married in one of their chapels.

  25. cheyan says:

    Heather, in order for the review to mean anything, the tribunal must see itself as having the authority to make the same kind of decision as the one being reviewed, mustn’t it? I mean, if I get a decision in a civil court that I don’t like, I could have a law student look at the judge’s decision and give me an opinion – but in order for me to act as if that decision had gone differently, I have to go to someone who can actually overrule another judge’s opinion, and that someone is also certainly able to give an opinion without first overruling someone else’s.

    People asking a SSPX “tribunal” to review their annulments are surely not just asking for an automatic “you were right, the diocese was wrong” kind of thing. So if the SSPX can say “that annulment was incorrectly granted”, the SSPX can logically also say “that annulment was correctly granted”. If they can say “that annulment was correctly granted” and have that decision mean anything, why wouldn’t they believe they could make that kind of decision on their own?

  26. Tim Ferguson says:

    Hey Heather – good slam and amusing neologism there! It must feel awesome to degrade the practices of the Church with a cute little word like “McNullments.”

    Your stats are a bit off though, and I’m sure you’d want to make certain you’re not spreading untruths. I’d recommend that you take a look at Dr. Ed Peters’ article on the subject of annulment statistics (http://www.canonlaw.info/a_annulments.htm). I always find it’s better to be informed than to go around spreading lies.

    But “McNullments”: it’s a cute word to use to describe the painful plight of many of your faithful and struggling fellow Catholics.

  27. Heather says:

    The SSPX is free to refuse to marry someone in their chapel, they do not however, refuse the other sacraments to people who have had their marriages declared null by a diocesan tribunal.

    Again, it is done to ease the conscience of the faithful who request it or who want to be married in an SSPX chapel. The scandal caused by the laxity of diocesan tribunals has indeed troubled people who have been through the process.

  28. wsxyz says:

    “It is a true jurisdiction, and not an exemption from the obligation to receive a judgment from the Church…”

    That is a different document, but it is the one we needed to see. Thanks.

  29. wsxyz says:

    People asking a SSPX “tribunal” to review their annulments are surely not just asking for an automatic “you were right, the diocese was wrong” kind of thing. So if the SSPX can say “that annulment was incorrectly granted”, the SSPX can logically also say “that annulment was correctly granted”. If they can say “that annulment was correctly granted” and have that decision mean anything, why wouldn’t they believe they could make that kind of decision on their own?

    You misunderstand the purpose of reviewing annulments. The SSPX simply does not accept that diocesan tribunals are bound to be correct when issuing declarations of nullity because so often the decisions are based on poorly proven (or unprovable), subjective grounds such as “immaturity of judgment”.

    When the SSPX reviews a decree of nullity they are confirming for themselves whether or not they are willing to provide the sacraments (especially marriage) for those who carry such a decree. That is all.

  30. cheyan says:

    Heather, did you read the link Tim Ferguson posted?

    I did reread it just now (I had read it a few months ago) and it seems to me that the scandal isn’t the laxity of diocesan tribunals, it’s the fact that there are so many marriages that are invalid at all. It also seems to me that if the SSPX did have a tribunal issuing its own decisions, it would be likely to seem similarly lax.

  31. wsxyz says:

    Your stats are a bit off though, and I’m sure you’d want to make certain you’re not spreading untruths. I’d recommend that you take a look at Dr. Ed Peters’ article on the subject of annulment statistics (http://www.canonlaw.info/a_annulments.htm). I always find it’s better to be informed than to go around spreading lies.

    Ed Peter’s comments on the matter are irrelevant, because he (naturally) assumes that any decision based on the 1983 code is valid. But exactly that is what the SSPX rejects, arguing that the 1983 code itself so poorly defines the impediments to marriage that pretty much any marriage could be declared null with a hand-waving justification based on the 1983 code.

  32. Heather says:

    Cheyan, if you think the SSPX tribunal is easy, you are sadly mistaken. If you don’t have a canonical impediment according to the Code of 1917, then it’s not happening. The “lacked due discretion” stuff doesn’t fly.

    I’d also like to point out, that there are canonists in the SSPX, one of whom used to be on a diocesan tribunal, and left when he was ordered by his bishop to grant someone a third McNullment…and, I definitely stand by the term.

  33. cheyan says:

    Heather, did you read the link that Tim Ferguson posted?

    At least some of the reason that more annulments were granted were things like “the petitioner can approach a tribunal in the diocese where they live, instead of only the diocese where the other person lives or the diocese where the marriage took place”, or things like the kinds of evidence that can be used, or the number of judges that must hear a case or that may be available in a diocese. All of those things started before 1983, so logically all of those things increased the number of declarations of nullity under the 1917 Code.

    That means that the SSPX “tribunals”, using the 1917 Code, would be likely to *seem* more lax than diocesan tribunals before those procedural changes.

    Note the emphasis on SEEMING to be more lax – I am not saying the SSPX “tribunals” *would* be easy to game, I am saying they might *look* that way because of procedural changes that don’t have anything to do with what qualifies as a canonical impediment.

    …similarly, a diocesan tribunal might *look* lax because of those changes.

  34. stigmatized says:

    according to the old testament, intercourse is marriage. this simple fact seems to be forgotten. insomuch as many people who have attended catholic colleges may have graduated in a married state without having been aware of it, wouldn’t this effect the validity of millions more marriages than anything being discussed here?

  35. Heather says:

    Cheyan,

    I don’t follow your logic there.

    I did read the article, and it sounded like one long justification. It’s not a secret that Europeans come to America to get McNullments, because they are easier to obtain. If Ed Peters wants to spin that into an explanation for larger numbers, uh, sorry, but, no dice.

    Like I said, people going back for seconds and thirds is not unheard of…and it should be. But with Canon 1095, it’s anything goes.

  36. Alice says:

    Stigmatized,
    We’re talking about Catholics here, not members of the Faith Community of Bible Prooftexters. The only way for a Catholic to be married validly is according to the laws of the Church. Marriage by intercourse may have been valid in the Old Testament, but it’s certainly not valid in the Church today.

  37. Paul Bailes says:

    Re sanation of marriages (eg in Campos) – does that mean the marriages were legitimised post hoc ie from the time of their original celebration, or only from the date of the sanation?

  38. stigmatized says:

    but the lord made the rules of divorce even more strict. if he wanted the old testament teachings to be done away with, why would he have done this?

  39. Catholicus says:

    Paul Bailes wrote: “Re: sanation of marriages (e.g. in Campos) – does that mean the marriages were legitimised post hoc, i.e., from the time of their original celebration, or only from the date of the sanation?”

    I am no canonist – but apparently it is in the nature of a radical sanation that it “heals at the root” (which is the literal meaning of the Latin phrase sanatio in radice). By a legal fiction, the Church looks on – or anyhow treats – the marriage as having been valid from the moment of the putative wedding.

    A few years ago I met an elderly Glenmary priest, saintly & totally orthodox, who in the 1950s had been rector of his order’s seminary. He had recently celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination. Somehow the conversation turned to radical sanations. He told me that in all his years as a priest he had arranged for only one (and it did not involve a wedding in a Lefebvrite chapel).

    In the past – and no doubt still today – it was used in cases where a Catholic attempted marriage outside the Church with a non-Catholic. When the Catholic party wanted to return to the sacraments & have his marriage rectified, the non-Catholic refused through prejudice or for some other reason to go through a second ceremony according to Catholic rites. If the pastor determined that both parties were in fact free to marry – neither was divorced – then the Catholic party would go to confession, the pastor recorded the marriage in the parish register, and the couple from that moment were regarded by the Church as validly married. Usually the non-Catholic party never knew any of this had taken place.

    Anyhow this was the explanation given me by the old Glenmary priest of how radical sanations have been used in this country.

  40. Jordanes says:

    wsxyz said: Ed Peter’s comments on the matter are irrelevant, because he (naturally) assumes that any decision based on the 1983 code is valid. But exactly that is what the SSPX rejects, arguing that the 1983 code itself so poorly defines the impediments to marriage that pretty much any marriage could be declared null with a hand-waving justification based on the 1983 code.

    But that is one of the SSPX’s most serious errors. Ed Peter’s comments on the matter are indeed relevant, and the opinions of the SSPX irrelevant, because he correctly acknowledges that the 1983 Code is the only binding Code of Canon Law the Latin Church has at this time. Choosing to treat the Church’s current laws as invalid and instead opting for a defunct code of canons is tantamount to sectarianism. The SSPX simply has no authority whatsoever to reevaluate annulments or to grant any, and their rulings and opinions have no bearing in these matters.

  41. wsxyz says:

    But that is one of the SSPX’s most serious errors. Ed Peter’s comments on the matter are indeed relevant, and the opinions of the SSPX irrelevant, because he correctly acknowledges that the 1983 Code is the only binding Code of Canon Law the Latin Church has at this time

    I was perhaps unclear that I meant Ed Peter’s comments are irrelevant to the SSPX. That is, they don’t care how much canon-lawyering anyone does with the 1983 code with respect to invalid marriages. That is not because they don’t agree that the 1983 code is the current code of canon law, but because they seem to think (based on the document referenced earlier) that the 1983 code is irretrievably broken when it comes to marriage impediments. They appear to be arguing, and the article by Ed Peters comes quite close to agreeing with them, that the 1983 code, in particular canon 1905, permits any marriage whatsoever to be annulled at will.

    The SSPX simply has no authority whatsoever to reevaluate annulments or to grant any, and their rulings and opinions have no bearing in these matters.

    Their rulings and opinions have bearing over how they treat the matter internally, which is all that concerns them for the foreseeable future. They expect that someday in the arbitrarily distant future Rome will concur with everything they have done. Sure that seems unlikely but who knows.

  42. John 6:54 says:

    Wondering if the Bob in this post is my brother?

  43. Bob says:

    John 6:54 – not unless my brothers have suddenly gotten a lot more interested in their religion!

  44. wsxyz says:

    I thought of a question about this last night.

    Since marriage is a sacrament, in an invalid marriage no sacrament has been received, right?

    If so, then a sanation does not somehow retroactively apply the sacrament, right? That is, whatever the legal situation, no sacramental grace has been applied because the sacrament never occurred, right?

    If so, then a secret sanation (where neither “spouse” is aware of the sanation) would leave people thinking that they had received a sacrament when, in fact, they have not, right?

    If so, how could it be morally permissable to secretly sanate a marriage leaving Catholic faithful thinking they have received a sacrament when they haven’t?

  45. Patrick says:

    wsxyz,

    I believe they would receive the grace of the Sacrament the moment their marriage was convalidated. It would be similar to a couple who is validly married, but not in a state of grace. Their marriage is a valid sacramental marriage, but they do not receive the graces until they enter the state of grace through sacramental confession. So, with the SSPX couple when their marriage becomes valid (even without their knowledge) they receive the grace of the Sacrament.

    Please correct me if this is wrong.

    Thanks!

  46. Heather says:

    Just throwing this out there…

    I know an SSPX priest who has *successfully* defended one of his marriages before a diocesan tribunal when one of the spouses wanted a McNullment on the grounds that the SSPX did not have faculties. Of course, this wasn’t in America, where halitosis might be legitimate grounds under Canon 1095.

  47. Patrick says:

    Heather,

    Angry much?

  48. Heather says:

    I’m not at all angry. Usually people who read in to another’s posts are projecting their own emotions, and reveal the state of their own interior, so perhaps you should direct that question to yourself.

  49. Peter says:

    “Well under certain circumstances they do (or they create the conditions in which the Church supplies) and I don’t see how anyone who doesn’t know this quite elementary fact is qualified to speak on the subject of SSPX marriages and confessions. I suspect that Fr just can’t bring himself to face the issue, for in general he is of course highly knowledgeable and even warmly sympathetic to the SSPX.”

    http://fssrchristchurch.blogspot.com/2009/07/1926-and-all-that.html