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James Duarte wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have read your responses to questions on matters of Catholic faith with interest.

I have also read an article on annulments and marriage which you referred to one of your questioners written by a Catholic priest from Boston.

I hope that my question, based on the article you referenced, won't take too much of your time.

In the article, the following was said:

"... two Catholics must marry in the presence of an authorized priest or deacon and two witnesses. If they do not, the Church does not recognize a marriage."
  • So what is the Church's position on a marriage that took place between a baptized Protestant man and a baptized Catholic woman in a Protestant church, without the presence of an authorized priest or deacon?
  • Does the Church recognize that a marriage took place?

Thanks in advance,

James Duarte

  { Is the marriage of a baptized Protestant and Catholic in a Protestant church without a priest valid? }

Eric replied:

Hi, James —

It depends on whether they got permission from the bishop to do this.

Canon 1108 says that only marriages celebrated before an authorized priest or deacon are valid.

Canon 1127 says that this applies to mixed marriages, unless the non-Catholic party is an Eastern Orthodox Christian. In that case, the presence of a sacred minister (of the other church) suffices for validity.

In other words, it's possible to validly marry someone in a ceremony without the presence of an authorized priest or deacon with the permission of the bishop.

Absent such permission, the marriage would not be valid.

Eric Ewanco

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