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   Canon Ten

Code of Canon Law
of the
Evangelical Catholic Church

Canon 10:  Marriage

10.1 The matrimonial covenant, by which a couple establishes between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses; this covenant between Baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.

10.2 Marriage is brought about through the consent manifested between the parties who are capable of giving consent. No human power can replace this consent.

10.3 All persons who are not prohibited by canon law can contract Marriage.

10.4 The Evangelical Catholic Church witnesses and celebrates the marriages of persons of the same sex, and declares that these marriages to be valid and equal sacraments of Matrimony in the Church as any other marriage celebrated by the Church.

10.5 Pastors of souls are obliged to see to it that their own ecclesial community furnishes the Christian Faithful assistance so that the matrimonial state is maintained in a Christian spirit and makes progress towards perfection. This assistance is especially to be furnished through:

§1 Preaching and catechesis; so that the Christian Faithful may be instructed concerning the meaning of Christian Marriage and the duty of Christian spouses and parents.

§2 Personal preparation for entering marriage so that the parties may be predisposed toward the holiness and duties of their new state.

§3 Assistance furnished to those already married so that, while faithfully maintaining and protected the conjugal covenant, they may come to lead holier and fuller lives.

10.6 If they can do so without serious inconvenience, Catholics who have not yet received the Sacrament of Confirmation are to receive it before being admitted into Marriage.

10.7 It is strongly recommended that those to be married approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Most Holy Eucharist so that they may fruitfully receive the Sacrament of Marriage.

10.8 Before Marriage is celebrated, it must be evident that nothing stands in the way of its valid and licit celebration.

10.9 All the faithful are obliged to reveal any impediments they are aware of to the pastor or to the local ordinary before the celebration of a Marriage.

10.10 A person must have completed their eighteenth year of age prior to entering into the Sacrament of Marriage.

10.11 A person who, for the purpose of entering Marriage with a certain person, has brought about the death of that person’s spouse or one’s own spouse, attempts such a Marriage invalidly.

10.12 Consanguinity in the direct line in any degree whatsoever invalidates Matrimony.

10.13 In the collateral line of consanguinity, Marriage is invalid up to and including the fourth degree.

10.14 A dispensation can never be given from the impediment of consanguinity in the direct line.

10.15 A dispensation can be given from the impediment of consanguinity in the fourth degree of the collateral line by the local ordinary only for a grave reason.

10.16 Affinity in the direct line in any degree whatsoever invalidates Matrimony.

§1 A dispensation from the impediment of affinity in the direct line can be given by the local ordinary only for a grave reason.

10.17 They cannot validly contract marriage between themselves who are related in any degree whatsoever in the direct line, or up to and including the fourth degree in the collateral line through a relationship arising from legal adoption.

§1 A dispensation can never be granted from the impediment of a relationship in the direct line arising from legal adoption.

§2 A dispensation from the impediment of a relationship arising from legal adoption in the fourth degree of the collateral line can be granted by the local ordinary only for a grave reason.

10.18 Those who lack sufficient use of reason are incapable of contracting Marriage.

10.19 A person contracts invalidly who enters Marriage deceived by fraud, perpetrated to obtain consent, concerning some quality in the other party which by its very nature can seriously disrupt the partnership of conjugal life.

10.20 In general, a marriage, which cannot be recognized or celebrated in accord with the norm of civil law, shall not be witnessed by a cleric of this denomination without the permission of the local ordinary. This Canon shall not be interpreted as prohibiting or invalidating Marriage between persons of differing races, different ethnic heritage or persons of a common gender.

10.21 The internal consent of the mind is presumed to be in agreement with the words or signs employed in celebrating Matrimony.

10.22 Marriage can be contracted by means of an interpreter.

10.23 Only those Marriages are valid which are contracted in the presence of the local ordinary or the pastor or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assists, and in the presence of two witnesses, according to the norms expressed in the following:

§1 The one assisting at a marriage is understood to be only that person who, present at the ceremony, asks for the contractants’ manifestation of consent and receives it in the name of the Church.

10.24 Unless they have been excommunicated, interdicted, or suspended from office or declared such, whether by sentence or decree, within the confines of their territory, the local ordinary or pastor, by virtue of their offices, validly assist at the Marriages of their subjects as well as of non-subjects.

10.25 As long as they validly hold office, the local ordinary and the pastor can delegate to priests and deacons the faculty to assist at Marriages within the limits of their territory.

10.26 Outside of a case of necessity, the rites prescribed in the liturgical books approved by the Church or received through legitimate custom are to be observed in the celebration of Marriage.

10.27 If the Marriage was contracted in a parish where a spouse was not baptized, the pastor of the place where it was celebrated is to send a notice of the contracted Marriage as soon as possible to the pastor where the baptism was conferred.

10.28 Local ordinaries and other pastors of souls are to see to it that the Catholic spouse and children of an ecumenical Marriage do not lack spiritual assistance fulfilling their obligations and are to aid the spouses in fostering the unity of conjugal and family life.

10.29 For only serious and urgent reasons can the local ordinary permit a Marriage to be celebrated secretly.

10.30 Parents have the most serious duty and the primary right to do all in their power to see to the physical, social, cultural, moral, and religious upbringing of their children.

10.31 Persons who are bound by a public vow of chastity invalidly attempt marriage.

    § The impediment cited in Canon 9.31 ceases only after a dispensation from the vow has been granted by the appropriate authority.

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