Encounters with myself … others … Life !
MATRIMONIAL CONSENT: Analysis and Practical Applications of Canon 1095
Canon 1095 is the Church law that ‘permits‘ annulment. The interpretation and application of this Canon is at the core of the debate on divorce and annulment.
I did not realise what a hot topic this would become when I decided on it in 2011 because I could not understand or agree fully with the Church’s stance.
By the time I completed my research, I appreciated the wisdom of Canon 1095 and the real ‘nature of consent.’ I understood there is a big difference between:
Matrimonium in fieri (marriage in becoming) – the act of creating a marriage and
Matrimonium in facto esse (marriage in its actual existence) i.e. what the exchange of vows creates: the abiding state of marriage.
Marriage is indeed sacramental – and the church needs to be sacramental in its approach to marriage, as well as to failed marriages – in short, TO LIFE.
“The manner in which, not just jurisprudence, but the entire church responds to Canon 1095 will be the touchstone of the Christian commitment to marriage … and by extension the mirror of the state of the sacramental Church. ”
Concluding comments: Fernando, R., Matrimonial Consent: Analysis and Practical Applications of Canon 1095.
I post here the research that took me from the contentious Preamble and questions I had to my conclusion above – with a prayer that the deliberations of the present Synod will lead to a more sacramental Church.
My Rationale :
The entire argument against annulment and divorce is based on the Biblical tracts :
They say “Marriages are made in heaven”. If this is correct, why do marriages fail?
Reality of failed marriages
We cannot avoid the reality that despite every effort and good will to the contrary, some marriages are just not meant to be and end up in (civil) divorce.
What is the status of these marriages?
The ecclesiastical position on these is ambivalent, even discordant because EITHER
Thus, I question:
There seems to be a lacuna in Canon Law from point of view of faithful/laity.
I would like to study the church’s position on above in an attitude of ‘faith seeking understanding’.
Does Canon 1095 solve the problem of divorce in the Church?
Can it allay the doubts in minds of the laity? (C 1095 comes to conclusion that average person is incapable of valid marriage?) .
AREAS FOR STUDY –
I would like to test my assumptions with some case studies on the feelings of the laity who have
to analyse the true role of the three factors pertinent to Canon 1095 in the break-down of marriages and presenting a lay, experiential perspective.
Spin off benefit – Suggestions for Pastoral Preparation for Marriage Under Canon.
The above proposal having been approved I completed my Thesis under our Professor of Canon Law.
The Thesis will be shared as soon as I have removed extraneous footnotes to make for easy reading.