This is marriage in truth and fact – a state of life entered into by a good number of people, some of whom are either barred or disqualified from so doing: Marriage is a covenant by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which by its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children. (Cf. Canon 1055 CIC). Such is the objective gravity, standing attributions and pursuant obligations of marriage as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. So it is that Marriage is nothing less than a “Covenant” which certain individuals are not meant to enter into – for one grave reason or another. And so it is that the following may not validly have a Church marriage:
The following are known as Diriment Impediments for valid marriage. When either or both parties are below 18 years old. If the man and/or the woman suffer from relative or absolute impotence. In the event that either or both parties are in fact already married to someone else. In case the man and/or the woman are not baptized. When even but one party has the obligation of clerical celibacy or the vow of chastity. In the case when the woman is abducted for marriage purposes. If one party kills his own wife or her own husband to get married to another. When the parties are blood related up to the 4th degree, collateral line – or in any degree in the direct line.
The following are the Defects of Matrimonial Consent that also invalidates de facto marriage from its very beginning: Someone who lacks the use of reason, who is affected by the lack of due discretion for marriage intents and purpose, who is suffering from physical incapacity for the marriage covenant. Somebody who is ignorant of the nature and/or finalities of marriage. Anyone who commits an error about the identity of the other the former is precisely marrying. Somebody who is deceived in order to get married to someone. Anyone who on account of error, married someone else other than the party really intended. Somebody who merely simulated his/her consent to marriage. Anybody who gets married but subject to a condition in the future. Somebody who gets married due to force and/or fear.
The following are the three substantive and composite requirements for valid Church Marriage in terms of the observance of the prescribed Form of Marriage – the absence of anyone of which renders the marriage itself null and void from the start: One, the presence of a duly authorized Cleric – Deacon, Priest, Bishop – who formally and expressly asks the bilateral consent to get married to one another.
To get married is rather easy. But to stay married, to establish and live a conjugal partnership for a lifetime, to continuously work for and bring about the well-being of both the spouses plus to care for the welfare of the children born of their union – all these are not for anybody, much less for everybody. The preparation for marriage is exciting. The celebration of marriage is breathtaking. The honeymoon period is thrilling. Thereafter, married life is trying. So it is said and rightly so, that to get married is easy, to stay married for a lifetime is hard – if not very hard.