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Describe the nature, qualities and essential object of matrimonial consent according to Canon law and Canonical Doctrine. Comment on the required capacity of the parties to give a valid consent.

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Introduction

Canon 1057.1 of the Code of Canon Law states, "A marriage is brought by into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable this consent cannot be supplied by any human power" a) Describe the nature, qualities and essential object of matrimonial consent according to Canon law and Canonical Doctrine b) Comment on the required capacity of the parties to give a valid consent. Canon 1057.2 defines what matrimonial consent is, an act of will by which a man and a woman by an irrevocable covenant mutually give and accept one another for the purpose of establishing a marriage. Natural capacity, capacitas, is the capacity of the parties to posit a human act. So the consent must be from both parties and it must be an act of will. Consent cannot be feigned. It has to be deliberate and free, a deliberate act, which is a result of a series of internal acts to thought. It has to be free as well, meaning not forced upon the parties. A marriage is brought into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable. This consent cannot be supplied by any human power.(Canon 1057.1) It has to be externally manifested: society needs to know. Consent must be mutual. In Gaudium et spes (par.48) one finds, "The intimate partnership of married life and love has been established by the Creator and qualified by His laws. It is rooted in the conjugal covenant of irrevocable personal consent". Marriage is not something that was invented by man, but is a natural right derived from natural law. ...read more.

Middle

What is one to understand by lack of discretion of judgement? Our Marriage act contains a similar provision to this Canon, "A marriage shall be void if the consent of either of the parties is vitiated by a serious defect of discretion of judgment on the matrimonial life, or on its essential rights and duties... 5 We could perhaps reach a better understanding of the phrase discretion of judgment by looking at the way it has been interpreted in our Civil Courts: It seems that the discretion of judgment or maturity of judgment can be lacking if any one of the following three conditions or hypothesis are verified: 1. when sufficient intellectual knowledge of the object of consent to be given in entering marriage is lacking 2. when the contracting party ahs not yet reached a sufficient amount of reflection that is proportionate to the conjugal affair, that us a critical reflection apt for the nuptial 3. or finally when either party contracting marriage is deprived of internal freedom, that is, that the capacity to deliberate with sufficient weighing of the motives and, on the part of the will, freedom from all force from within 6. This demonstrates that the notion of discretion of judgment is not as such concerned with the intellectual capacity of the individual but rather with the use of such intellectual capacity in a practical way. The grounds for lack of due discretion...concern the presence or absence of that critical or judgemental faculty which continuing Rotal jurisprudence had seen as necessary for a person to give valid consent, in a meaningful way, to marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion Albeit any person can take part in a wedding ceremony, a person must have the capacity to marry for that marriage to be valid. Though having the proper intentions is also required, that is not enough. As Fr. Ladislaus Orsy puts it: A person intending to marry must have the capacity to think rationally, to decide responsibly, and to carry out the decision by action. This capacity must be present at the moment of the exchange of the promises (consent). If the validity of the promises (consent) is ever doubted, all that has happened before and all that has followed later can only serve as signs to determine the precise spirit of the person at the moment of the exchange of the promise (consent) 12. 1 Familiaris Consortio 12 2 Viladrich, PJ 'Matrimonial Consent in Code of Canon Law' (Montreal 1993 pg. 687) 3 St. Thomas Summa theol., Suppl., q. 58, art. 1, in corp. 4 Forum. Vol. I. pt.I p.20 5 Marriage Act, chapter 255. Section 19. 1d 6 Portelli vs. Portelli 14th August 1995 7 Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Westminster London, 30th January 1975 (reported in Matrimonial Decisions for England and Wales; coram Ashdowne; pg: 204-206) 8 Bersini F. 'Il Diritto Canonicale Matrimoniale', Elle Di Ci, Torino 1994, pg 99 9 Bersini F. 'Il Diritto Canonicale Matrimoniale', Elle Di Ci Torino 1994, pg 117 10 M.F. Pompedda, Incapacity to assume, cit. In Sable, p.197 11 M.F. Pompedda, Incapacity to assume, cit. In Sable, p.197 12 ANNULMENT Do you have a case? Terence E. Tierney by Joesph J. Campo 1998 , JCL University of Malta Aloysius Bianchi 1 ...read more.

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