Thursday 20th June 2019

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

August 10, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. If a Catholic marries a non-Catholic Christian in a non-Catholic ceremony without a dispensation from the bishop, is it a valid marriage? Two of my grandchildren have participated in such ceremonies. I of course pray for them to regularize their situation. Isn’t this the same as when they were cohabiting? — A.S.B., via e-mail.
A. As we have mentioned in the past, canon law (n. 1108) states that for a marriage of a baptized Catholic to be valid, it must be “contracted in the presence of the local Ordinary or the pastor or a priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who assist, and in the presence of two witnesses.”
That is the canonical form of marriage that is to be observed “whenever at least one of the contractants was baptized in the Catholic Church. . . .” (c. 1117). Since your grandchildren were baptized Catholics, and no dispensation from the canonical form was obtained from the bishop, they are not validly married in the eyes of the Church. And yes, the situation is the same as when they were cohabiting.
We will ask our readers to pray for your grandchildren and for all baptized Catholics who are living in invalid marriages.

Q. What on earth was Kevin Cardinal Farrell talking about recently when he said that priests “have no credibility” in preparing couples for marriage? Haven’t priests been involved in this work for centuries? Please comment. — L.C., New York.
A. In an interview in the July-August 2018 issue of Intercom Magazine, which is published by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Farrell, who is the head of the Vatican congregation on marriage and family life, said that “priests are not the best people to train others for marriage. They have no credibility. They have never lived the experience. They may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day . . . they don’t have the experience.”
That’s like saying that male doctors can’t be obstetricians and deliver babies because they have never been pregnant.
Didn’t priests grow up in families and witness their parents living out the ups and downs of married life? Don’t priests have brothers and sisters and friends who are married and who are shining examples of what married life is all about? Priests don’t live in a cave somewhere with no idea of the joys and sorrows, the blessings and difficulties of marriage. They interact every day with married couples in their parishes, and often enlist the help of those couples in the preparation of other couples for the sacrament.
One excellent rebuttal to the opinions of Cardinal Farrell has been provided by Fr. Roger J. Landry of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass. Writing in the July 20 issue of the Boston Pilot, Fr. Landry first quoted extensively from St. John Paul II and Pope Francis about the important role that priests can play in counseling those to be married.
For example, St. John Paul wrote in his book Love and Responsibility that priests’ lack of personal experience “does not hinder them since they possess a very rich indirect experience proceeding from pastoral work…[where] they encounter precisely these problems so often and in such a variety of ways and situations that another experience is created, experience that is undoubtedly more indirect and ‘foreign,’ but at the same time much more extensive.”
This secondhand experience, said Fr. Landry in paraphrasing John Paul, includes a priest’s “pastoral work, hearing Confessions, counseling couples, and sharing the joys and struggles of their married sons and daughters. They also have their firsthand exposure to the reality of family life from growing up in a family.”
Suggesting that Cardinal Farrell also seems to have forgotten remarks by Pope Francis in a speech to parish priests at the Vatican on February 25, 2017, Fr. Landry quoted the current Holy Father on that occasion:
“In most cases, you are the first people to be approached by young people desiring to form a new family and marry in the Sacrament of Matrimony. And it is again you to whom married couples turn in crisis as a result of serious relationship problems, with a need to rekindle their faith and rediscover the grace of the sacrament. . . .
“No one better than you knows and is in touch with the reality of the social fabric of the territory and experiences the various complexities: unions celebrated in Christ, de facto unions, civil unions, failed unions, happy and unhappy families, and young people.
“With each person and in each situation, you are called to be traveling companions who can offer witness and support. May your primary concern be to bear witness to the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the primordial good of the family, vital cell of the Church and of society, by announcing that marriage between a man and a woman is a symbol of the spousal union between Christ and the Church.
“Such witness is put into practice concretely when you prepare engaged couples for marriage, making them aware of the profound meaning of the step which they are about to take, and when you journey with young couples with attentiveness, helping them experience the divine strength and the beauty of their marriage through light and shadow, through joyful and difficult times.”
How does Fr. Landry put this into practice? He said that “I normally meet with couples cumulatively for about ten hours because I’m convinced that in a culture that doesn’t support marriage as the lifelong, faithful, and fruitful union of one man and one woman, this time is indispensable to help them build their marriage on the rock of faith. In addition to Marriage Encounter or other Pre-Cana programs I have them attend, I give them twelve short essays to write, so that I can better meet them where they’re at and help bring them to where the Church hopes they’ll be on their wedding day. I give them videos to watch and websites to visit.”
He said “over the course of our conversations we discuss their family backgrounds, how they met, how they determined the other was the ‘right one,’ how the proposal happened, what marriage means, why Christian marriage is a sacrament, what role God plays in their relationship, what is distinctive about married love, what they love about each other and how the other has shown love to them, what their desires are for children, how to grow in prayer and faith as a couple, how to forgive, and what marriage experts say are best practices on communication, finances, and relations with in-laws.
“We go over the what and why of the Church’s teachings about Natural Family Planning, adoption, infertility, cohabitation, contraception, in vitro fertilization, and pornography. We even tackle what do to if they happen to fall in love with someone else.”
Rather than his priesthood being a handicap, said Fr. Landry, “my priesthood is actually an asset. My chaste celibacy allows me to be more objective in talking about human sexuality in God’s plan than someone whose experiences are marked too much by personal experience.”
He said that many married couples “certainly can talk effectively and eloquently about various practical realities of living a Catholic marriage, but in general they cannot speak to the theology and sacramentality of marriage the way priests can and couples deserve. Not even most permanent deacons can address the ‘tough issues’ with regard to the Church’s moral teaching with the same clarity and confidence as priests. These priestly contributions are an indispensable service to couples who are often beguiled by our secular age to look at marriage in a desacralized way.”
Most important of all, said Fr. Landry, “is simply a priest’s presence and prioritized concern for the couple. Many young people, including Catholics, don’t know priests personally because they see them only in chasubles. Many come to marriage preparation not practicing the Faith, in one way or many, and have lots of unanswered questions and misconceptions that will impact their marriage and spiritual life overall if left unaddressed.
“Over the course of the hours we have together, those questions can come up. Trust can build. The practice of the Faith can return. Doubts about ‘credibility’ can be overcome. Real evangelization or re-evangelization can take place. When a priest shows how much he cares in making the time to get to know and form them, and then brings the fruit of that burgeoning friendship to their rehearsal, wedding homily, reception, future Baptisms, and more, it can have a favorable long-term influence on their relationship with all priests and with the Church.”

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Politics breeds evasion, abstraction, and euphemism. A politician is someone who can discuss abortion for hours without using the word KILL.

If capital punishment is inadmissible, how is excommunication (the spiritual version of capital punishment) admissible if its consequence is eternal death?

Load More...

Vatican’s doctrinal office expected to release document on gender theory

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- The Vatican’s doctrinal office is preparing a document which will address Church teaching and the anthropology of the human person in the context of so-called gender theory, according to a Vatican…Continue Reading

Illinois bishops oppose abortion law, disagree on Communion for pro-choice lawmakers

Baltimore, Md., Jun 14, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- While two Illinois bishops are unified in their strong opposition to the state’s new abortion law, they differ on the question of prohibiting to receive Holy Communion the Catholic state legislators…Continue Reading

‘The Decalogue’ for Nuncios (Pope Francis’ Full Address to Meeting of Papal Representatives)

The following is a ZENIT working full English translation of the discourse Pope Francis prepared and delivered today, June 13, 2019, to all the Papal Representatives, meeting in the Vatican from June 12 – 15,  2019: **** Dear Brethren, I’m…Continue Reading

Vatican rejects idea that people can ‘choose one’s gender’

The Vatican on Monday released an official document that rejects the idea that a transgender person has the right to “choose one’s gender,” according to reports. The Washington Post reported that the Catholic Church said in the document that the right to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell awaits verdict after prosecutor stumbles in appeal hearing

June 7, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The two-day hearing in Cardinal George Pell’s appeal before the Victorian Court of Appeal against his conviction for alleged child sex abuse in Melbourne, Australia, in the 1990s ended Thursday with a positive impression for the defense.…Continue Reading

Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis announces synod

St. Paul, Minn., Jun 7, 2019 / 06:04 pm (CNA).- Minnesota’s largest diocese will hold a synod— a meeting designed to help the bishop shepherd his local flock— during Pentecost Weekend 2021, Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced yesterday. It will be the…Continue Reading

Jerry Falwell, Jr., Rev. Kevin Cusick and the Satanic War Against Sex

Some entity or other doesn’t want me writing. First, my carpal tunnel has flared up something fierce. It hurts me to pet the beagles, much less to peel them off the dirty plates they’re licking inside the dishwasher. My favorite…Continue Reading

Biden Buckles, Flips on Hyde Amendment Under Pressure From Democrats

Former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his position on the Hyde Amendment Thursday after facing intense backlash from within his own party. Biden, while speaking in Atlanta, first reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade

Biden names pro-LGBT ‘Equality Act’ as top priority if elected

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Passing the radical pro-LGBT and pro-abortion Equality Act “will be the first thing I ask to be done” if elected president, Joe Biden said at the annual Human Rights Campaign gala Saturday. The…Continue Reading

Pontifical university bans top scholar who accused Pope Francis of heresy in open letter

ROME, May 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the English-speaking world’s greatest living scholars of Classical philosophy was told he has been barred from all Pontifical Universities after he signed an Open Letter along with a number of prominent clergymen and scholars…Continue Reading

Pope Francis responds to heresy accusation, China concerns

Pope425

Vatican City, May 29, 2019 / 10:05 am (CNA).- Pope Francis said he reacted “with a sense of humor” to the accusation of heresy made against him earlier this month. “It does not hurt me at all. Hypocrisy and lies…Continue Reading

Parish priest assails Catholic prep school’s decision to allow same-sex union announcements

The pastor of a Catholic parish in the Washington suburbs has publicly slammed the decision this month by Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School to allow announcements of same-sex unions in its magazine for graduates, calling it a scandal that was a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Archbishop Viganò clarifies points arising from new interview

ROME, June 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In the wake of two recent pieces in the Washington Post relating to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, an article and an extended interview (the first the archbishop has granted since his initial allegations concerning Pope Francis), renewed insinuations and smears have been directed at the former diplomat of the Holy See. In his June 10 interview, the archbishop claims that the actions so far taken against McCarrick are chiefly…Continue Reading

Pope backs carbon pricing to stem global warming and appeals to deniers

Carbon pricing, via taxes or emissions trading schemes, is used by many governments to make energy consumers pay for the costs of using the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming * Pope Francis tells top energy executives to act now * Pontiff urges world to heed scientific findings

U.S Bishops Approve the Revised Passage on the Death Penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults

BALTIMORE— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the revised passage on the death penalty for the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults. The full body of bishops approved the revised passage by a vote of 194 to 8 with 3 abstentions at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Baltimore, June 11-14. On August 2, 2018, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Holy Father’s revision to the teaching on the…Continue Reading

Democrats Fail to Get Enough Votes to Force Americans to Fund Abortions

House Democrats failed to garner enough support Monday for a measure to force American taxpayers to pay for abortions. The Washington Examiner reports the amendment came from a group of progressive Democrats who want to remove the Hyde Amendment from a Congressional spending bill. The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions in Medicaid. The Democrats pushing the measure were U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusetts, Barbara Lee, of California, Pramila Jayapal, of Washington, Diana DeGette,…Continue Reading

Cdl Burke, Bp Schneider issue ‘declaration of truths’ to correct rampant ‘doctrinal confusion’ in Church

ROME, June 10, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, together with several other bishops, have issued a public declaration of truths of the faith to remedy the “almost universal doctrinal confusion and disorientation” endangering the spiritual health and eternal salvation of souls in the Church today

Advertisement(2)

Where Did The Zombie Apocalypse Come From?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + Am I the only one who has noticed the proliferation of movies and television shows about zombies? Casual browsing on Netflix reveals not only the longtime series…Continue Reading

God’s In Charge

By Fr. MICHAEL P. ORSI (Editor’s Note: A priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., Fr. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Fla. He is host of Action for Life TV, a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Mediocrity Vs. The Golden Mean

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization, by Fr. George W. Rutler; 145 pages, EWTN Publishing. Available from Sophia Institute, www.sophiainstitute.com, in both print and electronic editions. Grace and Truth: Twenty Steps to Embracing Virtue and Saving Civilization, comes from televised talks which Fr. Rutler did for…Continue Reading

Floral Artist… Heads Back To U.S. Supreme Court To Protect Her Freedom

OLYMPIA — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing floral artist Barronelle Stutzman of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take her case after the Washington Supreme Court ruled against her on June 6. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the state High Court’s previous ruling against Stutzman and ordered it to reconsider…Continue Reading

Canada And The Erosion Of Conscience

By DONALD DeMARCO Pro-abortionists have consistently argued that a woman should have the freedom to follow her conscience. Granted that this notion of conscience is incomplete since it may not be properly formed, nonetheless it gave pro-life people the assurance that this right to one’s conscience would protect doctors who are opposed to abortion from…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article. Part one appeared in last week’s issue.) IV. The Church has long taught lex orandi, lex credendi (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church,…Continue Reading

God’s Greatest Gift To Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Corpus Christi (YR C) Readings: Gen. 14:18-20 1 Cor. 11:23-26 Luke 9:11b-17 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift and the greatest treasure we possess on Earth. God has given us many great gifts, but the Eucharist is God Himself! It is such a marvelous mystery that the whole universe cannot contain God, but…Continue Reading

Latest From Fr. Cusick . . . Modesty: A Woman’s Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK For readers following “the tweet hated round the world” story, more on the aftermath in this week’s column. Being removed a degree from Twitter after deactivating my personal account, and looking back at comments on the social media platform, is like being dead. People talk about me in the third person: “We miss him,” “Hope…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting on the Vatican accord last year to give the Communist regime in Red China a say in the naming of new Catholic bishops, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City offered these trenchant comments in a recent bulletin: “While the Holy See invokes two thousand years of diplomatic experience, China beats…Continue Reading

The Barbarians Have Won

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner has contributed numerous columns to The Catholic Thing, Crisis Magazine, and The Wanderer. He serves in the Diocese of Charlotte, N.C. This is a two-part article.) + + + Précis: Known as barbarians or heathens, the powerful enemies of the Church are both internal and external. There are many…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Anchieta

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the delta of the Benevente River on the coast of Brazil lies the city of Anchieta. With a population of 30,000, it is about 200 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Famous for its long sandy beaches, Anchieta houses the Espirito Santo state government offices which overlook the Atlantic Ocean. More than four centuries old, this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marcellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat

By CAROLE BRESLIN The end of the 18th century in France was a time of persecution for the Catholic Church with many priests and religious driven from convents and rectories, and others put to death. As more and more priests were martyred, the Church searched for good young men to replace them. In the history of the Church, there have…Continue Reading