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Pope urges Church lawyers to stricter interpretation of marriage laws

In an address to open the judicial year the Pope has urged Church lawyers to a stricter interpretation of the laws governing the Sacrament of Marriage and the annulment of marriages.

The full Vatican Information Service statement can be found at the link below but the two crucial paragraphs are:

"The tendency to increase the number of annulments through manipulation, forgetting the perspective of objective truth, implies a structural distortion of the entire process. The fundamental dimension of the justice of marriage which bases its existence on a intrinsically juridical reality, is substituted by empirical theories which are sociological, psychological in nature, etc, as well as by different ways of juridical positivism. We cannot forget that an authentic juridical consideration of marriage requires a metaphysical vision of the human person and of the relationship between husbands and wives. Without this ontological foundation, the institution of marriage becomes a mere external superstructure, fruit of the law and social conditioning which limits a person in his free realization."

The Holy Father concluded by underscoring that "it is necessary to rediscover the truth, the goodness and beauty of the institution of marriage which, as a work of God Himself through human nature and the free consent of couples, continues to be a indissoluble personal reality, like the bond of justice and peace, united from the beginning to the design of salvation and elevated in the fullness of the times to the dignity of the Christian sacrament. This is the reality that the Church and the world must promote! This the true 'favor matrimonii!'"

VIS – To Roman Rota: presumption of the validity of marriage

30 Jan 2004