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cappie

No Church Wedding For Impotent Man

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cappie
An Italian bishop has informed a paraplegic young man that he cannot marry in the Church because he is impotent even though his fiancee is fully aware of his disability.

AFP reports that Salvatore de Ciuco, spokesman for Bishop Lorenzo Chiarinelli of Viterbo in central Italy, told SkyTG24 television that "no bishop, no priest can celebrate a wedding when he knows of admitted impotence as it is a motive for annulment" of the marriage.

The 26 year old groom, who took part in a civil marriage ceremony on Saturday in Viterbo, has been paraplegic since he was involved in a car accident. The curate of the parish who was banned from marrying the couple was present at the ceremony.
Canon 1084.1 of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church states that "antecedent and perpetual impotence to have sexual intercourse, whether on the part of the man or on that of the woman, whether absolute or relative, by its very nature invalidates marriage."

However, Canon 1084.2 adds that "if the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether the doubt be one of law or one of fact, the marriage is not to be prevented nor, while the doubt persists, is it to be declared null."

[url="http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hGUXgSnOGPqT7Tj6E24LGVeKx94Q"]http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hGUXgS...Tj6E24LGVeKx94Q[/url]

[url="http://www.ewtn.com/library/Doctrine/IMPOSTER.HTM"]http://www.ewtn.com/library/Doctrine/IMPOSTER.HTM[/url]

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jeffpugh
I guess it's procedure. That really really smells of elderberries, though. Can't they just adopt?
Though, I guess there's still the grounds for annulment.
Not trying to start debate...

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mommas_boy
My father is now paralyzed, after my mother and he were married, and is also impotent because of the accident. I question the ruling somewhat because I know that science has made recent advances in the area. I know that a man's potency following paralysis is really a case-by-case issue; who is to say that science won't provide the means at a later date? Also, there are many many options currently; it may be that the couple simply hasn't found the solution that works for them. :ponder:

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Paladin D
So if a person becomes impotent due to events out of his/her control, they cannot marry someone that they love?

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mommas_boy
[quote name='Paladin D' post='1568671' date='Jun 11 2008, 07:01 PM']So if a person becomes impotent due to events out of his/her control, they cannot marry someone that they love?[/quote]

Yeah. I'm scratching my head over this one, too. I can understand it being a grounds for annulment and so forth, but why not introduce a clause in the Canon Law that if the spouse knows about their partner's impotence before the marriage, the impotency would no longer be grounds for annulment in the future?

ETA: This would allow the partners to make a full, loving decision in view of the hope that science will provide the necessary means in the future. In the mean time, the couple can certainly try for a family, in hope that God may work a miracle. Edited by mommas_boy

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Norseman82
[quote name='mommas_boy' post='1568680' date='Jun 11 2008, 07:05 PM']Yeah. I'm scratching my head over this one, too. I can understand it being a grounds for annulment and so forth, but why not introduce a clause in the Canon Law that if the spouse knows about their partner's impotence before the marriage, the impotency would no longer be grounds for annulment in the future?

ETA: This would allow the partners to make a full, loving decision in view of the hope that science will provide the necessary means in the future. In the mean time, the couple can certainly try for a family, in hope that God may work a miracle.[/quote]

An annulment means that the marriage is null [i]from the beginning[/i]. A marriage does not start out as valid and turn null after X amount of time.

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mommas_boy
[quote name='Norseman82' post='1568688' date='Jun 11 2008, 07:10 PM']An annulment means that the marriage is null [i]from the beginning[/i]. A marriage does not start out as valid and turn null after X amount of time.[/quote]

Yes, I'm familiar with the theology on annulments. I am also familiar that personal defects not pertaining to the marital embrace are considered grounds for annulment if-and-only-if the partner is not aware of them at the time of the marriage, as this would mean that one spouse had been dishonest. If the partner is indeed aware of these defects, then the defects are not grounds for annulment because no fraud had been committed.

Refer to 1084.2 of Canon Law above: "if the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether the doubt be one of law or one of fact, the marriage is not to be prevented nor, while the doubt persists, is it to be declared null." I argue that recent scientific advances call to question what advances science will create in the future, thus generating doubt in whether or not the "impediment of impotence" will be permanent.

Furthermore, if the other partner is aware of the current impotence before marriage, then annulment on the basis of fraud is also avoided.

Thoughts?

ETA: Plus, happy surprises do happen; though they may be hit-or-miss. Why discount God's healing ability? Edited by mommas_boy

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alicemary
Sometimes I feel that Jesus must look down on some of His chosen and just shake His head. No wonder Catholics have such a bad rap. I am embarressed that this is supposed to be a bishop, shame on him.

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CatherineM
I dealt with a case like this, and the young man's doctor talked to the priest. There are electrical stimulation procedures that can be done in the doctor's office that allow a paralyzed man to provide a specimen for IVF purposes, that can also be used for the purposes of consummation. It's actually men who have lower breaks that have the most trouble because they end up having permanent catheters. It might not be the most ideal situation for a wedding night, but it does satisfy the requirements of canon law, and it only takes once.

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desertwoman
Wha? So if you are 65 and finally meet someone, and of course a woman is no longer able to have children at that time of her life... would she be denied marriage as well?

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Kitty
[quote name='cappie' post='1568630' date='Jun 11 2008, 06:21 PM']Canon 1084.1 of the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church states that "antecedent and perpetual impotence to have sexual intercourse, whether on the part of the man or on that of the woman, whether absolute or relative, by its very nature invalidates marriage."[/quote]

Dumb.

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