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Catholic Weddings

Does anyone know


if a marriage, performed by a retired priest is legally binding?

I know it is not as far as the Church is concerned.

tia

Re: Does anyone know

  • Retiring for a priest just means he isn't doing full time ministry anymore (which are usually 12 hour days). A regular retired priest in good standing has faculties to perform/witness any sacraments just as if he were still working full time. In fact, many retired priests still are in residence at parishes and still celebrate daily mass, etc. 


  • I don't believe that the retirement was voluntary.  Does that change anything?
  • Sometimes when priests are close to retirement age and they are out of line on something like liturgical practice, or heretical teaching, but its not extremely serious, they may have them retire to do damage control.  The "retirement" status though doesn't change their ability to do sacraments. It's whether their faculties are removed. 

    I have no idea how the legal status works or changes if they no longer are allowed to do weddings within the church.   I know people  hire schismatic and other priests that have left the church to do their outdoor weddings so it has appearances of being catholic, so I would guess they legally can still do them? 
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited April 2012
    In Response to Re: Does anyone know:
    [QUOTE]Sometimes when priests are close to retirement age and they are out of line on something like liturgical practice, or heretical teaching, but its not extremely serious, they may have them retire to do damage control.  The "retirement" status though doesn't change their ability to do sacraments. It's whether their faculties are removed.  I have no idea how the legal status works or changes if they no longer are allowed to do weddings within the church.   I know people  hire schismatic and other priests that have left the church to do their outdoor weddings so it has appearances of being catholic, so I would guess they legally can still do them? 
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]

    I believe that he was "out" of the church enough that he would not have been allowed to marry two Catholics, in the church.  I guess this is more a legal question so I'll tell my friend to have her lawyer find out on his own. (They are getting divorced and she's not even 100% sure their marriage was legal)  You know, the less time you have to pay the lawyer and all that good stuff.
    thanks
  • Agape's definitely a better source on this matter than I am, but I just wanted to say that I think the priest who married my brother and sister-in-law was retired. Or at least semi-retired as he still said mass pretty regularly at our church and still did their marriage prep (since the parish was/is in need of assistance), but I'm pretty sure he was at least mostly retired. And as a side note, I thought the priest who did our wedding was technically retired as well - but it turns out he was just super old (and did actually retire a year later... at age 86).
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  • I don't think most states care about the good standing of former clergy within their own denominations.  If laypeople can become ministers for the day or the ULC can grant "clergy-status" to anyone who clicks the right button on the internet and those people can legally marry couples, I have a feeling that the marriage with a forcibly retired priest is legal, even if it's not recognized as valid by the Catholic church.
  • In Response to Re: Does anyone know:
    [QUOTE]I don't think most states care about the good standing of former clergy within their own denominations.  If laypeople can become ministers for the day or the ULC can grant "clergy-status" to anyone who clicks the right button on the internet and those people can legally marry couples, I have a feeling that the marriage with a forcibly retired priest is legal, even if it's not recognized as valid by the Catholic church.
    Posted by mica178[/QUOTE]

    This was exactly my thought.  I think as long as the marriage license is signed by someone legally allowed to perform a marriage in that state, it's binding.
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  • wouldnt it be legal as long as a marriage license was completed and filed? 
  • In Response to Re: Does anyone know:
    [QUOTE]wouldnt it be legal as long as a marriage license was completed and filed? 
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    In most states, it must be signed as witnessed by someone who is legally allowed to marry you. As others have said, these days that is an extremely broad definition, and I would imagine that a forcibly retired priest would stiff have the legal ability to marry.

    The couple would be presumptively married (legally) as soon as the license is filed with the state. The issue probably wouldn't come up at all until there was something like OOT's friend's situation that arises.
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