If a baptized Catholic marries a non-baptized person, is that a valid marriage?


Full Question

If a baptized Catholic marries a non-baptized person, is that a valid marriage? Are there any special requirements?

Answer

The Code of Canon Law allows this by dispensation only. Here are the requirements for dispensation:

The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  1. the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;
  2. the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;
  3. both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude. (CIC 1125)


Jim Blackburn