Q: I read “Marriage and Annulment,” in which you state that “children who are born of a valid or of a putative marriage are legitimate,” and that “a putative marriage is one into which at least one of the spouses entered in good faith.” Could you please explain this further? I’m in the midst of an ongoing discussion-dispute with a friend who left the Church because her husband got an annulment. She insists it means the Church is saying her children are illegitimate, and she refuses to accept this. I don’t know how to respond to this argument and could use some pointers… –Gabe Continue reading
Q1: I was hoping you could answer a burning question of mine regarding vows and promises.
Background info: I’m a young guy with OCD [obsessive-compulsive disorder], I have a nasty habit of doing things I think are good and then I get intense anxiety afterward, with this in mind there’s (sic) several vows which I’ve been told are not indeed vows because they haven’t been made under the witness of a priest, but Canons 1191-1204 seem to show that any promise to God if it’s intended as a vow, becomes a vow only a bishop can dispense.
The actual question: Can a layperson make a vow without the witness of anyone else, and if so, can only the bishop or vicar dispense of it? –Daniel
Q2: I am a reader of your website, and have a quick canon law question I was hoping you could answer since it’s been a cause of scruples for me.
Canon Law 1197 gives the person who made a private vow the ability to commute it to a “better or equal good”, and mentions that those who have the power to dispense private vows per Canon 1196 (i.e., a pastor) can commute the vow into a “lesser good.”
Can a pastor validly commute a private vow to an equal or greater good, or can he ONLY commute it to a lesser good? –Geovanny Continue reading
(Part I of this article was posted on April 28, 2022, and can be read here.)
We have been discussing a scenario described to us by John, who wanted to know if his confirmation was administered invalidly. John was concerned about this because he concluded that before his confirmation, his parish priest had been excommunicated latae sententiae, on the grounds of schism. Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Crimes and Sanctions, Sacraments
Tagged baptism, canon law, Catholic, confirmation, excommunicate, invalid, marriage, priest, schism, validity
Q: I was confirmed as an adult convert by a priest who had faculties to do so. Recently, I have noticed that this priest has voiced his personal opinions about Pope Francis that are arguably schismatic. For example, that the Pope has shared heretical opinions in interviews and audiences.
It is my understanding that a schismatic incurs excommunication latae sententiae.
My question then, is does the potential latae sententiae penalty render the sacraments I have received illicit (albeit valid)? Or does the continued presence of formal faculties protect the legality of the sacraments? Would I need to be confirmed again? –John Continue reading
(On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will give the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in St. Peter’s Square, and under the proper conditions Catholics can gain a plenary indulgence. So it seems appropriate to repost the Church’s rules on indulgences at this time. A blessed Easter to all readers!)
Q: While watching live the election of the new Pope, the commentator mentioned that those receiving the Urbi et Orbi blessing could receive a plenary indulgence. My daughter was watching internet “live-streaming,” and my wife and I were watching on TV. My daughter asked me if we qualified. I did some research, and those who received the blessing in person or through the radio did qualify. I hypothesized that so did we, thanks to technical progress beyond radio. Was I right? –Bill Continue reading