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About the authorCathy Caridi, J.C.L., is an American canon lawyer who practices law and teaches in Rome. She founded this website to provide clear answers to canonical questions asked by ordinary Catholics, without employing all the mysterious legalese that canon lawyers know and love. In the past Cathy has published articles both in scholarly journals and on various popular Catholic websites, including Real Presence Communications and Catholic Exchange.
- Canon lawyers are not responsible for the content of canon law. The Supreme Legislator is. Only Pope Francis can change the Code of Canon Law, so if you're not happy with what the law says, please take it up with him.
Please check the Archives first–it’s likely your question was already addressed.
Unsigned/anonymous questions are not read, much less answered (why is it necessary even to mention this?).
Tag Archives: valid
Is My Confession Valid, If the Priest Changes the Words of Absolution?
Q: Could you please go over the laws and minimum requirements for the valid celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. I fear that a lot of Catholics go to confession and hear all kinds of things in place of the … Continue reading
Posted in Confession, Parish Life, Sacraments Tagged absolution, canon law, Catholic, confession, penance, sacrament, valid Comments Off on Is My Confession Valid, If the Priest Changes the Words of Absolution?
Who Decides What Constitutes a Valid Sacrament?
Q: Canon law makes marriage illicit, not invalid. In your article “Are SSPX Sacraments Valid,” you quoted Canon 1108.1 that if the marriage isn’t celebrated in front of the bishop, pastor, or his designee, then “the marriage is invalid.” But Canon Law, … Continue reading
Canon Law and Simulating the Mass
Q: Last week we visited a missionary priest’s organic farm…. It was Sunday and I told the priest that we were worried that we wouldn’t get to Mass that day, since the farm is far away from the nearest parish … Continue reading
Posted in Clergy Issues, Holy Mass Tagged canon law, Catholic, consecration, Mass, priest, valid Comments Off on Canon Law and Simulating the Mass
If My Ex-Spouse Dies, Does That Make My Second Marriage Valid?
Q1: My first husband and I were married in the Church but then we divorced. I later married again in a non-Catholic ceremony. My first husband just passed away. Does that mean my second marriage is now valid? –Carrie Q2: … Continue reading
Why is This Method of Baptizing Illicit?
Q: I have recently discovered that my Presbyterian baptism was invalid (improper matter—baptizing with no flowing water). No investigation was done at the time of my conversion [to Catholicism], only a request for a baptismal certificate and so it was … Continue reading
Posted in Baptism, Canonical Issues Involving Non-Catholics, Sacraments Tagged baptism, canon law, Catholic, illicit, sprinkling, valid Comments Off on Why is This Method of Baptizing Illicit?