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Code of Canon Law
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CHAPTER X : THE VALIDATION OF MARRIAGE
ARTICLE 1: SIMPLE VALIDATION
Can. 1156 §1 To validate a marriage which is invalid because of a diriment impediment, it is required that the impediment cease or be dispensed, and that at least the party aware of the impediment renews consent.
§2 This renewal is required by ecclesiastical law for the validity of the validation, even if at the beginning both parties had given consent and had not afterwards withdrawn it.
§2 If the impediment cannot be proved, it is sufficient that consent be renewed privately and in secret, specifically by the party who is aware of the impediment provided the other party persists in the consent given, or by both parties if the impediment is known to both.
2 - If the defect of the consent cannot be proven, it is sufficient that the party who did not consent, gives consent privately and in secret.
§3 If the defect of consent can be proven, it is necessary that consent be given in the canonical form.
Can. 1160 For a marriage which is invalid because of defect of form to become valid, it must be contracted anew in the canonical form, without prejudice to the provisions of Can. 1127 §3[4 ]. Article 2: Retroactive Validation
Can. 1161 §1 The retroactive validation of an invalid marriage is its validation without the renewal of consent, granted by the competent authority. It involves a dispensation from an impediment if there is one and from the canonical form if it had not been observed, as well as a referral back to the past of the canonical effects. §2 The validation takes place from the moment the favour is granted; the referral back, however, is understood to have been made to the moment the marriage was celebrated, unless it is otherwise expressly provided.
§3 A retroactive validation is not to be granted unless it is probable that the parties intend to persevere in conjugal life.
Can. 1162 §1 If consent is lacking in either or both of the parties, a marriage cannot be rectified by a retroactive validation, whether consent was absent from the beginning or, though given at the beginning, was subsequently revoked.
§2 If the consent was indeed absent from the beginning but was subsequently given, a retroactive validation can be granted from the moment the consent was given.
§2 A marriage which is invalid because of an impediment of the natural law or of the divine positive law, can be validated retroactively only after the impediment has ceased.
§2 It can be granted by the diocesan Bishop in individual cases, even if a number of reasons for nullity occur together in the same marriage, assuming that for a retroactive validation of a mixed marriage the conditions of Can. 1125 will have been fulfilled. It cannot, however, be granted by him if there is an impediment whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See in accordance with Can. 1078 §2, or if there is question of an impediment of the natural law or of the divine positive law which has now ceased.
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