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Code of Canon Law

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Title VII. Marriage (Cann. 1055 - 1165)

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership

of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education

of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that

fact a sacrament.

Can. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility, which in Christian marriage obtain a

special firmness by reason of the sacrament.

Can. 1057 §1. The consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons quali-fied by law, makes

marriage; no human power is able to supply this consent.

§2. Matrimonial consent is an act of the will by which a man and a woman mutually give and accept each

other through an irrevocable covenant in order to establish marriage.

Can. 1058 All persons who are not prohibited by law can contract marriage.

Can. 1059 Even if only one party is Catholic, the marriage of Catholics is governed not only by divine law but also

by canon law, without prejudice to the competence of civil authority concerning the merely civil effects of the same


Can. 1060 Marriage possesses the favor of law; therefore, in a case of doubt, the validity of a marriage must be

upheld until the contrary is proven.

Can. 1061 §1. A valid marriage between the baptized is called ratum tantum if it has not been consummated; it is

called ratum et consummatum if the spouses have performed between themselves in a human fashion a conjugal

act which is suitable in itself for the procreation of offspring, to which marriage is ordered by its nature and by which

the spouses become one flesh.

§2. After a marriage has been celebrated, if the spouses have lived together consummation is presumed until

the contrary is proven.

§3. An invalid marriage is called putative if at least one party celebrated it in good faith, until both parties

become certain of its nullity.

Can. 1062 §1. A promise of marriage, whether unilateral or bilateral, which is called an engagement, is governed

by the particular law established by the conference of bishops, after it has considered any existing customs and civil


§2. A promise to marry does not give rise to an action to seek the celebration of marriage; an action to repair

damages, however, does arise if warranted.

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