consanguinity - definition and meaning
Is spiritual relationship an impediment to marriage? mother, so in spiritual generation a person is born again a son of God as Father, and of the Church as Mother. in carnal relationship both by affinity and consanguinity to the same person. fact that although God may be the author of the bond, spiritual relationships are a on consanguinity, affinity or spiritual bonds would have little effect upon pro-. This may be seen in both kinship and non-kinship institutions. impediments by reason of consanguinity, affinity or spiritual relationship (God-parenthood).
Further, union of the spirit does not pass to the flesh. But marriage is a union of the flesh. Therefore since spiritual relationship is a union of the spirit, it cannot become an impediment to marriage. Further, contraries have not the same effects. Now spiritual relationship is apparently contrary to disparity of worshipsince spiritual relationship is a kinship resulting from the giving of a sacrament or the intention of so doing [See next Article, ad 3: Since then disparity of worship is an impediment to matrimonyit would seem that spiritual relationship has not this effect.
On the contrary, The holier the bond, the more is it to be safeguarded. Now a spiritual bond is holier than a bodily tie: Further, in marriage the union of souls ranks higher than union of bodies, for it precedes it. Therefore with much more reason can a spiritual relationship hinder marriage than bodily relationship does. I answer that, Just as by carnal procreation man receives natural being, so by the sacraments he receives the spiritual being of grace. Wherefore just as the tie that is contracted by carnal procreation is natural to maninasmuch as he is a natural being, so the tie that is contracted from the reception of the sacraments is after a fashion natural to maninasmuch as he is a member of the Church.
Therefore as carnal relationship hinders marriage, even so does spiritual relationship by command of the Church. We must however draw a distinction in reference to spiritual relationship, since either it precedes or follows marriage.
The Radical Catholic: The Choice of Mate
If it precedes, it hinders the contracting of marriage and voids the contract. If it follows, it does not dissolve the marriage bond: For either the spiritual relationship is contracted in a case of necessityas when a father baptizes his child who is at the point of death—and then it is not an obstacle to the marriage act on either side—or it is contracted without any necessity and through ignorancein which case if the person whose action has occasioned the relationship acted with due caution, it is the same with him as in the former case—or it is contracted purposely and without any necessityand then the person whose action has occasioned the relationship, loses the right to ask for the debt; but is bound to pay if asked, because the fault of the one party should not be prejudicial to the other.
Reply to Objection 1. Although spiritual relationship does not hinder any of the chief marriage goods, it hinders one of the secondary goods, namely the extension of friendship, because spiritual relationship is by itself a sufficient reason for friendship: Reply to Objection 2.
Marriage is a lasting bond, wherefore no supervening impediment can sever it. Hence it happens sometimes that marriage and an impediment to marriage stand together, but not if the impediment precedes. Reply to Objection 3. In marriage there is not only a bodily but also a spiritual union: Reply to Objection 4. There is nothing unreasonable in two things that are contrary to one another being contrary to the same thing, as great and small are contrary to equal.
Thus disparity of worship and spiritual relationship are opposed to marriage, because in one the distance is greater, and in the other less, than required by marriage. Hence there is an impediment to marriage in either case. Whether spiritual relationship is contracted by baptism only?
It would seem that spiritual relationship is contracted by Baptism only. For as bodily kinship is to bodily birth, so is spiritual kinship to spiritual birth. Now Baptism alone is called spiritual birth. Therefore spiritual kinship is contracted by Baptism only, even as only by carnal birth is carnal kinship contracted. Further, a character is imprinted in order as in Confirmation. But spiritual relationship does not result from receiving orders.
Therefore it does not result from Confirmation but only from Baptism. Further, sacraments are more excellent than sacramentals.
Now spiritual relationship does not result from certain sacramentsfor instance from Extreme Unction. Much less therefore does it result from catechizing, as some maintain. Further, many other sacramentals are attached to Baptism besides catechizing. Therefore spiritual relationship is not contracted from catechism any more than from the others. Further, prayer is no less efficacious than instruction of catechism for advancement in good.
But spiritual relationship does not result from prayer. Therefore it does not result from catechism. Further, the instruction given to the baptized by preaching to them avails no less than preaching to those who are not yet baptized.
But no spiritual relationship results from preaching. Neither therefore does it result from catechism. On the other hand, It is written 1 Corinthians 4: Therefore spiritual relationship results from the preaching of the gospel and instruction, and not only from Baptism. Further, as original sin is taken away by Baptismso is actual sin taken away by Penance. Therefore just as Baptism causes spiritual relationship, so also does Penance.
Further, "father" denotes relationship. Now a man is called another's spiritual father in respect of Penance, teaching, pastoral care and many other like things. Therefore spiritual relationship is contracted from many other sources besides Baptism and Confirmation.
I answer that, There are three opinions on this question. Some say that as spiritual regeneration is bestowed by the sevenfold grace of the Holy Ghostit is caused by means of seven things, beginning with the first taste of blessed salt and ending with Confirmation given by the bishop: But this does not seem reasonable, for carnal relationship is not contracted except by a perfect act of generation.
Wherefore affinity is not contracted except there be mingling of seeds, from which it is possible for carnal generation to follow. Now spiritual generation is not perfected except by a sacrament: Hence others say that spiritual relationship is only contracted through three sacramentsnamely catechism, Baptism and Confirmation, but these do not apparently know the meaning of what they say, since catechism is not a sacrament but a sacramental.
Wherefore others say that it is contracted through two sacraments only, namely Confirmation and Baptismand this is the more common opinion. Some however of these say that catechism is a weak impediment, since it hinders the contracting of marriage but does not void the contract. Carnal birth is twofold. The first is in the womb, wherein that which is born is a weakling and cannot come forth without danger: The second is birth from out of the womb, when that which was born in the womb is so far strengthened that it can without danger face the outer world which has a natural corruptive tendency.
To this is likened Confirmation, whereby man being strengthened goes forth abroad to confess the name of Christ. Hence spiritual relationship is fittingly contracted through both these sacraments. The effect of the sacrament of order is not regeneration but the bestowal of power, for which reason it is not conferred on womenand consequently no impediment to marriage can arise therefrom.
Hence this kind of relationship does not count. In catechism one makes a profession of future Baptismjust as in betrothal one enters an engagement of future marriage. Wherefore just as in betrothal a certain kind of propinquity is contracted, so is there in catechism, whereby marriage is rendered at least unlawful, as some say; but not in the other sacraments. There is not made a profession of faith in the other sacramentals of Baptismas in catechism: The same answer applies to the Fifth and Sixth Objections.
Reply to Objection 7. The Apostle had instructed them in the faith by a kind of catechism; and consequently his instruction was directed to their spiritual birth. Reply to Objection 8. Properly speaking a spiritual relationship is not contracted through the sacrament of Penance. Wherefore a priest's son can marry a woman whose confession the priest has heard, else in the whole parish he could not find a woman whom he could marry.
Nor does it matter that by Penance actual sin is taken away, for this is not a kind of birth, but a kind of healing. Nevertheless Penance occasions a kind of bond between the woman penitent and the priestthat has a resemblance to spiritual relationship, so that if he have carnal intercourse with her, he sins as grievously as if she were his spiritual daughter. This feeling must be indefinitely intensified between two who are to live together in the intimate life of holy matrimony.
Indeed, the advantages of such a condition, together with the evil consequences following upon the neglect of it, need a separate treatment. It will be sufficient here to say that the Church regards the matter as of the most vital importance.
The impediment is classified, with two others, under the title of " Prohibition of the Church. The one is the proclamation of the banns, by which each party is protected against possible fraud or mistake. The other is that which requires the consent of parents. It is part of the solemn duty of parents to watch over the children in an affair of great consequence. And indeed parents, especially the mother, do watch their children most anxiously. The law of nature compels it, the law of the Church sanctions it.
With reason, then, does the Church oblige children to consult their parents in the matter. Of course, cases may and do arise in which the consent of the parents is unjustly held back.
Some parents out of mere selfish love dislike to lose their children, and act all regardless of the divine ordinance that for the sake of matrimony a man shall leave his father and mother. In case of dispute, however, the children will not go against the wishes of their parents without first consulting their confessor.
Again, since the Church regards marriage as a great Sacrament, she encourages her children to celebrate it with great pomp and festive joy. It happens as a rule only once in a lifetime and, therefore, is most fittingly accompanied with banquet and merry-making. All these things, however, would manifestly be out of place during times set about for the more solemn religious exercises. The Church ordains, therefore, that marriages shall be discouraged during the seasons of Advent and Lent; in Advent until the feast of the Epiphany, in Lent until Low Sunday inclusive.
A marriage may, however, be permitted during these times, but it must be celebrated without any of that external display which would otherwise be so fitting on such an occasion. A third condition for a lawful marriage is that neither party shall be engaged to any one else. There are three points of view from which a previous engagement must be regarded.
It has a personal aspect, a legal aspect, and an ecclesiastical aspect. No man of honor will enter into a new engagement until he has been formally released from any previous engagement in which he may have become involved. It would, perhaps, be needless to say that he ought not to make serious overtures to another partner until he has been released by the first; for, oftener than otherwise, it is the appearance of a new face which is the cause of dissatisfaction with the old one.
A man in such a predicament owes it both to himself, to his previous partner, and to his prospective partner to arrange an honorable settlement as soon as possible. The claims of society demand that neither girl should be kept in a false position. The previous partner, too, may have legal rights to compensation for breach of promise. Then again there is the ecclesiastical aspect of the matter.
The law has recently been changed, and henceforth only those engagements hold good in ecclesiastical law which have been made in writing, signed by both parties and signed by the parish priest or ordinary, or at least two witnesses. Of course, couples may marry lawfully without such an agreement in writing, but without such an agreement the engagement will not be binding in conscience or produce any canonical effect.
It would produce a legal effect and a social effect; it would hold good in the eyes of the law of the country and in the eyes of all respectable society.
Nay, more, although there would be no obligation to marry, although the espousals were invalid, through want of proper formality, still those invalid espousals would render a person liable to all due restitution or damages just as if they were valid.
Thus the Church protects the weaker party in two ways.
First, she gives the warning and protects young people against imprudent engagements - engagements entered into without deliberation, and under circumstances when innocence and ignorance hinder the due consideration of the dignity of the Sacrament.
Secondly, she obliges the guilty party to make fitting restitution for all the material loss which the innocent party may have suffered in consequence. Another impediment, similar to that of previous betrothal, is the impedimental vows.
Obviously, a vow to do one thing is a hindrance to the making of a vow to do something contrary. So rarely, however, does this impediment arise that it may be left for individual treatment. If there has been a vow of any kind, the matter should be mentioned to the confessor. Further, there are a number of impediments which not only render a marriage unlawful and sinful, but also null and void.
Let us clearly understand the difference between what is unlawful and what is invalid. If I burn down my neighbor's haystack, it is validly burnt down, for there is no haystack left; but it is unlawfully burnt down. My action is valid, but not lawful.
If I shoot at my neighbor in the dark and miss him, my action is both unlawful and invalid. I have intended to take my neighbor's life, but have failed to do so.
Likewise, there may be certain attempts to get married which, on account of certain impediments, produce no effect. Such ceremonies are both unlawful and invalid. It is the duty of the priest to inquire whether there be any such impediments before he allows the celebration to take place. Most of them are so rare as not to need public treatment. When the banns are published, the faithful are told that if they know of any impediment, either of consanguinity, affinity, or spiritual relationship, they are bound to declare the same as soon as possible.
The impediment of spiritual relationship is that which arises out of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The chances of this relationship are reduced to a minimum by the custom of having a man as sponsor for the boys and a woman as sponsor for the girls. The two great diriment impediments, therefore, which need to be carefully watched by young people are the impediments of consanguinity and affinity. Consanguinity is the connection of blood relationship; affinity is the connection of relationship by marriage.
The Church excludes marriages between persons who may be related to each other within certain degrees of relationship. She thus forbids marriage between first, second, or third cousins; and also between a man and his deceased wife's sister. These are the more common cases in which difficulty arises and which need to be carefully guarded against. In some of them, of course, which are not involved in the primary law of nature the Church may grant a dispensation.
Nevertheless, she regards them as evil, and only grants dispensations in order to prevent greater evils. The disastrous results of intermarriage are well known. It leads to deterioration of the race, to insanity, to physical deformity, and to a general weakening of the social bond.
The Church, therefore, in setting her face against such marriages, proves herself to be the friend and guardian of the temporal, as well as of the spiritual well-being of her people. Now, although the Church is very strict in limiting the freedom of her children whenever it is for their good, yet at the same time she leaves much to their own individual judgment.
Those who look forward to a happy marriage, therefore, must avail themselves of that freedom which the Church allows, and use also their own sound judgment and common sense.
In this sphere one cannot lay down hard and fast rules. What is good in England may be bad in America; what is permissible in one degree of society may be inadvisable in another.
The custom of the country or of the particular sphere of Catholic society is a point which must always be considered.
Question 56. The impediment of spiritual relationship
Nevertheless, a few general suggestions may be offered. Character or virtue will be the first quality to be sought for in the choice of a mate. The predominant and essential virtues expected from the man are honesty and sobriety. These are especially manly virtues. In the natural order it is the sense of honor which will keep the husband faithful to his wife, and insure for her that respect, care, and protection to which she has a right.