25 Gen Invalidity of canon marriage “ex parte consensus”: can. 1095, no. 1
The renewed conception of marriage that has found its true expression in the doctrine of the II Vatican Council (marriage as an event that essentially involves the life of the couple; with emphasis on the nature of personal commitment that it creates and therefore giving importance to the desires of the contracting parties), has given greater importance to the role played by matrimonial consent for the valid constitution of marriage. Therefore we will illustrate, through a whole range of practical and easy to read articles, the various hypothesis of invalidity of marriage ex parte consensus as highlighted by the code of canon law.
We will start with the hypotheses of cancellation related to the same ability to grant consent, deriving from an adequate possession of psychic faculties, implementing a suitable act of desire to give life to marriage. This is a special case of inability towards marriage that, as such, may be classified in the field of matrimonial impediments, the circumstances that have an effect on the natural capacity of man towards marriage.
The Codex Juris Canonici has highlighted how, through the canon 1095, numbers 1 to 3, three typical figures can be attributed to this general hypothesis of matrimonial nullity. It is important to point out that the field of psychic anomalies is filled with many complexities, miscellaneous elements and uncertainties, making it even more difficult to carry out specific definitions and classifications.
The absence of sufficient use of reason (can. 1095, n. 1)
These are cases of serious alterations to the psychic faculties that make the individual “incapable of understanding and wanting”, not able to be self-established in a clear and free manner with regards to the normal activities requested of the life of a couple.
The individual does not have adequate use of intellective and volitive faculties.
This incapacity may be caused by:
- a) psychic deficiencies of a permanent nature deriving from mental disorders or psychosis (schizophrenia, paranoia, maniac-depressive psychosis);
- b) organic illnesses that have a serious effect on the mental conditions of the individual (use of alcohol or drugs).
Previous history, the results and concomitance with marriage should be controlled.
The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
1. those who lack the sufficient use of reason;
2. those who suffer from a grave defect of discretion of judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and duties mutually to be handed over and accepted;
3. those who are not able to assume the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychic nature.