Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pope conducts impromptu wedding on plane. I guess the Flying Elvises were busy.

So the problem with this, of course, is that this is yet another confirmation he wishes to teach that spouses are dispensable. The permanence of marriage is so insignificant, that one can literally get married without any discernment about compatibility, shared common goals.

Rob your family and loved ones of being present.

I get this was a convalidation, but the uncatechized are incapable of understanding the distinction, as one can tell by the secular media stories.

No guidance or catechesis or survival tools are necessary.  Rob the people who know and love you the most from advisory roles on conflicts they see that challenge permanence.  Immaturity, incompatibility, addictions.   There is no need to have a handle on what the Sacrament is and means and what you are promising when you make the vow.  It can be done outside of the Sanctuary, on a plane or in a public restroom.  Anyone who advises you differently-- be it a parent or a priest--is sourpuss who doesn't know Church teaching is the enemy of love.

And let us face it: the validity of an actual marriage under these circumstances would not survive canonical scrutiny.


Here is some information about the validity of conferring the Sacrament of Marriage outside of the Sanctuary.

In essence, it all comes down to permission, which is never granted. There are a few historical exceptions of deep-pocketed celebrities being granted permission.

This is also pertinent information on convalidation and radical sanation.

A spokesperson for the Holy See defended the validity.

Ed Peters doesn't seem convinced:

Burke also seemed concerned to defend the sacramental validity of the marriage, but misstated Catholic doctrine and law in order to do so.
“Doctrinally it’s ok because to be married the ministers are the people themselves, you just need a witness. There are a couple of other things, normally there are publications, and there are things that have to be passed over. But it’s perfectly legit and everyone’s happy,” said Burke.

Pope Francis performed on Thursday the first-ever papal marriage ceremony aboard the plane bound for Iquique, the final day of his Apostolic Visit to Chile!
Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, said the marriage was "totally legit" and "doctrinally OK".
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) January 18, 2018

American Canon Lawyer Ed Peters raised concern that the marriage was contrary to canonical form and may not be valid.

"Based on the reports...I cannot tell whether the ‘wedding’ that the pope put together for an unsuspecting couple satisfies Church requirements on marriage, and several other laws impacting the liceity of marriage seem simply to have been disregarded in the event," he wrote.

"As happened several times under earlier administrations, a representative from the Vatican Press Office assures us that 'everything was valid.' Such assertions by canonically unqualified and unauthorized PR staff carry, of course, no weight. Real questions worthy of real answers are still raised by this event," he added.

Peters said that "canonical form is still law for Catholics and that law goes to the validity of Catholic marriage."
The Code of Canon Law requires for marriages to be sacramentally valid that the vows of the couple must be received the local bishop or pastor or a clergyman or even layman to whom the local bishop has delegated the authority (can. 1108 §1) and must take place within a Catholic church unless a dispensation from the law is given by the requisite authority (can. 1118). The pope has the authority to dispense from these obligations.

Simulation of valid Sacrament does not seem out of the question. Will post more as experts weigh in.

More from Ed Peters.

The Pope is on his way to Peru. Could we see impromptu ordinations on a two-humped camel?


Anonymous said...

I do not know the marriage requirements in Chile and a LOT of details are left out of this story as well as the story posted at the National Catholic Register. No church wedding because of an earthquake eight years ago that left their parish church destroyed? What are they doing for Sunday Masses? Very suspect excuse.

While this may be a valid Sacrament, it appears to be highly illicit, extremely unwise, and seriously scandalous.

Everything you say is absolutely correct. The Holy Father is teaching, by his actions: “do as you please! Proper Matter and Form are no longer relevant.”

This kind of thing makes the clergy cringe with disbelief.

cogito said...

Would a convalidation, not in the Sanctuary, not even in the Church, but done in the pastor's office, be valid as the Sacrament of Matrimony?

TTC said...

Cogito, that is the six million dollar question. I don't feel qualified to answer it, but I have never heard of any Marriage or convalidation outside of the sanctuary and know of tlnotjing in canon law that permits it. I'm looking forward to canonical lawyers weighing in.

As a mother, im really concerned about the efficacy of telling our children they can't get married outside of the sanctuary. Like every other foolish thing he does, this gives credence to invalid marriage ceremonies and divides families.

I get that he wanted to fix the irregular situation, but he should have done it in private where the uncatechized could not make a scandal out of it.

Anonymous said...

AND, what about being in the Sttae of Grace to receive a Sacrament? I suppose Francis heard their Confessions first? This is a scandal!

cogito said...

In addition to all the confusion in the Church these days, now I do not know if I am validly married or not. And, if the convaldation was invalid, this means I am receiving the Sacrament of Eucharist sacrilegiously.
Please, anyone who knows canon law, help.

TTC said...

Cogito, the convalidation was done outside of the Sanctuary?

TTC said...


Here is some info:

I will update the post.

cogito said...

TTC, Thanks for the link to canon law. Though very thorough, it does not cover the case of a convalidation done in the pastor's office.

The pastor's office is in the same building as the Church, but upstairs from the Church and Sanctuary. I was in a foreign country where I knew no Catholics. We had no family or friends to invite. Just us two. For witnesses the priest summoned the parish secretary and a man who helps with church maintenance.

I feel bad about my doubts. The priest is a kind and good priest, but a product of Vat. 2 and a solid supporter of Pope Francis.

As a result of all the confusion about matrimony since the synods on marriage and family, I am starting to wonder if proper form was followed in our case.

TLM said...

Francis is NOT a man of the 'law'. He flies by the seat of his pants, willy nilly. The things he's doing are really not even rational let alone licit. Seriously, from the outside looking in, the things he does and says are not a picture of stability.....just the opposite. And they talk about TRUMP having mental problems??

Michael Dowd said...

The marriage in the air confirms the Pope's astonishing attitude about marriage ("most marriages are invalid"), his disregard of Church rules, his ever-readiness to score PR points, and his indifference to the souls of the people involved.

Every day and in every way Pope Francis lays waste to the Church. The fact that most Catholics are blind to this is evidence of how far the Church has fallen since Vatican II.

Anonymous said...

I assume that "Burke" is Cardinal Burke, the same Cardinal Burke who is trying to depose the Pope with the dubia? The same Cardinal Burke who held a high office specializing in Canon Law in Rome?

If that's correct, then Cardinal Burke's comments show the disintegration of Catholic thought far, far more than anything Francis has done.

Remember, Francis is not an anomaly.

cogito said...

The convalidation was done in the pastor's office, which was in the same building as the Church, but two floors upstairs from the sanctuary and church proper.
I was in a foreign nation, far from family and friends. We knew no Catholics. Father brought in the parish secretary and the maintenance man to be our witnesses.
He was an experienced and kindly priest, so I feel sad that now I am having doubts about the validity of our convalidation, thanks to the marriage stunt on Air Cana

TTC said...


Good grief - NO!!! The "Burke" quoted is Greg Burke who used to run The Sunday Visitor, the bastion of milquetoast theology bordering heresy which the Vatican chose to aid in their current mission to lead their people into confusion and error.

TTC said...


There's no question that the latest publicity stunt on a plane leaves questions answered about validity. From what I've heard from trustworthy priests, it was likely valid but illicit. The kindly priest was acting in good faith and in his mind he rescuing a couple from living in a habitual state of mortal sin. If it were me, or my child, I would go to a trustworthy faithful priest with a specific list of reasons why you are concerned your convalidation was not valid and ask him to weigh in. If he tells you it was ok, you can trust his judgment and put your concerns behind you. Prayers!

cogito said...

Thank you. Your comment is helpful and kind. Will follow your advice.

cogito said...

Thank you for your kind and helpful advice. Will follow your suggestion and consult a faithful priest.

The confusion that plagues many Catholics ever since the shady synods has undermined our trust in the sacraments. Sad.

TLM said...

Well, well, now we are beginning to discover that the 'impromptu' wedding wasn't so very much 'impromptu' after all. According to several sources the couple began 'planning' their 'airplane wedding' over a month prior with Vatican officials. So now, on top of being scandalous, they have also been LYING to us. It appears that this 'impromptu' wedding was nothing more than a publicity stunt probably in an attempt to pump up Francis' falling popularity numbers....and at the expense of the sacred sacrament of marriage. How very 'ingenious'. I believe the Catholic Herald also reported on this, but I'll have to look it up.

TTC said...

TLM - I can't say I'm surprised. With all the planning and follow-through it took, isn't it amazing they couldn't find their way to a parish for ten years?

TTC said...

Cogito - you are most welcome. It is sad, not to mention maddening. Thank God for faithful priests, bishops, Cardinals, the Deposit of Faith, Saints and the Sacraments. Prayers.