Code of Canon Law, Book IV Part I: The Sacraments
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Code of Canon Law (1983)
BOOK IV: THE SANCTIFYING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH
Canon 834 §1 The Church carries out its office of sanctifying in a special way in the sacred liturgy, which is an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy, by the use of signs perceptible to the senses, our sanctification is symbolized and, in a manner appropriate to each sign, is brought about. Through the liturgy a complete public worship is offered to God by the head and members of the mystical body of Christ.
§2 This worship takes place when it is offered in the name of the Church, by persons lawfully deputed and through actions approved by ecclesiastical authority.
Canon 835 §1 The sanctifying office is exercised principally by Bishops, who are the high priests, the principal dispensers of the mysteries of God and the moderators, promoters and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the Churches entrusted to their care.
§2 This office is also exercised by priests. They, too, share in the priesthood of Christ and, as his ministers under the authority of the Bishop, are consecrated to celebrate divine worship and to sanctify the people.
§3 Deacons have a share in the celebration of divine worship in accordance with the provisions of law.
§4 The other members of Christ’s faithful have their own part in this sanctifying office, each in his or her own way actively sharing in liturgical celebrations, particularly in the Eucharist. Parents have a special share in this office when they live their married lives in a Christian spirit and provide for the Christian education of their children.
Canon 836 Since Christian worship, in which the common priesthood of Christ’s faithful is exercised, must proceed from and rest upon faith, sacred ministers are to strive diligently to arouse and enlighten this faith, especially by the ministry of the word by which faith is born and nourished.
Canon 837 §1 Liturgical actions are not private but are celebrations of the Church itself as the ‘sacrament of unity’, that is, the holy people united and ordered under the Bishops. Accordingly, they concern the whole body of the Church, making it known and influencing it. They affect individual members of the Church in ways that vary according to orders, role and actual participation.
§2 Since liturgical matters by their very nature call for a community celebration, they are, as far as possible, to be celebrated in the presence of Christ’s faithful and with their active participation.
Canon 838 §1 The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.
§2 It is the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.
§3 It pertains to Episcopal Conferences to prepare vernacular translations of liturgical books, with appropriate adaptations as allowed by the books themselves and, with the prior review of the Holy See, to publish these translations.
§4 Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down for the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.
Canon 839 §1 The Church carries out its sanctifying office by other means also, that is by prayer, in which it asks God to make Christ’s faithful holy in the truth, and by works of penance and charity, which play a large part in establishing and strengthening in souls the Kingdom of Christ, and so contribute to the salvation of the world.
§2 Local Ordinaries are to ensure that the prayers and the pious and sacred practices of the Christian people are in full harmony with the laws of the Church.
Part I: The Sacraments
Canon 840 The sacraments of the New Testament were instituted by Christ the Lord and entrusted to the Church. As actions of Christ and of the Church, they are signs and means by which faith is expressed and strengthened, worship is offered to God and our sanctification is brought about. Thus they contribute in the most effective manner to establishing, strengthening and manifesting ecclesiastical communion. Accordingly, in the celebration of the sacraments both the sacred ministers and all the other members of Christ’s faithful must show great reverence and due care.
Canon 841 Since the sacraments are the same throughout the universal Church, and belong to the divine deposit of faith, only the supreme authority in the Church can approve or define what is needed for their validity. It belongs to the same authority, or to another competent authority in accordance with Canon 838 §§3 and 4, to determine what is required for their lawful celebration, administration and reception and for the order to be observed in their celebration.
Canon 842 §1 A person who has not received baptism cannot validly be admitted to the other sacraments.
§2 The sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the blessed Eucharist so complement one another that all three are required for full Christian initiation.
Canon 843 §1 Sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who opportunely ask for them, are properly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them.
§2 According to their respective offices in the Church, both pastors of souls and all other members of Christ’s faithful have a duty to ensure that those who ask for the sacraments are prepared for their reception. This should be done through proper evangelization and catechetical instruction, in accordance with the norms laid down by the competent authority.
Canon 844 §1 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments only to Catholic members of Christ’s faithful, who equally may lawfully receive them only from Catholic ministers, except as provided in §§2, 3 and 4 of this Canon and in Canon 861 §2.
§2 Whenever necessity requires or a genuine spiritual advantage commends it, and provided the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, Christ’s faithful for whom it is physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, may lawfully receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose Churches these sacraments are valid.
§3 Catholic ministers may lawfully administer the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist and anointing of the sick to members of the eastern Churches not in full communion with the Catholic Church, if they spontaneously ask for them and are properly disposed. The same applies to members of other Churches which the Apostolic See judges to be in the same position as the aforesaid eastern Churches so far as the sacraments are concerned.
§4 If there is a danger of death or if, in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop or of the Episcopal Conference, there is some other grave and pressing need, Catholic ministers may lawfully administer these same sacraments to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who spontaneously ask for them, provided that they demonstrate the Catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed.
§5 In respect of the cases dealt with in §§2, 3 and 4, the diocesan Bishop or the Episcopal Conference is not to issue general norms except after consultation with the competent authority, at least at the local level, of the non-Catholic Church or community concerned.
Canon 845 §1 Because they imprint a character, the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and order cannot be repeated.
§2 If after diligent enquiry a prudent doubt remains as to whether the sacraments mentioned in §1 have been conferred at all, or conferred validly, they are to be conferred conditionally.
Canon 846 §1 The liturgical books, approved by the competent authority, are to be faithfully followed in the celebration of the sacraments. Accordingly, no one may on a personal initiative add to or omit or alter anything in those books.
§2 The ministers are to celebrate the sacraments according to their own rite.
Canon 847 §1 In administering sacraments in which holy oils are to be used, the minister must use oil made from olives or other plants, which, except as provided in Canon 999, n. 2, has recently been consecrated or blessed by a Bishop. Older oil is not to be used except in a case of necessity.
§2 The parish priest is to obtain the holy oils from his own Bishop and keep them carefully in fitting custody.
Canon 848 For the administration of the sacraments the minister may not ask for anything beyond the offerings which are determined by the competent authority, and he must always ensure that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments by reason of poverty.
TITLE I: BAPTISM
Canon 849 Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments, is necessary for salvation, either by actual reception or at least by desire. By it people are freed from sins, are born again as children of God and, made like to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church. It is validly conferred only by a washing in real water with the proper form of words.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM
Canon 850 Baptism is administered according to the rite prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except in a case of urgent necessity when only those elements which are required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed.
Canon 851 The celebration of baptism should be properly prepared. Accordingly:
1° an adult who intends to receive baptism is to be admitted to the catechumenate and, as far as possible, brought through the various stages to sacramental initiation, in accordance with the rite of initiation as adapted by the Episcopal Conference and with the particular norms issued by it;
2° the parents of a child who is to be baptized, and those who are to undertake the office of sponsors, are to be suitably instructed on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attaching to it. The parish priest is to see to it that either he or others duly prepare the parents, by means of pastoral advice and indeed by prayer together; a number of families might be brought together for this purpose and, where possible, each family visited.
Canon 852 §1 The provisions of the Canons on adult baptism apply to all those who, being no longer infants, have reached the use of reason.
§2 One who is incapable of personal responsibility is regarded as an infant even in regard to baptism.
Canon 853 Apart from a case of necessity, the water to be used in conferring baptism is to be blessed, in accordance with the provisions of the liturgical books.
Canon 854 Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring, in accordance with the provisions of the Episcopal Conference.
Canon 855 Parents, sponsors and parish priests are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment.
Canon 856 Though baptism may be celebrated on any day, it is recommended that normally it be celebrated on a Sunday or, if possible, on the vigil of Easter.
Canon 857 §1 Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place for baptism is a church or an oratory.
§2 As a rule and unless a just reason suggests otherwise, an adult is to be baptized in his or her proper parish church, and an infant in the proper parish church of the parents.
Canon 858 §1 Each parish church is to have a baptismal font, without prejudice to the same right already acquired by other churches.
§2 The local Ordinary, after consultation with the local parish priest, may for the convenience of the faithful permit or order that a baptismal font be placed also in another church or oratory within the parish.
Canon 859 If, because of distance or other circumstances, the person to be baptized cannot without grave inconvenience go or be brought to the parish church or the oratory mentioned in Canon 858 §2, baptism may and must be conferred in some other church or oratory which is nearer, or even in some other fitting place.
Canon 860 §1 Apart from a case of necessity, baptism is not to be conferred in private houses, unless the local Ordinary should for a grave reason permit it.
§2 Unless the diocesan Bishop has decreed otherwise, baptism is not to be conferred in hospital, except in a case of necessity or for some other pressing pastoral reason.
Chapter II: THE MINISTER OF BAPTISM
Canon 861 §1 The ordinary minister of baptism is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon, without prejudice to the provision of Canon 530, n. 1.
§2 If the ordinary minister is absent or impeded, a catechist or some other person deputed to this office by the local Ordinary, may lawfully confer baptism; indeed, in a case of necessity, any person who has the requisite intention may do so. Pastors of souls, especially parish priests, are to be diligent in ensuring that Christ’s faithful are taught the correct way to baptize.
Canon 862 Except in a case of necessity, it is unlawful for anyone without due permission to confer baptism outside his own territory, not even upon his own subjects.
Canon 863 The baptism of adults, at least of those who have completed their fourteenth year, is to be referred to the Bishop, so that he himself may confer it if he judges this appropriate.
Chapter III: THE PERSONS TO BE BAPTIZED
Canon 864 Every unbaptized person, and only such a person, can be baptized.
Canon 865 §1 To be admitted to baptism, an adult must have manifested the intention to receive baptism, must be adequately instructed in the truths of the faith and in the duties of a Christian, and tested in the Christian life over the course of the catechumenate. The person must moreover be urged to have sorrow for personal sins.
§2 An adult in danger of death may be baptized if, with some knowledge of the principal truths of the faith, he or she has in some manner manifested the intention to receive baptism and promises to observe the requirements of the Christian religion.
Canon 866 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, immediately after receiving baptism an adult is to be confirmed, to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist and to receive holy communion.
Canon 867 §1 Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks. As soon as possible after the birth, indeed even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child, and to be themselves duly prepared for it.
§2 If the infant is in danger of death, it is to be baptized without any delay.
Canon 868 §1 For an infant to be baptized lawfully it is required:
1° that the parents, or at least one of them, or the person who lawfully holds their place, give their consent;
2° that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion. If such hope is truly lacking, the baptism is, in accordance with the provisions of particular law, to be deferred and the parents advised of the reason for this.
§2 An infant of Catholic parents, indeed even of non-Catholic parents, may in danger of death be baptized even if the parents are opposed to it.
Canon 869 §1 If there is doubt as to whether a person was baptized or whether a baptism was conferred validly, and after serious enquiry this doubt persists, the person is to be baptized conditionally.
§2 Those baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial community are not to be baptized conditionally unless there is a serious reason for doubting the validity of their baptism, on the ground of the matter or the form of words used in the baptism, or of the intention of the adult being baptized or of that of the baptizing minister.
§3 If in the cases mentioned in §§1 and 2 a doubt remains about the conferring of the baptism or its validity, baptism is not to be conferred until the doctrine of the sacrament of baptism is explained to the person to be baptized, if that person is an adult. Moreover, the reasons for doubting the validity of the earlier baptism should be given to the person or, where an infant is concerned, to the parents.
Canon 870 An abandoned infant or a foundling is to be baptized unless diligent enquiry establishes that it has already been baptized.
Canon 871 Aborted fetuses, if they are alive, are to be baptized, in so far as this is possible.
Chapter IV: SPONSORS
Canon 872 In so far as possible, a person being baptized is to be assigned a sponsor. In the case of an adult baptism, the sponsor’s role is to assist the person in Christian initiation. In the case of an infant baptism, the role is together with the parents to present the child for baptism, and to help it to live a Christian life befitting the baptized and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in baptism.
Canon 873 One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient; but there may be two, one of each sex.
Canon 874 §1 To be admitted to undertake the office of sponsor, a person must:
1° be appointed by the candidate for baptism, or by the parents or whoever stands in their place, or failing these, by the parish priest or the minister; to be appointed the person must be suitable for this role and have the intention of fulfilling it;
2° be not less than sixteen years of age, unless a different age has been stipulated by the diocesan Bishop, or unless the parish priest or the minister considers that there is a just reason for an exception to be made;
3° be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken;
4° not labor under a canonical penalty, whether imposed or declared;
5° not be either the father or the mother of the person to be baptized.
§2 A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted only in company with a Catholic sponsor, and then simply as a witness to the baptism.
Chapter V: PROOF AND REGISTRATION OF BAPTISM
Canon 875 Whoever administers baptism is to take care that if there is not a sponsor present, there is at least one witness who can prove that the baptism was conferred.
Canon 876 To prove that baptism has been conferred, if there is no conflict of interest, it is sufficient to have either one unexceptionable witness or, if the baptism was conferred upon an adult, the sworn testimony of the baptized person.
Canon 877 §1 The parish priest of the place in which the baptism was conferred must carefully and without delay record in the register of baptism the names of the baptized, the minister, the parents, the sponsors and, if there were such, the witnesses, and the place and date of baptism. He must also enter the date and place of birth.
§2 In the case of a child of an unmarried mother, the mother’s name is to be entered if her maternity is publicly known or if, either in writing or before two witnesses, she freely asks that this be done. Similarly, the name of the father is to be entered, if his paternity is established either by some public document or by his own declaration in the presence of the parish priest and two witnesses. In all other cases, the name of the baptized person is to be registered, without any indication of the name of the father or of the parents.
§3 In the case of an adopted child, the names of the adopting parents are to be registered and, at least if this is done in the local civil registration, the names of the natural parents in accordance with §§1 and 2 subject however to the rulings of the Episcopal Conference.
Canon 878 If baptism was administered neither by the parish priest nor in his presence, the minister of baptism, whoever that was, must notify the parish priest of the parish in which the baptism was administered, so that he may register the baptism in accordance with Canon 877 §1.
TITLE II: THE SACRAMENT OF CONFIRMATION
Canon 879 The sacrament of confirmation confers a character. By it the baptized continue their path of Christian initiation. They are enriched with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and are more closely linked to the Church. They are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF CONFIRMATION
Canon 880 §1 The sacrament of confirmation is conferred by anointing with chrism on the forehead in a laying on of hands, and by the words prescribed in the approved liturgical books.
§2 The chrism to be used in the sacrament of confirmation must have been consecrated by a Bishop, even when the sacrament is administered by a priest.
Canon 881 It is desirable that the sacrament of confirmation be celebrated in a church and indeed during Mass. However, for a just and reasonable cause it may be celebrated apart from Mass and in any fitting place.
Chapter II: THE MINISTER OF CONFIRMATION
Canon 882 The ordinary minister of confirmation is a Bishop. A priest can also validly confer this sacrament if he has the faculty to do so, either from the general law or by way of a special grant from the competent authority.
Canon 883 The following have, by law, the faculty to administer confirmation:
1° within the confines of their jurisdiction, those who in law are equivalent to a diocesan Bishop;
2° in respect of the person to be confirmed, the priest who by virtue of his office or by mandate of the diocesan Bishop baptizes an adult or admits a baptized adult into full communion with the Catholic Church;
3° in respect of those in danger of death, the parish priest or indeed any priest.
Canon 884 §1 The diocesan Bishop is himself to administer confirmation or to ensure that it is administered by another Bishop. If necessity so requires, he may grant to one or several specified priests the faculty to administer this sacrament.
§2 For a grave reason the Bishop, or the priest who by law or by special grant of the competent authority has the faculty to confirm, may in individual cases invite other priests to join with him in administering the sacrament.
Canon 885 §1 The diocesan Bishop is bound to ensure that the sacrament of confirmation is conferred upon his subjects who duly and reasonably request it.
§2 A priest who has this faculty must use it for those in whose favor it was granted. Canon 886 §1 A Bishop in his own diocese may lawfully administer the sacrament of confirmation even to the faithful who are not his subjects, unless there is an express prohibition by their own Ordinary.
§2 In order lawfully to administer confirmation in another diocese, unless it be to his own subjects, a Bishop needs the permission, at least reasonably presumed, of the diocesan Bishop.
Canon 887 A priest who has the faculty to administer confirmation may, within the territory assigned to him, lawfully administer this sacrament even to those from outside the territory, unless there is a prohibition by their own Ordinary. He cannot, however, validly confirm anyone in another territory, without prejudice to the provision of Canon 883, n.3.
Canon 888 Within the territory in which they can confer confirmation, ministers may confirm even in exempt places.
Chapter III: THE PERSONS TO BE CONFIRMED
Canon 889 §1 Every baptized person who is not confirmed, and only such a person, is capable of receiving confirmation.
§2 Apart from the danger of death, to receive confirmation lawfully a person who has the use of reason must be suitably instructed, properly disposed and able to renew the baptismal promises.
Canon 890 The faithful are bound to receive this sacrament at the proper time. Parents and pastors of souls, especially parish priests, are to see that the faithful are properly instructed to receive the sacrament and come to it at the opportune time.
Canon 891 The sacrament of confirmation is to be conferred on the faithful at about the age of discretion, unless the Episcopal Conference has decided on a different age, or there is a danger of death or, in the judgment of the minister, a grave reason suggests otherwise.
Chapter IV: SPONSORS
Canon 892 As far as possible the person to be confirmed is to have a sponsor. The sponsor’s function is to take care that the person confirmed behaves as a true witness of Christ and faithfully fulfils the duties inherent in this sacrament.
Canon 893 §1 A person who would undertake the office of sponsor must fulfill the conditions mentioned in Canon 874.
§2 It is desirable that the sponsor chosen be the one who undertook this role at baptism.
Chapter V: PROOF AND REGISTRATION OF CONFIRMATION
Canon 894 To establish that confirmation has been conferred, the provisions of Canon 876 are to be observed.
Canon 895 The names of those confirmed, the minister, the parents, the sponsors and the place and date of the confirmation are to be recorded in the confirmation register of the diocesan curia or, wherever this has been prescribed by the Episcopal Conference or by the diocesan Bishop, in the register to be kept in the parochial archive. The parish priest must notify the parish priest of the place of the baptism that the confirmation was conferred, so that it be recorded in the baptismal register, in accordance with Canon 535 §2.
Canon 896 If the parish priest of the place was not present, the minister, personally or through someone else, is to notify him as soon as possible that the confirmation was conferred.
TITLE III: THE BLESSED EUCHARIST
Canon 897 The most venerable sacrament is the blessed Eucharist, in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered and received, and by which the Church continually lives and grows. The Eucharistic Sacrifice, the memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, in which the Sacrifice of the cross is forever perpetuated, is the summit and the source of all worship and Christian life. By means of it the unity of God’s people is signified and brought about, and the building up of the body of Christ is perfected. The other sacraments and all the apostolic works of Christ are bound up with, and directed to, the blessed Eucharist.
Canon 898 Christ’s faithful are to hold the blessed Eucharist in the highest honor. They should take an active part in the celebration of the most august Sacrifice of the Mass; they should receive the sacrament with great devotion and frequently, and should reverence it with the greatest adoration. In explaining the doctrine of this sacrament, pastors of souls are assiduously to instruct the faithful about their obligation in this regard.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF THE EUCHARIST
Canon 899 §1 The celebration of the Eucharist is an action of Christ himself and of the Church. In it Christ the Lord, through the ministry of the priest, offers himself, substantially present under the appearances of bread and wine, to God the Father, and gives himself as spiritual nourishment to the faithful who are associated with him in his offering.
§2 In the Eucharistic assembly the people of God are called together under the presidency of the Bishop or of a priest authorized by him, who acts in the person of Christ. All the faithful present, whether clerics or lay people, unite to participate in their own way, according to their various orders and liturgical roles.
§3 The Eucharistic celebration is to be so ordered that all the participants derive from it the many fruits for which Christ the Lord instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Article 1: The Minister of the Blessed Eucharist
Canon 900 §1 The only minister who, in the person of Christ, can bring into being the sacrament of the Eucharist, is a validly ordained priest.
§2 Any priest who is not debarred by Canon law may lawfully celebrate the Eucharist, provided the provisions of the following Canons are observed.
Canon 901 A priest is entitled to offer Mass for anyone, living or dead.
Canon 902 Unless the benefit of Christ’s faithful requires or suggests otherwise, priests may concelebrate the Eucharist; they are, however, fully entitled to celebrate the Eucharist individually, but not while a celebration is taking place in the same church or oratory.
Canon 903 A priest is to be permitted to celebrate the Eucharist, even if he is not known to the rector of the church, provided either that he presents commendatory letters, not more than a year old, from his own Ordinary or Superior, or that it can be prudently judged that he is not debarred from celebrating.
Canon 904 Remembering always that in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice the work of redemption is continually being carried out, priests are to celebrate frequently. Indeed, daily celebration is earnestly recommended, because, even if it should not be possible to have the faithful present, it is an action of Christ and of the Church in which priests fulfill their principal role.
Canon 905 §1 Apart from those cases in which the law allows him to celebrate or concelebrate the Eucharist a number of times on the same day, a priest may not celebrate more than once a day.
§2 If there is a scarcity of priests, the local Ordinary may for a good reason allow priests to celebrate twice in one day or even, if pastoral need requires it, three times on Sundays or holydays of obligation.
Canon 906 A priest may not celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so.
Canon 907 In the celebration of the Eucharist, deacons and lay persons are not permitted to say the prayers, especially the Eucharistic prayer, nor to perform the actions which are proper to the celebrating priest.
Canon 908 Catholic priests are forbidden to concelebrate the Eucharist with priests or ministers of Churches or ecclesial communities which are not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Canon 909 A priest is not to omit dutifully to prepare himself by prayer before the celebration of the Eucharist, nor afterwards to omit to make thanksgiving to God.
Canon 910 §1 The ordinary minister of holy communion is a Bishop, a priest or a deacon.
§2 The extraordinary minister of holy communion is an acolyte, or another of Christ’s faithful deputed in accordance with Canon 230 §3.
Canon 911 §1 The duty and right to bring the blessed Eucharist to the sick as Viaticum belongs to the parish priest, to assistant priests, to chaplains and, in respect of all who are in the house, to the community Superior in clerical religious institutes or societies of apostolic life.
§2 In a case of necessity, or with the permission at least presumed of the parish priest, chaplain or Superior, who must subsequently be notified, any priest or other minister of holy communion must do this.
Article 2: Participation in the Blessed Eucharist
Canon 912 Any baptized person who is not forbidden by law may and must be admitted to holy communion.
Canon 913 §1 For holy communion to be administered to children, it is required that they have sufficient knowledge and be accurately prepared, so that according to their capacity they understand what the mystery of Christ means, and are able to receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion.
§2 The blessed Eucharist may, however, be administered to children in danger of death if they can distinguish the Body of Christ from ordinary food and receive communion with reverence.
Canon 914 It is primarily the duty of parents and of those who take their place, as it is the duty of the parish priest, to ensure that children who have reached the use of reason are properly prepared and, having made their sacramental confession, are nourished by this divine food as soon as possible. It is also the duty of the parish priest to see that children who have not reached the use of reason, or whom he has judged to be insufficiently disposed, do not come to holy communion.
Canon 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.
Canon 916 Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to sacramental confession, unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, which includes the resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.
Canon 917 One who has received the blessed Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only within a Eucharistic celebration in which that person participates, without prejudice to the provision of Canon 921 §2.
Canon 918 It is most strongly recommended that the faithful receive Holy Communion in the course of a Eucharistic celebration. If, however, for good reason they ask for it apart from the Mass, it is to be administered to them, observing the liturgical rites.
Canon 919 §1 Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before holy communion from all food and drink, with the sole exception of water and medicine.
§2 A priest who, on the same day, celebrates the blessed Eucharist twice or three times may consume something before the second or third celebration, even though there is not an hour’s interval.
§3 The elderly and those who are suffering from some illness, as well as those who care for them, may receive the blessed Eucharist even if within the preceding hour they have consumed something.
Canon 920 §1 Once admitted to the blessed Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.
§2 This precept must be fulfilled during paschal time, unless for a good reason it is fulfilled at another time during the year.
Canon 921 §1 Christ’s faithful who are in danger of death, from whatever cause, are to be strengthened by Holy Communion as Viaticum.
§2 Even if they have already received holy communion that same day, it is nevertheless strongly suggested that in danger of death they should communicate again.
§3 While the danger of death persists, it is recommended that Holy Communion be administered a number of times, but on separate days.
Canon 922 Holy Viaticum for the sick is not to be unduly delayed. Those who have the care of souls are to take assiduous care that the sick are strengthened by it while they are in full possession of their faculties.
Canon 923 Christ’s faithful may participate in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and receive Holy Communion in any Catholic rite, without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 844.
Article 3: The Rites and Ceremonies of the Eucharistic Celebration
Canon 924 §1 The most holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be celebrated in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water is to be added.
§2 The bread must be wheaten only, and recently made, so that there is no danger of corruption.
§3 The wine must be natural, made from grapes of the vine, and not corrupt.
Canon 925 Holy Communion is to be given under the species of bread alone or, in accordance with the liturgical laws, under both species or, in case of necessity, even under the species of wine alone.
Canon 926 In the Eucharistic celebration, in accordance with the ancient tradition of the Latin Church, the priest is to use unleavened bread wherever he celebrates Mass.
Canon 927 It is absolutely wrong, even in urgent and extreme necessity, to consecrate one element without the other, or even to consecrate both outside the Eucharistic celebration.
Canon 928 The Eucharistic celebration is to be carried out either in the Latin language or in another language, provided the liturgical texts have been lawfully approved.
Canon 929 In celebrating and administering the Eucharist, priests and deacons are to wear the sacred vestments prescribed by the rubrics.
Canon 930 §1 A priest who is ill or elderly, if he is unable to stand, may celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice sitting but otherwise observing the liturgical laws; he may not, however, do so in public except by permission of the local Ordinary.
§2 A priest who is blind or suffering from some other infirmity, may lawfully celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice by using the text of any approved Mass, with the assistance, if need be, of another priest or deacon or even a properly instructed lay person.
Article 4: The Time and Place of the Eucharistic Celebration
Canon 931 The celebration and distribution of the Eucharist may take place on any day and at any hour, except those which are excluded by the liturgical laws.
Canon 932 §1 The Eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place, unless in a particular case necessity requires otherwise; in which case the celebration must be in a fitting place.
§2 The Eucharistic Sacrifice must be carried out at an altar that is dedicated or blessed. Outside a sacred place an appropriate table may be used, but always with an altar cloth and a corporal. Canon 933 For a good reason, with the express permission of the local Ordinary and provided scandal has been eliminated, a priest may celebrate the Eucharist in a place of worship of any Church or ecclesial community which is not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Chapter II: THE RESERVATION AND VENERATION OF THE BLESSED EUCHARIST
Canon 934 §1 The blessed Eucharist:
1° must be reserved in the cathedral church or its equivalent, in every parish church, and in the church or oratory attached to the house of a religious institute or society of apostolic life
2° may be reserved in a Bishop’s chapel and, by permission of the local Ordinary, in other churches, oratories and chapels.
§2 In sacred places where the blessed Eucharist is reserved there must always be someone who is responsible for it, and as far as possible a priest is to celebrate Mass there at least twice a month.
Canon 935 It is not lawful for anyone to keep the blessed Eucharist in personal custody or to carry it around, unless there is an urgent pastoral need and the prescriptions of the diocesan Bishop are observed.
Canon 936 In a house of a religious institute or other house of piety, the blessed Eucharist is to be reserved only in the church or principal oratory attached to the house. For a just reason, however, the Ordinary can permit it to be reserved also in another oratory of the same house.
Canon 937 Unless there is a grave reason to the contrary, a church in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved is to be open to the faithful for at least some hours every day, so that they can pray before the blessed Sacrament.
Canon 938 §1 The blessed Eucharist is to be reserved habitually in only one tabernacle of a church or oratory.
§2 The tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved should be sited in a distinguished place in the church or oratory, a place which is conspicuous, suitably adorned and conducive to prayer.
§3 The tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is habitually reserved is to be immovable, made of solid and non-transparent material, and so locked as to give the greatest security against any danger of profanation.
§4 For a grave reason, especially at night, it is permitted to reserve the blessed Eucharist in some other safer place, provided it is fitting.
§5 The person in charge of a church or oratory is to see to it that the key of the tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved, is in maximum safe keeping.
Canon 939 Consecrated hosts, in a quantity sufficient for the needs of the faithful, are to be kept in a pyx or ciborium, and are to be renewed frequently, the older hosts having been duly consumed.
Canon 940 A special lamp is to burn continuously before the tabernacle in which the blessed Eucharist is reserved, to indicate and to honor the presence of Christ.
Canon 941 §1 In churches or oratories which are allowed to reserve the blessed Eucharist, there may be exposition, either with the pyx or with the monstrance, in accordance with the norms prescribed in the liturgical books.
§2 Exposition of the blessed Sacrament may not take place while Mass is being celebrated in the same area of the church or oratory.
Canon 942 It is recommended that in these churches or oratories, there is to be each year a solemn exposition of the blessed Sacrament for an appropriate, even if not for a continuous time, so that the local community may more attentively meditate on and adore the Eucharistic mystery. This exposition is to take place only if a fitting attendance of the faithful is foreseen, and the prescribed norms are observed.
Canon 943 The minister of exposition of the blessed Sacrament and of the Eucharistic blessing is a priest or deacon. In special circumstances the minister of exposition and deposition alone, but without the blessing, is an acolyte, and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, or another person deputed by the local Ordinary, in accordance with the regulations of the diocesan Bishop.
Canon 944 §1 Wherever in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop it can be done, a procession through the streets is to be held, especially on the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, as a public witness of veneration of the blessed Eucharist.
§2 It is for the diocesan Bishop to establish such regulations about processions as will provide for participation in them and for their being carried out in a dignified manner.
Chapter III: THE OFFERING MADE FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS
Canon 945 §1 In accordance with the approved custom of the Church, any priest who celebrates or concelebrates a Mass may accept an offering to apply the Mass for a specific intention.
§2 It is earnestly recommended to priests that, even if they do not receive an offering, they celebrate Mass for the intentions of Christ’s faithful, especially of those in need.
Canon 946 The faithful who make an offering so that Mass can be celebrated for their intention, contribute to the good of the Church, and by that offering they share in the Church’s concern for the support of its ministers and its activities.
Canon 947 Even the semblance of trafficking or trading is to be entirely excluded from Mass offerings.
Canon 948 Separate Masses must be applied for the intentions of those for whom an individual offering, even if small, has been made and accepted.
Canon 949 One who is obliged to celebrate and apply Mass for the intentions of those who made an offering, is bound by this obligation even if the offering received is lost through no fault of his.
Canon 950 If a sum of money is offered for the application of Masses, but with no indication of the number of Masses to be celebrated, their number is to be calculated on the basis of the offering prescribed in the place where the donor resides, unless the donor’s intention must lawfully be presumed to have been otherwise.
Canon 951 §1 A priest who celebrates a number of Masses on the same day may apply each Mass for the intention for which an offering was made, subject however to the rule that, apart from Christmas Day, he may retain for himself the offering for only one Mass; the others he is to transmit to purposes prescribed by the Ordinary, while allowing for some compensation on the ground of an extrinsic title.
§2 A priest who on the same day concelebrates a second Mass may not under any title accept an offering for that Mass.
Canon 952 §1 The provincial council or the provincial Bishops’ meeting is to determine by decree, for the whole of the province, what offering is to be made for the celebration and application of Mass. Nonetheless, it is permitted to accept, for the application of a Mass, an offering voluntarily made, which is greater, or even less, than that which has been determined.
§2 Where there is no such decree, the custom existing in the diocese is to be observed.
§3 Members of religious institutes of all kinds must abide by the decree or the local custom mentioned in §§1 and 2.
Canon 953 No one may accept more offerings for Masses to be celebrated by himself than he can discharge within a year.
Canon 954 If in certain churches or oratories more Masses are requested than can be celebrated there, these may be celebrated elsewhere, unless the donors have expressly stipulated otherwise.
Canon 955 §1 One who intends to transfer to others the celebration of Masses to be applied, is to transfer them as soon as possible to priests of his own choice, provided he is certain that they are of proven integrity. He must transfer the entire offering received, unless it is quite certain that an amount in excess of the diocesan offering was given as a personal gift. Moreover, it is his obligation to see to the celebration of the Masses until such time as he has received evidence that the obligation has been undertaken and the offering received.
§2 Unless it is established otherwise, the time within which Masses are to be celebrated begins from the day the priest who is to celebrate them receives them.
§3 Those who transfer to others Masses to be celebrated are without delay to record in a book both the Masses which they have accepted and those which they have passed on, noting also the offerings for these Masses.
§4 Each priest must accurately record the Masses which he has accepted to celebrate and those which he has in fact celebrated.
Canon 956 Each and every administrator of pious causes and those, whether clerics or lay persons, who are in any way obliged to provide for the celebration of Masses, are to transfer to their Ordinaries, in a manner to be determined by the latter, such Mass obligations as have not been discharged within a year.
Canon 957 The duty and the right to see that Mass obligations are fulfilled belongs, in the case of churches of the secular clergy, to the local Ordinary; in the case of churches of religious institutes or societies of apostolic life, to their Superiors.
Canon 958 §1 The parish priest, as well as the rector of a church or other pious place in which Mass offerings are usually received, is to have a special book in which he is accurately to record the number, the intention and the offering of the Masses to be celebrated, and the fact of their celebration.
§2 The Ordinary is obliged to inspect these books each year, either personally or through others.
TITLE IV: THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
Canon 959 In the sacrament of penance the faithful who confess their sins to a lawful minister, are sorry for those sins and have a purpose of amendment, receive from God, through the absolution given by that minister, forgiveness of sins they have committed after baptism, and at the same time they are reconciled with the Church, which by sinning they wounded.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT
Canon 960 Individual and integral confession and absolution constitute the sole ordinary means by which a member of the faithful who is conscious of grave sin is reconciled with God and with the Church. Physical or moral impossibility alone excuses from such confession, in which case reconciliation may be attained by other means also.
Canon 961 §1 General absolution, without prior individual confession, cannot be given to a number of penitents together, unless:
1° danger of death threatens and there is not time for the priest or priests to hear the confessions of the individual penitents;
2° there exists a grave necessity, that is, given the number of penitents, there are not enough confessors available properly to hear the individual confessions within an appropriate time, so that without fault of their own the penitents are deprived of the sacramental grace or of holy communion for a lengthy period of time. A sufficient necessity is not, however, considered to exist when confessors cannot be available merely because of a great gathering of penitents, such as can occur on some major feast day or pilgrimage.
§2 It is for the diocesan Bishop to judge whether the conditions required in §1, n. 2 are present; mindful of the criteria agreed with the other members of the Episcopal Conference, he can determine the cases of such necessity.
Canon 962 §1 For a member of Christ’s faithful to benefit validly from a sacramental absolution given to a number of people simultaneously, it is required not only that he or she be properly disposed, but be also at the same time personally resolved to confess in due time each of the grave sins which cannot for the moment be thus confessed.
§2 Christ’s faithful are to be instructed about the requirements set out in §1, as far as possible even on the occasion of general absolution being received. An exhortation that each person should make an act of contrition is to precede a general absolution, even in the case of danger of death if there is time.
Canon 963 Without prejudice to the obligation mentioned in Canon 989, a person whose grave sins are forgiven by a general absolution, is as soon as possible, when the opportunity occurs, to make an individual confession before receiving another general absolution, unless a just reason intervenes.
Canon 964 §1 The proper place for hearing sacramental confessions is a church or oratory.
§2 As far as the confessional is concerned, norms are to be issued by the Episcopal Conference, with the proviso however that confessionals, which the faithful who so wish may freely use, are located in an open place, and fitted with a fixed grille between the penitent and the confessor.
§3 Except for a just reason, confessions are not to be heard elsewhere than in a confessional.
Chapter II: THE MINISTER OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE
Canon 965 Only a priest is the minister of the sacrament of penance.
Canon 966 §1 For the valid absolution of sins, it is required that, in addition to the power of order, the minister has the faculty to exercise that power in respect of the faithful to whom he gives absolution.
§2 A priest can be given this faculty either by the law itself, or by a concession issued by the competent authority in accordance with Canon 969.
Canon 967 §1 Besides the Roman Pontiff, Cardinals by virtue of the law itself have the faculty to hear the confessions of Christ’s faithful everywhere. Likewise, Bishops have this faculty, which they may lawfully use everywhere, unless in a particular case the diocesan Bishop has refused.
§2 Those who have the faculty habitually to hear confessions, whether by virtue of their office or by virtue of a concession by the Ordinary of either the place of incardination or that in which they have a domicile, can exercise that faculty everywhere, unless in a particular case the local Ordinary has refused, without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 974 §§2 and 3.
§3 In respect of the members and of those others who live day and night in a house of an institute or society, this same faculty is by virtue of the law itself possessed everywhere by those who have the faculty to hear confessions, whether by virtue of their office or by virtue of a special concession of the competent Superior in accordance with Canon. 968 §2 and 969 §2. They may lawfully use this faculty, unless in a particular case some major Superior has, in respect of his own subjects, refused.
Canon 968 §1 By virtue of his office, for each within the limits of his jurisdiction, the faculty to hear confessions belongs to the local Ordinary, to the Canon penitentiary, to the parish priest, and to those others who are in the place of the parish priest.
§2 By virtue of their office, the faculty to hear the confessions of their own subjects and of those others who live day and night in the house, belongs to the Superiors of religious institutes or of societies of apostolic life, if they are clerical and of pontifical right, who in accordance with the constitutions have executive power of governance, without prejudice however to the provision of Canon 630 §4.
Canon 969 §1 Only the local Ordinary is competent to give to any priests whomsoever the faculty to hear the confessions of any whomsoever of the faithful. Priests who are members of religious institutes may not, however, use this faculty without the permission, at least presumed, of their Superior.
§2 The Superior of a religious institute or of a society of apostolic life, mentioned in Canon 968 §2, is competent to give to any priests whomsoever the faculty to hear the confessions of his own subjects and of those others who live day and night in the house.
Canon 970 The faculty to hear confessions is not to be given except to priests whose suitability has been established, either by examination or by some other means.
Canon 971 The local Ordinary is not to give the faculty habitually to hear confessions to a priest, even to one who has a domicile or quasi-domicile within his jurisdiction, without first, as far as possible, consulting that priest’s own Ordinary.
Canon 972 The faculty to hear confessions may be given by the competent authority mentioned in Canon 969, for either an indeterminate or a determinate period of time.
Canon 973 The faculty habitually to hear confessions is to be given in writing.
Canon 974 §1 Neither the local Ordinary nor the competent Superior may, except for a grave reason, revoke the grant of a faculty habitually to hear confessions.
§2 If the faculty to hear confessions granted by the local Ordinary mentioned in Canon 967, §2, is revoked by that Ordinary, the priest loses the faculty everywhere. If the faculty is revoked by another local Ordinary, the priest loses it only in the territory of the Ordinary who revokes it.
§3 Any local Ordinary who has revoked a priest’s faculty to hear confessions is to notify the Ordinary who is proper to that priest by reason of incardination or, if the priest is a member of a religious institute, his competent Superior.
§4 If the faculty to hear confessions is revoked by his own major Superior, the priest loses everywhere the faculty to hear the confessions of the members of the institute. But if the faculty is revoked by another competent Superior, the priest loses it only in respect of those subjects who are in that Superior’s jurisdiction.
Canon 975 Apart from revocation, the faculty mentioned in Canon 967 §2 ceases by loss of office, by excardination, or by loss of domicile.
Canon 976 Any priest, even though he lacks the faculty to hear confessions, can validly and lawfully absolve any penitents who are in danger of death, from any censures and sins, even if an approved priest is present.
Canon 977 The absolution of a partner in a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is invalid, except in danger of death.
Canon 978 §1 In hearing confessions the priest is to remember that he is at once both judge and healer, and that he is constituted by God as a minister of both divine justice and divine mercy, so that he may contribute to the honor of God and the salvation of souls.
§2 In administering the sacrament, the confessor, as a minister of the Church, is to adhere faithfully to the teaching of the magisterium and to the norms laid down by the competent authority.
Canon 979 In asking questions the priest is to act with prudence and discretion, taking into account the condition and the age of the penitent, and he is to refrain from enquiring the name of a partner in sin.
Canon 980 If the confessor is in no doubt about the penitent’s disposition and the penitent asks for absolution, it is not to be denied or delayed.
Canon 981 The confessor is to impose salutary and appropriate penances, in proportion to the kind and number of sins confessed, taking into account, however, the condition of the penitent. The penitent is bound personally to fulfill these penances.
Canon 982 A person who confesses to having falsely denounced to ecclesiastical authority a confessor innocent of the crime of solicitation to a sin against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue, is not to be absolved unless that person has first formally withdrawn the false denunciation and is prepared to make good whatever harm may have been done.
Canon 983 §1 The sacramental seal is inviolable. Accordingly, it is absolutely wrong for a confessor in any way to betray the penitent, for any reason whatsoever, whether by word or in any other fashion.
§2 An interpreter, if there is one, is also obliged to observe this secret, as are all others who in any way whatever have come to a knowledge of sins from a confession.
Canon 984 §1 The confessor is wholly forbidden to use knowledge acquired in confession to the detriment of the penitent, even when all danger of disclosure is excluded.
§2 A person who is in authority may not in any way, for the purpose of external governance, use knowledge about sins which has at any time come to him from the hearing of confession.
Canon 985 The director and assistant director of novices, and the rector of a seminary or of any other institute of education, are not to hear the sacramental confessions of their students resident in the same house, unless in individual instances the students of their own accord request it.
Canon 986 §1 All to whom by virtue of office the care of souls is committed, are bound to provide for the hearing of the confessions of the faithful entrusted to them, who reasonably request confession, and they are to provide these faithful with an opportunity to make individual confession on days and at times arranged to suit them.
§2 In an urgent necessity, every confessor is bound to hear the confessions of Christ’s faithful, and in danger of death every priest is so obliged.
Chapter III: THE PENITENT
Canon 987 In order that the faithful may receive the saving remedy of the sacrament of penance, they must be so disposed that, repudiating the sins they have committed and having the purpose of amending their lives, they turn back to God.
Canon 988 §1 The faithful are bound to confess, in kind and in number, all grave sins committed after baptism, of which after careful examination of conscience they are aware, which have not yet been directly pardoned by the keys of the Church, and which have not been confessed in an individual confession.
§2 The faithful are recommended to confess also venial sins.
Canon 989 All the faithful who have reached the age of discretion are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year.
Canon 990 No one is forbidden to confess through an interpreter, provided however that abuse and scandal are avoided, and without prejudice to the provision of Canon 983 §2.
Canon 991 All Christ’s faithful are free to confess their sins to lawfully approved confessors of their own choice, even to one of another rite.
Chapter IV: INDULGENCES
Canon 992 An indulgence is the remission in the sight of God of the temporal punishment due for sins, the guilt of which has already been forgiven. A member of Christ’s faithful who is properly disposed and who fulfils certain specific conditions, may gain an indulgence by the help of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of the merits of Christ and the Saints.
Canon 993 An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it partially or wholly frees a person from the temporal punishment due for sins.
Canon 994 All members of the faithful can gain indulgences, partial or plenary, for themselves, or they can apply them by way of suffrage to the dead.
Canon 995 §1 Apart from the supreme authority in the Church, only those can grant indulgences to whom this power is either acknowledged in the law, or given by the Roman Pontiff.
§2 No authority below the Roman Pontiff can give to others the faculty of granting indulgences, unless this authority has been expressly given to the person by the Apostolic See.
Canon 996 §1 To be capable of gaining indulgences a person must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least on the completion of the prescribed work.
§2 To gain them, however, the person who is capable must have at least the intention of gaining them, and must fulfill the prescribed works at the time and in the manner determined by the terms of the grant.
Canon 997 As far as the granting and the use of indulgences is concerned, the other provisions contained in the special laws of the Church must also be observed.
TITLE V: THE SACRAMENT OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Canon 998 The anointing of the sick, by which the Church commends to the suffering and glorified Lord the faithful who are dangerously ill so that he may support and save them, is conferred by anointing them with oil and pronouncing the words prescribed in the liturgical books.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENT
Canon 999 The oil to be used in the anointing of the sick can be blessed not only by a Bishop but also by:
1° those who are in law equivalent to the diocesan Bishop;
2° in a case of necessity, any priest but only in the actual celebration of the sacrament.
Canon 1000 §1 The anointings are to be carried out accurately, with the words and in the order and manner prescribed in the liturgical books. In a case of necessity, however, a single anointing on the forehead, or even on another part of the body, is sufficient while the full formula is recited.
§2 The minister is to anoint with his own hand, unless a grave reason indicates the use of an instrument.
Canon 1001 Pastors of souls and those who are close to the sick are to ensure that the sick are helped by this sacrament in good time.
Canon 1002 The communal celebration of anointing of the sick, for a number of the sick together, who have been appropriately prepared and are rightly disposed, may be held in accordance with the regulations of the diocesan Bishop.
Chapter II: THE MINISTER OF ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Canon 1003 §1 Every priest, but only a priest, can validly administer the anointing of the sick.
§2 All priests to whom has been committed the care of souls, have the obligation and the right to administer the anointing of the sick to those of the faithful entrusted to their pastoral care. For a reasonable cause, any other priest may administer this sacrament if he has the consent, at least presumed, of the aforementioned priest.
§3 Any priest may carry the holy oil with him, so that in a case of necessity he can administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick.
Chapter III: THOSE TO BE ANOINTED
Canon 1004 §1 The anointing of the sick can be administered to any member of the faithful who, having reached the use of reason, begins to be in danger of death by reason of illness or old age.
§2 This sacrament can be repeated if the sick person, having recovered, again becomes seriously ill or if, in the same illness, the danger becomes more serious.
Canon 1005 If there is any doubt as to whether the sick person has reached the age of reason, or is dangerously ill, or is dead, this sacrament is to be administered.
Canon 1006 This sacrament is to be administered to the sick who, when they were in possession of their faculties, at least implicitly asked for it.
Canon 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in a manifestly grave sin.
TITLE VI: ORDERS
Canon 1008 By divine institution some among Christ’s faithful are, through the sacrament of order, marked with an indelible character and are thus constituted sacred ministers; thereby they are consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they fulfill, in the person of Christ the Head, the offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling, and so they nourish the people of God.
Canon 1009 §1 The orders are the episcopate, the priesthood and the Diaconate.
§2 They are conferred by the imposition of hands and the prayer of consecration which the liturgical books prescribe for each grade.
Chapter I: THE CELEBRATION OF ORDINATION AND THE MINISTER
Canon 1010 An ordination is to be celebrated during Mass, on a Sunday or holyday of obligation. For pastoral reasons, however, it may take place on other days also, even on ferial days.
Canon 1011 §1 An ordination is normally to be celebrated in the cathedral church. For pastoral reasons, however, it may be celebrated in another church or oratory.
§2 Clerics and other members of Christ’s faithful are to be invited to attend an ordination, so that the greatest possible number may be present at the celebration.
Canon 1012 The minister of sacred ordination is a consecrated Bishop.
Canon 1013 No Bishop is permitted to consecrate anyone as Bishop, unless it is first established that a pontifical mandate has been issued.
Canon 1014 Unless a dispensation has been granted by the Apostolic See, the principal consecrating Bishop at an Episcopal consecration is to have at least two other consecrating Bishops with him. It is, however, entirely appropriate that all the Bishops present should join with these in consecrating the Bishop-elect.
Canon 1015 §1 Each candidate is to be ordained to the priesthood or to the Diaconate by his proper Bishop, or with lawful dimissorial letters granted by that Bishop.
§2 If not impeded from doing so by a just reason, a Bishop is himself to ordain his own subjects. He may not, however, without an apostolic indult lawfully ordain a subject of an oriental rite.
§3 Anyone who is entitled to give dimissorial letters for the reception of orders may also himself confer these orders, if he is a Bishop.
Canon 1016 In what concerns the ordination to the Diaconate of those who intend to enroll themselves in the secular clergy, the proper Bishop is the Bishop of the diocese in which the aspirant has a domicile, or the Bishop of the diocese to which he intends to devote himself. In what concerns the priestly ordination of the secular clergy, it is the Bishop of the diocese in which the aspirant was incardinated by the Diaconate.
Canon 1017 A Bishop may not confer orders outside his own jurisdiction except with the permission of the diocesan Bishop.
Canon 1018 §1 The following can give dimissorial letters for the secular clergy:
1° the proper Bishop mentioned in Canon 1016;
2° the apostolic Administrator; with the consent of the college of consultors, the diocesan Administrator; with the consent of the council mentioned in Canon 495 §2, the Pro-vicar and Pro-prefect apostolic.
§2 The diocesan Administrator, the Pro-vicar and Pro-prefect apostolic are not to give dimissorial letters to those to whom admission to orders was refused by the diocesan Bishop or by the Vicar or Prefect apostolic.
Canon 1019 §1 It belongs to the major Superior of a clerical religious institute of pontifical right or of a clerical society of apostolic life of pontifical right to grant dimissorial letters for the Diaconate and for the priesthood to his subjects who are, in accordance with the constitutions, perpetually or definitively enrolled in the institute or society.
§2 The ordination of all other candidates of whatever institute or society, is governed by the law applying to the secular clergy, any indult whatsoever granted to Superiors being revoked.
Canon 1020 Dimissorial letters are not to be granted unless all the testimonials and documents required by the law in accordance with Canon. 1050 and 1051 have first been obtained.
Canon 1021 Dimissorial letters may be sent to any Bishop in communion with the Apostolic See, but not to a Bishop of a rite other than that of the ordinand, unless there is an apostolic indult.
Canon 1022 When the ordaining Bishop has received the prescribed dimissorial letters, he may proceed to the ordination only when the authenticity of these letters is established beyond any doubt whatever.
Canon 1023 Dimissorial letters can be limited or can be revoked by the person granting them or by his successor; once granted, they do not lapse on the expiry of the grantor’s authority.
Chapter II: THOSE TO BE ORDAINED
Canon 1024 Only a baptized man can validly receive sacred ordination.
Canon 1025 §1 In order lawfully to confer the orders of priesthood or Diaconate, it must have been established, in accordance with the proofs laid down by law, that in the judgment of the proper Bishop or competent major Superior, the candidate possesses the requisite qualities, that he is free of any irregularity or impediment, and that he has fulfilled the requirements set out in Canon 1033--1039. Moreover, the documents mentioned in Canon 1050 must be to hand, and the investigation mentioned in Canon 1051 must have been carried out.
§2 It is further required that, in the judgment of the same lawful Superior, the candidate is considered beneficial to the ministry of the Church.
§3 A Bishop ordaining his own subject who is destined for the service of another diocese, must be certain that the ordinand will in fact be attached to that other diocese.
Article 1: The Requirements in those to be Ordained
Canon 1026 For a person to be ordained, he must enjoy the requisite freedom. It is absolutely wrong to compel anyone, in any way or for any reason whatsoever, to receive orders, or to turn away from orders anyone who is canonically suitable.
Canon 1027 Aspirants to the Diaconate and the priesthood are to be formed by careful preparation in accordance with the law.
Canon 1028 The diocesan Bishop or the competent Superior must ensure that before they are promoted to any order, candidates are properly instructed concerning the order itself and its obligations.
Canon 1029 Only those are to be promoted to orders who, in the prudent judgment of the proper Bishop or the competent major Superior, all things considered, have sound faith, are motivated by the right intention, are endowed with the requisite knowledge, enjoy a good reputation, and have moral probity, proven virtue and the other physical and psychological qualities appropriate to the order to be received.
Canon 1030 The proper Bishop or the competent major Superior may, but only for a canonical reason, even one which is occult, forbid admission to the priesthood to deacons subject to them who were destined for the priesthood, without prejudice to recourse in accordance with the law.
Canon 1031 §1 The priesthood may be conferred only upon those who have completed their twenty-fifth year of age, and possess a sufficient maturity; moreover, an interval of at least six months between the Diaconate and the priesthood must have been observed. Those who are destined for the priesthood are to be admitted to the order of Diaconate only when they have completed their twenty-third year.
§2 A candidate for the permanent Diaconate who is not married may be admitted to the Diaconate only when he has completed at least his twenty-fifth year; if he is married, not until he has completed at least his thirty-fifth year, and then with the consent of his wife.
§3 Episcopal Conferences may issue a regulation which requires a later age for the priesthood and for the permanent Diaconate.
§4 A dispensation of more than a year from the age required by §§1 and 2 is reserved to the Apostolic See.
Canon 1032 §1 Aspirants to the priesthood may be promoted to the Diaconate only when they have completed the fifth year of the curriculum of philosophical and theological studies.
§2 After completing the curriculum of studies and before being promoted to the priesthood, deacons are to spend an appropriate time, to be determined by the Bishop or by the competent major Superior, exercising the diaconal order and taking part in the pastoral ministry.
§3 An aspirant to the permanent Diaconate is not to be promoted to this order until he has completed the period of formation.
Article 2: Prerequisites for Ordination
Canon 1033 Only one who has received the sacrament of sacred confirmation may lawfully be promoted to orders.
Canon 1034 §1 An aspirant to the Diaconate or to the priesthood is not to be ordained unless he has first, through the liturgical rite of admission, secured enrolment as a candidate from the authority mentioned in Canon. 1016 and 1019. He must previously have submitted a petition in his own hand and signed by him, which has been accepted in writing by the same authority.
§2 One who has by vows become a member of a clerical institute is not obliged to obtain this admission.
Canon 1035 §1 Before anyone may be promoted to the Diaconate, whether permanent or transitory, he must have received the ministries of lector and acolyte, and have exercised them for an appropriate time.
§2 Between the conferring of the ministry of acolyte and the Diaconate there is to be an interval of at least six months.
Canon 1036 For a candidate to be promoted to the order of Diaconate or priesthood, he must submit to the proper Bishop or to the competent major Superior a declaration written in his own hand and signed by him, in which he attests that he will spontaneously and freely receive the sacred order and will devote himself permanently to the ecclesiastical ministry, asking at the same time that he be admitted to receive the order.
Canon 1037 A candidate for the permanent Diaconate who is not married and likewise a candidate for the priesthood, is not to be admitted to the order of Diaconate unless he has, in the prescribed rite, publicly before God and the Church undertaken the obligation of celibacy, or unless he has taken perpetual vows in a religious institute.
Canon 1038 A deacon who refuses to be promoted to the priesthood may not be forbidden the exercise of the order he has received, unless he is constrained by a canonical impediment, or unless there is some other grave reason, to be estimated by the diocesan Bishop or the competent major Superior
Canon 1039 All who are to be promoted to any order must make a retreat for at least five days, in a place and in the manner determined by the Ordinary. Before he proceeds to the ordination, the Bishop must have assured himself that the candidates have duly made the retreat.
Article 3: Irregularities and other Impediments
Canon 1040 Those bound by an impediment are to be barred from the reception of orders. An impediment may be simple; or it may be perpetual, in which case it is called an irregularity. No impediment is contracted which is not contained in the following Canons.
Canon 1041 The following persons are irregular for the reception of orders:
1° one who suffers from any form of insanity, or from any other psychological infirmity, because of which he is, after experts have been consulted, judged incapable of being able to fulfill the ministry;
2° one who has committed the offence of apostasy, heresy or schism;
3° one who has attempted marriage, even a civil marriage, either while himself prevented from entering marriage whether by an existing marriage bond or by a sacred order or by a public and perpetual vow of chastity, or with a woman who is validly married or is obliged by the same vow;
4° one who has committed willful homicide, or one who has actually procured an abortion, and all who have positively cooperated;
5° one who has gravely and maliciously mutilated himself or another, or who has attempted suicide;
6° one who has carried out an act of order which is reserved to those in the order of the episcopate or priesthood, while himself either not possessing that order or being barred from its exercise by some canonical penalty, declared or imposed.
Canon 1042 The following are simply impeded from receiving orders:
1° a man who has a wife, unless he is lawfully destined for the permanent Diaconate;
2° one who exercises an office or administration forbidden to clerics, in accordance with Canon. 285 and 286, of which he must render an account; the impediment binds until such time as, having relinquished the office and administration and rendered the account, he has been freed;
3° a neophyte, unless, in the judgment of the Ordinary, he has been sufficiently tested. Canon 1043 Christ’s faithful are bound to reveal, before ordination, to the Ordinary or to the parish priest, such impediments to sacred orders as they may know about.
Canon 1044 §1 The following are irregular for the exercise of orders already received:
1° one who, while bound by an irregularity for the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;
2° one who committed the offence mentioned in Canon 1041, n. 2, if the offence is public
3° one who committed any of the offences mentioned in Canon 1041, Canon. 3, 4,5,6.
§2 The following are impeded from the exercise of orders:
1° one who, while bound by an impediment to the reception of orders, unlawfully received orders;
2° one who suffers from insanity or from some other psychological infirmity mentioned in Canon 1041, n. 1, until such time as the Ordinary, having consulted an expert, has allowed the exercise of the order in question.
Canon 1045 Ignorance of irregularities and impediments does not exempt from them.
Canon 1046 Irregularities and impediments are multiplied if they arise from different causes, not however from the repetition of the same cause, unless it is a question of the irregularity arising from the commission of willful homicide or from having actually procured an abortion.
Canon 1047 §1 If the fact on which they are based has been brought to the judicial forum, dispensation from all irregularities is reserved to the Apostolic See alone.
§2 Dispensation from the following irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is also reserved to the Apostolic See:
1° irregularities arising from the offences mentioned in Canon 1041, Canon. 2 and 3, if they are public;
2° an irregularity arising from the offence, whether public or occult, mentioned in Canon 1041, n. 4;
3° the impediment mentioned in Canon 1042, n. 1.
§3 To the Apostolic See is also reserved the dispensation from the irregularities for the exercise of an order received mentioned in Canon 1041, n.3 but only in public cases, and in n. 4 of the same Canon even in occult cases.
§4 The Ordinary can dispense from irregularities and impediments not reserved to the Holy See. Canon 1048 In the more urgent occult cases, if the Ordinary or, in the case of the irregularities mentioned in Canon 1041, Canon. 3 and 4, the Penitentiary cannot be approached, and if there is imminent danger of serious harm or loss of reputation, the person who is irregular for the exercise of an order may exercise it. There remains, however, the obligation of his having recourse as soon as possible to the Ordinary or the Penitentiary, without revealing his name, and through a confessor.
Canon 1049 §1 In a petition to obtain a dispensation from irregularities or impediments, all irregularities and impediments are to be mentioned. However, a general dispensation is valid also for those omitted in good faith, with the exception of the irregularities mentioned in Canon 1041, n. 4, or of others which have been brought to the judicial forum; it is not, however, valid for those concealed in bad faith.
§2 If it is question of an irregularity arising from willful homicide or from a procured abortion, for the validity of the dispensation even the number of offences must be stated.
§3 A general dispensation from irregularities and impediments to the reception of orders is valid for all orders.
Article 4: Documents required and the Investigation
Canon 1050 For a person to be promoted to sacred orders, the following documents are required:
1° a certificate of studies duly completed in accordance with Canon 1032;
2" for those to be ordained to the priesthood, a certificate of the reception of the Diaconate
3° for those to be promoted to the Diaconate, certificates of the reception of baptism, of confirmation and of the ministries mentioned in Canon 1035, and a certificate that the declaration mentioned in Canon 1036 has been made, if an ordinand to be promoted to the permanent Diaconate is married, a certificate of his marriage and testimony of his wife’s consent.
Canon 1051 In the investigation of the requisite qualities of one who is to be ordained, the following provisions are to be observed:
1° there is to be a certificate from the rector of the seminary or of the house of formation, concerning the qualities required in the candidate for the reception of the order, namely sound doctrine, genuine piety, good moral behavior, fitness for the exercise of the ministry, likewise, after proper investigation, a certificate of the candidate’s state of physical and psychological health;
2° the diocesan Bishop or the major Superior may, in order properly to complete the investigation, use other means which, taking into account the circumstances of time and place, may seem useful, such as testimonial letters, public notices or other sources of information. Canon 1052 §1 For a Bishop to proceed to an ordination which he is to confer by his own right, he must be satisfied that the documents mentioned in Canon 1050 are at hand and that, as a result of the investigations prescribed by law, the suitability of the candidate has been positively established.
§2 For a Bishop to proceed to the ordination of someone not his own subject, it is sufficient that the dimissorial letters state that those documents are at hand, that the investigation has been conducted in accordance with the law, and that the candidate’s suitability has been established. If the ordinand is a member of a religious institute or a society of apostolic life, these letters must also testify that he has been definitively enrolled in the institute or society and that he is a subject of the Superior who gives the letters.
§3 If, not withstanding all this, the Bishop has definite reasons for doubting that the candidate is suitable to receive orders, he is not to promote him.
Chapter III: THE REGISTRATION AND EVIDENCE OF ORDINATION
Canon 1053 §1 After an ordination, the names of the individuals ordained, the name of the ordaining minister, and the place and date of ordination are to be entered in a special register which is to be carefully kept in the curia of the place of ordination. All the documents of each ordination are to be accurately preserved.
§2 The ordaining Bishop is to give to each person ordained an authentic certificate of the ordination received. Those who, with dimissorial letters, have been promoted by a Bishop other than their own, are to submit the certificate to their proper Ordinary for the registration of the ordination in a special register, to be kept in the archive. Canon 1054 The local Ordinary, if it concerns the secular clergy, or the competent major Superior, if it concerns his subjects, is to send a notification of each ordination to the parish priest of the place of baptism. The parish priest is to record the ordination in the baptismal register in accordance with Canon 535 §2.
TITLE VII: MARRIAGE
Canon 1055 §1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptized, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.
§2 Consequently, a valid marriage contract cannot exist between baptized persons without its being by that very fact a sacrament.
Canon 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility; in Christian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament.
Canon 1057 §1 A marriage is brought into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable. This consent cannot be supplied by any human power.
§2 Matrimonial consent is an act of will by which a man and a woman by an irrevocable covenant mutually give and accept one another for the purpose of establishing a marriage.
Canon 1058 All can contract marriage who are not prohibited by law.
Canon 1059 The marriage of Catholics, even if only one party is baptized, is governed not only by divine law but also by Canon law, without prejudice to the competence of the civil authority in respect of the merely civil effects of the marriage.
Canon 1060 Marriage enjoys the favor of law. Consequently, in doubt the validity of a marriage must be upheld until the contrary is proven.
Canon 1061 §1 A valid marriage between baptized persons is said to be merely ratified, if it is not consummated; ratified and consummated, if the spouses have in a human manner engaged together in a conjugal act in itself apt for the generation of offspring. To this act marriage is by its nature ordered and by it the spouses become one flesh.
§2 If the spouses have lived together after the celebration of their marriage, consummation is presumed until the contrary is proven.
§3 An invalid marriage is said to be putative if it has been celebrated in good faith by at least one party. It ceases to be such when both parties become certain of its nullity.
Canon 1062 §1 A promise of marriage, whether unilateral or bilateral, called an engagement, is governed by the particular law which the Episcopal Conference has enacted, after consideration of such customs and civil laws as may exist.
§2 No right of action to request the celebration of marriage arises from a promise of marriage, but there does arise an action for such reparation of damages as may be due.
Chapter I: PASTORAL CARE AND THE PREREQUISITES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
Canon 1063 Pastors of souls are obliged to ensure that their own church community provides for Christ’s faithful the assistance by which the married state is preserved in its Christian character and develops in perfection. This assistance is to be given principally:
1° by preaching, by catechetical instruction adapted to children, young people and adults, indeed by the use of the means of social communication, so that Christ’s faithful are instructed in the meaning of Christian marriage and in the role of Christian spouses and parents;
2° by personal preparation for entering marriage, so that the spouses are disposed to the holiness and the obligations of their new state;
3° by the fruitful celebration of the marriage liturgy, so that it clearly emerges that the spouses manifest, and participate in, the mystery of the unity and fruitful love between Christ and the Church;
4° by the help given to those who have entered marriage, so that by faithfully observing and protecting their conjugal covenant, they may day by day achieve a holier and a fuller family life.
Canon 1064 It is the responsibility of the local Ordinary to ensure that this assistance is duly organized. If it is considered opportune, he should consult with men and women of proven experience and expertise.
Canon 1065 §1 Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before being admitted to marriage, if this can be done without grave inconvenience.
§2 So that the sacrament of marriage may be fruitfully received, spouses are earnestly recommended that they approach the sacraments of penance and the blessed Eucharist.
Canon 1066 Before a marriage takes place, it must be established that nothing stands in the way of its valid and lawful celebration.
Canon 1067 The Episcopal Conference is to lay down norms concerning the questions to be asked of the parties, the publication of marriage banns, and the other appropriate means of enquiry to be carried out before marriage. Only when he has carefully observed these norms may the parish priest assist at a marriage.
Canon 1068 In danger of death, if other proofs are not available, it suffices, unless there are contrary indications, to have the assertion of the parties, sworn if need be, that they are baptized and free of any impediment.
Canon 1069 Before the celebration of a marriage, all the faithful are bound to reveal to the parish priest or the local Ordinary such impediments as they may know about.
Canon 1070 If someone other than the parish priest whose function it is to assist at the marriage has made the investigations, he is by an authentic document to inform that parish priest of the outcome of these enquiries as soon as possible.
Canon 1071 §1 Except in a case of necessity, no one is to assist without the permission of the local Ordinary at:
1° a marriage of vagi;
2° a marriage which cannot be recognized by the civil law or celebrated in accordance with it;
3° a marriage of a person for whom a previous union has created natural obligations towards a third party or towards children;
4° a marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith;
5° a marriage of a person who is under censure;
6° a marriage of a minor whose parents are either unaware of it or are reasonably opposed to it;
7° a marriage to be entered by proxy, as mentioned in Canon 1105.
§2 The local Ordinary is not to give permission to assist at the marriage of a person who has notoriously rejected the Catholic faith unless, with the appropriate adjustments, the norms of Canon 1125 have been observed.
Canon 1072 Pastors of souls are to see to it that they dissuade young people from entering marriage before the age customarily accepted in the region.
Chapter II: DIRIMENT IMPEDIMENTS IN GENERAL
Canon 1073 A diriment impediment renders a person incapable of validly contracting a marriage.
Canon 1074 An impediment is said to be public, when it can be proved in the external forum; otherwise, it is occult.
Canon 1075 §1 Only the supreme authority in the Church can authentically declare when the divine law prohibits or invalidates a marriage.
§2 Only the same supreme authority has the right to establish other impediments for those who are baptized.
Canon 1076 A custom which introduces a new impediment, or is contrary to existing impediments, is to be reprobated.
Canon 1077 §1 The local Ordinary can in a specific case forbid a marriage of his own subjects, wherever they are residing, or of any person actually present in his territory; he can do this only for a time, for a grave reason and while that reason persists.
§2 Only the supreme authority in the Church can attach an invalidating clause to a prohibition.
Canon 1078 §1 The local Ordinary can dispense his own subjects wherever they are residing, and all who are actually present in his territory, from all impediments of ecclesiastical law, except for those whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See.
§2 The impediments whose dispensation is reserved to the Apostolic See are:
1° the impediment arising from sacred orders or from a public perpetual vow of chastity in a religious institute of pontifical right
2° the impediment of crime mentioned in Canon 1090.
§3 A dispensation is never given from the impediment of consanguinity in the direct line or in the second degree of the collateral line.
Canon 1079 §1 When danger of death threatens, the local Ordinary can dispense his own subjects, wherever they are residing, and all who are actually present in his territory, both from the form to be observed in the celebration of marriage, and from each and every impediment of ecclesiastical law, whether public or occult, with the exception of the impediment arising from the sacred order of priesthood.
§2 In the same circumstances mentioned in §1, but only for cases in which not even the local Ordinary can be approached, the same faculty of dispensation is possessed by the parish priest, by a properly delegated sacred minister, and by the priest or deacon who assists at the marriage in accordance with Canon 1116 §2.
§3 In danger of death, the confessor has the power to dispense from occult impediments for the internal forum, whether within the act of sacramental confession or outside it.
§4 In the case mentioned in §2, the local Ordinary is considered unable to be approached if he can be reached only by telegram or by telephone.
Canon 1080 §1 Whenever an impediment is discovered after everything has already been prepared for a wedding and the marriage cannot without probable danger of grave harm be postponed until a dispensation is obtained from the competent authority, the power to dispense from all impediments, except those mentioned in Canon 1078 §2, n. 1, is possessed by the local Ordinary and, provided the case is occult, by all those mentioned in Canon 1079 §§2-3, the conditions prescribed therein having been observed.
§2 This power applies also to the validation of a marriage when there is the same danger in delay and there is no time to have recourse to the Apostolic See or, in the case of impediments from which he can dispense, to the local Ordinary.
Canon 1081 The parish priest or the priest or deacon mentioned in Canon 1079 §2, should inform the local Ordinary immediately of a dispensation granted for the external forum, and this dispensation is to be recorded in the marriage register.
Canon 1082 Unless a rescript of the Penitentiary provides otherwise, a dispensation from an occult impediment granted in the internal nonsacramental forum, is to be recorded in the book to be kept in the secret archive of the curia. No other dispensation for the external forum is necessary if at a later stage the occult impediment becomes public.
Chapter III: INDIVIDUAL DIRIMENT IMPEDIMENTS
Canon 1083 §1 A man cannot validly enter marriage before the completion of his sixteenth year of age, nor a woman before the completion of her fourteenth year.
§2 The Episcopal Conference may establish a higher age for the lawful celebration of marriage. Canon 1084 §1 Antecedent and perpetual impotence to have sexual intercourse, whether on the part of the man or on that of the woman, whether absolute or relative, by its very nature invalidates marriage.
§2 If the impediment of impotence is doubtful, whether the doubt be one of law or one of fact, the marriage is not to be prevented nor, while the doubt persists, is it to be declared null.
§3 Without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 1098, sterility neither forbids nor invalidates a marriage.
Canon 1085 §1 A person bound by the bond of a previous marriage, even if not consummated, invalidly attempts marriage.
§2 Even though the previous marriage is invalid or for any reason dissolved, it is not thereby lawful to contract another marriage before the nullity or the dissolution of the previous one has been established lawfully and with certainty.
Canon 1086 §1 A marriage is invalid when one of the two persons was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, and the other was not baptized.
§2 This impediment is not to be dispensed unless the conditions mentioned in Canon. 1125 and 1126 have been fulfilled.
§3 If at the time the marriage was contracted one party was commonly understood to be baptized, or if his or her baptism was doubtful, the validity of the marriage is to be presumed in accordance with Canon 1060, until it is established with certainty that one party was baptized and the other was not.
Canon 1087 Those who are in sacred orders invalidly attempt marriage.
Canon 1088 Those who are bound by a public perpetual vow of chastity in a religious institute invalidly attempt marriage.
Canon 1089 No marriage can exist between a man and a woman who has been abducted, or at least detained, with a view to contracting a marriage with her, unless the woman, after she has been separated from her abductor and established in a safe and free place, chooses marriage of her own accord.
Canon 1090 §1 One who, with a view to entering marriage with a particular person, has killed that person’s spouse, or his or her own spouse, invalidly attempts this marriage.
§2 They also invalidly attempt marriage with each other who, by mutual physical or moral action, brought about the death of either’s spouse.
Canon 1091 §1 Marriage is invalid between those related by consanguinity in all degrees of the direct line, whether ascending or descending, legitimate or natural.
§2 In the collateral line, it is invalid up to the fourth degree inclusive.
§3 The impediment of consanguinity is not multiplied.
§4 A marriage is never to be permitted if a doubt exists as to whether the parties are related by consanguinity in any degree of the direct line, or in the second degree of the collateral line.
Canon 1092 Affinity in any degree of the direct line invalidates marriage.
Canon 1093 The impediment of public propriety arises when a couple live together after an invalid marriage, or from a notorious or public concubinage. It invalidates marriage in the first degree of the direct line between the man and those related by consanguinity to the woman, and vice versa.
Canon 1094 Those who are legally related by reason of adoption cannot validly marry each other if their relationship is in the direct line or in the second degree of the collateral line.
Chapter IV: MATRIMONIAL CONSENT
Canon 1095 The following are incapable of contracting marriage:
1° those who lack sufficient use of reason;
2° those who suffer from a grave lack of discretionary judgment concerning the essential matrimonial rights and obligations to be mutually given and accepted;
3° those who, because of causes of a psychological nature, are unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage.
Canon 1096 §1 For matrimonial consent to exist, it is necessary that the contracting parties be at least not ignorant of the fact that marriage is a permanent partnership between a man and a woman, ordered to the procreation of children through some form of sexual cooperation.
§2 This ignorance is not presumed after puberty.
Canon 1097 §1 Error about a person renders a marriage invalid.
§2 Error about a quality of the person, even though it be the reason for the contract, does not render a marriage invalid unless this quality is directly and principally intended.
Canon 1098 A person contracts invalidly who enters marriage inveigled by deceit, perpetrated in order to secure consent, concerning some quality of the other party, which of its very nature can seriously disrupt the partnership of conjugal life.
Canon 1099 Provided it does not determine the will, error concerning the unity or the indissolubility or the sacramental dignity of marriage does not vitiate matrimonial consent.
Canon 1100 Knowledge of or opinion about the nullity of a marriage does not necessarily exclude matrimonial consent.
Canon 1101 §1 The internal consent of the mind is presumed to conform to the words or the signs used in the celebration of a marriage.
§2 If, however, either or both of the parties should by a positive act of will exclude marriage itself or any essential element of marriage or any essential property, such party contracts invalidly.
Canon 1102 §1 Marriage cannot be validly contracted subject to a condition concerning the future.
§2 Marriage entered into subject to a condition concerning the past or the present is valid or not, according as whatever is the basis of the condition exists or not.
§3 However, a condition as mentioned in §2 may not lawfully be attached except with the written permission of the local Ordinary.
Canon 1103 A marriage is invalid which was entered into by reason of force or of grave fear imposed from outside, even if not purposely, from which the person has no escape other than by choosing marriage.
Canon 1104 §1 To contract marriage validly it is necessary that the contracting parties be present together, either personally or by proxy
§2 The spouses are to express their matrimonial consent in words; if, however, they cannot speak, then by equivalent signs.
Canon 1105 §1 For a marriage by proxy to be valid, it is required:
1° that there be a special mandate to contract with a specific person;
2° that the proxy be designated by the mandator and personally discharge this function;
§2 For the mandate to be valid, it is to be signed by the mandator, and also by the parish priest or local Ordinary of the place in which the mandate is given or by a priest delegated by either of them or by at least two witnesses, or it is to be drawn up in a document which is authentic according to the civil law.
§3 If the mandator cannot write, this is to be recorded in the mandate and another witness added who is also to sign the document; otherwise, the mandate is invalid.
§4 If the mandator revokes the mandate, or becomes insane, before the proxy contracts in his or her name, the marriage is invalid, even though the proxy or the other contracting party is unaware of the fact.
Canon 1106 Marriage can be contracted through an interpreter, but the parish priest may not assist at such a marriage unless he is certain of the trustworthiness of the interpreter.
Canon 1107 Even if a marriage has been entered into invalidly by reason of an impediment or defect of form, the consent given is presumed to persist until its withdrawal has been established.
Chapter V: THE FORM OF THE CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
Canon 1108 §1 Only those marriages are valid which are contracted in the presence of the local Ordinary or parish priest or of the priest or deacon delegated by either of them, who, in the presence of two witnesses, assists, in accordance however with the rules set out in the following Canons, and without prejudice to the exceptions mentioned in Canon. 144, 1112 §1, 1116 and 1127 §§2-3.
§2 Only that person who, being present, asks the contracting parties to manifest their consent and in the name of the Church receives it, is understood to assist at a marriage.
Canon 1109 Within the limits of their territory, the local Ordinary and the parish priest by virtue of their office validly assist at the marriages not only of their subjects, but also of non-subjects, provided one or other of the parties is of the Latin rite. They cannot assist if by sentence or decree they have been excommunicated, placed under interdict or suspended from office, or been declared to be such.
Canon 1110 A personal Ordinary and a personal parish priest by virtue of their office validly assist, within the confines of their jurisdiction, at the marriages only of those of whom at least one party is their subject.
Canon 1111 §1 As long as they validly hold office, the local Ordinary and the parish priest can delegate to priests and deacons the faculty, even the general faculty, to assist at marriages within the confines of their territory.
§2 In order that the delegation of the faculty to assist at marriages be valid, it must be expressly given to specific persons; if there is question of a special delegation, it is to be given for a specific marriage; if however there is question of a general delegation, it is to be given in writing.
Canon 1112 §1 Where there are no priests and deacons, the diocesan Bishop can delegate lay persons to assist at marriages, if the Episcopal Conference has given its prior approval and the permission of the Holy See has been obtained.
§2 A suitable lay person is to be selected, capable of giving instruction to those who are getting married, and fitted to conduct the marriage liturgy properly.
Canon 1113 §1 Before a special delegation is granted, provision is to be made for all those matters which the law prescribes to establish the freedom to marry.
Canon 1114 One who assists at a marriage acts unlawfully unless he has satisfied himself of the parties’ freedom to marry in accordance with the law and, whenever he assists by virtue of a general delegation, has satisfied himself of the parish priest’s permission, if this is possible.
Canon 1115 Marriages are to be celebrated in the parish in which either of the contracting parties has a domicile or a quasi-domicile or a month’s residence or, if there is question of vagi, in the parish in which they are actually residing. With the permission of the proper Ordinary or the proper parish priest, marriages may be celebrated elsewhere.
Canon 1116 §1 If one who, in accordance with the law, is competent to assist, cannot be present or be approached without grave inconvenience, those who intend to enter a true marriage can validly and lawfully contract in the presence of witnesses only:
1° in danger of death;
2° apart from danger of death, provided it is prudently foreseen that this state of affairs will continue for a month.
§2 In either case, if another priest or deacon is at hand who can be present, he must be called upon and, together with the witnesses, be present at the celebration of the marriage, without prejudice to the validity of the marriage in the presence of only the witnesses.
Canon 1117 The form prescribed above is to be observed if at least one of the parties contracting marriage was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 1127 §2.
Canon 1118 §1 A marriage between Catholics, or between a Catholic party and a baptized non-Catholic, is to be celebrated in the parish church. By permission of the local Ordinary or of the parish priest, it may be celebrated in another church or oratory.
§2 The local Ordinary can allow a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.
§3 A marriage between a Catholic party and an unbaptized party may be celebrated in a church or in another suitable place.
Canon 1119 Apart from a case of necessity, in the celebration of marriage those rites are to be observed which are prescribed in the liturgical books approved by the Church, or which are acknowledged by lawful customs.
Canon 1120 The Episcopal Conference can draw up its own rite of marriage, in keeping with those usages of place and people which accord with the Christian spirit; it is to be reviewed by the Holy See, and it is without prejudice to the law that the person who is present to assist at the marriage is to ask for and receive the expression of the consent of the contracting parties.
Canon 1121 §1 As soon as possible after the celebration of a marriage, the parish priest of the place of celebration or whoever takes his place, even if neither has assisted at the marriage, is to record in the marriage register the names of the spouses, of the person who assisted and of the witnesses, and the place and date of the celebration of the marriage; this is to be done in the manner prescribed by the Episcopal Conference or by the diocesan Bishop.
§2 Whenever a marriage is contracted in accordance with Canon 1116, the priest or deacon, if he was present at the celebration, otherwise the witnesses, are bound jointly with the contracting parties as soon as possible to inform the parish priest or the local Ordinary about the marriage entered into.
§3 In regard to a marriage contracted with a dispensation from the canonical form, the local Ordinary who granted the dispensation is to see to it that the dispensation and the celebration are recorded in the marriage register both of the curia, and of the proper parish of the Catholic party whose parish priest carried out the inquiries concerning the freedom to marry. The Catholic spouse is obliged as soon as possible to notify that same Ordinary and parish priest of the fact that the marriage was celebrated, indicating also the place of celebration and the public form which was observed.
Canon 1122 §1 A marriage which has been contracted is to be recorded also in the baptismal registers in which the baptism of the spouses was entered.
§2 If a spouse contracted marriage elsewhere than in the parish of baptism, the parish priest of the place of celebration is to send a notification of the marriage as soon as possible to the parish priest of the place of baptism.
Canon 1123 Whenever a marriage is validated for the external forum, or declared invalid, or lawfully dissolved other than by death, the parish priest of the place of the celebration of the marriage must be informed, so that an entry may be duly made in the registers of marriage and of baptism.
Chapter VI: MIXED MARRIAGES
Canon 1124 Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons, one of whom was baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Canon 1125 The local Ordinary can grant this permission if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions are fulfilled:
1° the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power in order that all the children be baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;
2° the other party is to be informed in good time of these promises to be made by the Catholic party, so that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and of the obligation of the Catholic party
3° both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which are not to be excluded by either contactant.
Canon 1126 It is for the Episcopal Conference to prescribe the manner in which these declarations and promises, which are always required, are to be made, and to determine how they are to be established in the external forum, and how the non-Catholic party is to be informed of them.
Canon 1127 §1 The provisions of Canon 1108 are to be observed in regard to the form to be used in a mixed marriage. If, however, the Catholic party contracts marriage with a non-Catholic party of oriental rite, the canonical form of celebration is to be observed for lawfulness only; for validity, however, the intervention of a sacred minister is required, while observing the other requirements of law.
§2 If there are grave difficulties in the way of observing the canonical form, the local Ordinary of the Catholic party has the right to dispense from it in individual cases, having however consulted the Ordinary of the place of the celebration of the marriage; for validity, however, some public form of celebration is required. It is for the Episcopal Conference to establish norms whereby this dispensation may be granted in a uniform manner.
§3 It is forbidden to have, either before or after the canonical celebration in accordance with §1, another religious celebration of the same marriage for the purpose of giving or renewing matrimonial consent. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic assistant and a non-Catholic minister, each performing his own rite, ask for the consent of the parties.
Canon 1128 Local Ordinaries and other pastors of souls are to see to it that the Catholic spouse and the children born of a mixed marriage are not without the spiritual help needed to fulfill their obligations; they are also to assist the spouses to foster the unity of conjugal and family life.
Canon 1129 The provisions of Canon. 1127 and 1128 are to be applied also to marriages which are impeded by the impediment of disparity of worship mentioned in Canon 1086 §1.
Chapter VII: THE SECRET CELEBRATION OF MARRIAGE
Canon 1130 For a grave and urgent reason, the local Ordinary may permit that a marriage be celebrated in secret.
Canon 1131 Permission to celebrate a marriage in secret involves:
1° that the investigations to be made before the marriage are carried out in secret;
2° that the secret in regard to the marriage which has been celebrated is observed by the local Ordinary, by whoever assists, by the witnesses and by the spouses.
Canon 1132 The obligation of observing the secret mentioned in Canon 1131 n. 2 ceases for the local Ordinary if from its observance a threat arises of grave scandal or of grave harm to the sanctity of marriage. This fact is to be made known to the parties before the celebration of the marriage.
Canon 1133 A marriage celebrated in secret is to be recorded only in a special register which is to be kept in the secret archive of the curia.
Chapter VIII: THE EFFECTS OF MARRIAGE
Canon 1134 From a valid marriage there arises between the spouses a bond which of its own nature is permanent and exclusive. Moreover, in Christian marriage the spouses are by a special sacrament strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state.
Canon 1135 Each spouse has an equal obligation and right to whatever pertains to the partnership of conjugal life.
Canon 1136 Parents have the most grave obligation and the primary right to do all in their power to ensure their children’s physical, social, cultural, moral and religious upbringing.
Canon 1137 Children who are conceived or born of a valid or of a putative marriage are legitimate.
Canon 1138 §1 The father is he who is identified by a lawful marriage, unless by clear arguments the contrary is proven.
§2 Children are presumed legitimate who are born at least 180 days after the date the marriage was celebrated, or within 300 days from the date of the dissolution of conjugal life.
Canon 1139 Illegitimate children are legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents, whether valid or putative, or by a rescript of the Holy See.
Canon 1140 As far as canonical effects are concerned, legitimated children are equivalent to legitimate children in all respects, unless it is otherwise expressly provided by the law.
Chapter IX: THE SEPARATION OF THE SPOUSES
Article 1: The Dissolution of the Bond
Canon 1141 A marriage which is ratified and consummated cannot be dissolved by any human power or by any cause other than death.
Canon 1142 A non-consummated marriage between baptized persons or between a baptized party and an unbaptized party can be dissolved by the Roman Pontiff for a just reason, at the request of both parties or of either party, even if the other is unwilling.
Canon 1143 §1 In virtue of the Pauline privilege, a marriage entered into by two unbaptized persons is dissolved in favor of the faith of the party who received baptism, by the very fact that a new marriage is contracted by that same party, provided the unbaptized party departs.
§2 The unbaptized party is considered to depart if he or she is unwilling to live with the baptized party, or to live peacefully without offence to the Creator, unless the baptized party has, after the reception of baptism, given the other just cause to depart.
Canon 1144 §1 For the baptized person validly to contract a new marriage, the unbaptized party must always be interpellated whether:
1° he or she also wishes to receive baptism;
2° he or she at least is willing to live peacefully with the baptized party without offence to the Creator.
§2 This interpellation is to be done after baptism. However, the local Ordinary can for a grave reason permit that the interpellation be done before baptism; indeed he can dispense from it, either before or after baptism, provided it is established, by at least a summary and extrajudicial procedure, that it cannot be made or that it would be useless.
Canon 1145 As a rule, the interpellation is to be done on the authority of the local Ordinary of the converted party. A period of time for reply is to be allowed by this Ordinary to the other party, if indeed he or she asks for it, warning the person however that if the period passes without any reply, silence will be taken as a negative response.
§2 Even an interpellation made privately by the converted party is valid, and indeed it is lawful if the form prescribed above cannot be observed.
§3 In both cases there must be lawful proof in the external forum of the interpellation having been done and of its outcome.
Canon 1146 The baptized party has the right to contract a new marriage with a Catholic:
1° if the other party has replied in the negative to the interpellation, or if the interpellation has been lawfully omitted;
2° if the unbaptized person, whether already interpellated or not, who at first persevered in peaceful cohabitation without offence to the Creator, has subsequently departed without just cause, without prejudice to the provisions of Canon. 1144 and 1145.
Canon 1147 However, the local Ordinary can for a grave reason allow the baptized party, using the Pauline privilege, to contract marriage with a non-Catholic party, whether baptized or unbaptized; in this case, the provisions of the Canons on mixed marriages must also be observed.
Canon 1148 §1 When an unbaptized man who simultaneously has a number of unbaptized wives, has received baptism in the Catholic Church, if it would be a hardship for him to remain with the first of the wives, he may retain one of them, having dismissed the others. The same applies to an unbaptized woman who simultaneously has a number of unbaptized husbands.
§2 In the cases mentioned in §1, when baptism has been received, the marriage is to be contracted in the legal form, with due observance, if need be, of the provisions concerning mixed marriages and of other provisions of law.
§3 In the light of the moral, social and economic circumstances of place and person, the local Ordinary is to ensure that adequate provision is made, in accordance with the norms of justice, Christian charity and natural equity, for the needs of the first wife and of the others who have been dismissed.
Canon 1149 An unbaptized person who, having received baptism in the Catholic Church, cannot re-establish cohabitation with his or her unbaptized spouse by reason of captivity or persecution, can contract another marriage, even if the other party has in the meantime received baptism, without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 1141.
Canon 1150 In a doubtful matter the privilege of the faith enjoys the favor of law.
Article 2: Separation while the Bond remains
Canon 1151 Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.
Canon 1152 §1 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by Christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other’s fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.
§2 Tacit condonation occurs if the innocent spouse, after becoming aware of the adultery, has willingly engaged in a marital relationship with the other spouse; it is presumed, however, if the innocent spouse has maintained the common conjugal life for six months, and has not had recourse to ecclesiastical or to civil authority.
§3 Within six months of having spontaneously terminated the common conjugal life, the innocent spouse is to bring a case for separation to the competent ecclesiastical authority. Having examined all the circumstances, this authority is to consider whether the innocent spouse can be brought to condone the fault and not prolong the separation permanently.
Canon 1153 §1 A spouse who occasions grave danger of soul or body to the other or to the children, or otherwise makes the common life unduly difficult, provides the other spouse with a reason to leave, either by a decree of the local Ordinary or, if there is danger in delay, even on his or her own authority.
§2 In all cases, when the reason for separation ceases, the common conjugal life is to be restored, unless otherwise provided by ecclesiastical authority.
Canon 1154 When a separation of spouses has taken place, provision is always, and in good time, to be made for the due maintenance and upbringing of the children.
Canon 1155 The innocent spouse may laudably readmit the other spouse to the conjugal life, in which case he or she renounces the right to separation.
Chapter X: THE VALIDATION OF MARRIAGE
Article 1: Simple Validation
Canon 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.
Canon 1157 The renewal of consent must be a new act of will consenting to a marriage which the renewing party knows or thinks was invalid from the beginning.
Canon 1158 §1 If the impediment is public, consent is to be renewed by both parties in the canonical form, without prejudice to the provision of Canon 1127 §3.
§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.
Canon 1159 §1 A marriage invalid because of a defect of consent is validated if the party who did not consent, now does consent, provided the consent given by the other party persists.
§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.
Canon 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 Canon 1127 §3.
Article 2: Retroactive Validation
Canon 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 favor 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.
Canon 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.
Canon 1163 §1 A marriage which is invalid because of an impediment or because of defect of the legal form, can be validated retroactively, provided the consent of both parties persists.
§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.
Canon 1164 A retroactive validation may validly be granted even if one or both of the parties is unaware of it; it is not, however, to be granted except for a grave reason.
Canon 1165 §1 Retroactive validation can be granted by the Apostolic See.
§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 Canon 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 Canon 1078 §2, or if there is question of an impediment of the natural law or of the divine positive law which has now ceased.