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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is a Canonical impediment?

A. 1. "In the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, a canonical impediment is a legal obstacle that prevents a sacrament from being performed validly and/or licitly. The term is used most frequently in relationship to the Sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders. Some canonical impediments can be dispensed by the competent authority (usually the local ordinary but some impediments are reserved to the Apostolic See) as defined in Canon Law." [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_impediment]

Examples of Canonical impediments are:

Age. The party being under the legal age of marriage.

Sacred orders. One of the parties has received sacred orders.

Physical capacity for consummation lacking. Both parties, however, must be physically capable of completed vaginal intercourse.

Previous marriage. All previous marriage(s) must be declared null.

Perpetual vow of chastity. The person has made a perpetual vow of chastity.

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