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Dissolution and Annulment of Marriage by the Catholic Church

By Eileen Stuart


For some Roman Catholics, divorce has major consequences over and above those for non-Catholics. It is of crucial importance to these divorcees that, after the Family Law Act proceedings finish, the (Catholic) Marriage Tribunal is approached for a Canon Law finding that the marriage was null and void - such a finding can be made even though there are children of the marriage (who may remain legitimate despite a "null and void" finding).

Any lawyer advising a Catholic on divorce should also advise their client to consider seeking counsel with the Marriage Tribunal. Eileen Stuart's book explains why; and also explains the concepts and steps which must be taken.

The Honourable Austin Asche AC QC said:
'For Catholics and non-Catholics alike, Eileen Stuart has provided an invaluable guide to the present debate in the Catholic Church. ... all will benefit from this scholarly work where the issues are clearly set out, fairly considered and carefully discussed.'



The Kinds of Law

Eternal Law/ Divine Positive Law/ Human Positive Law/ Customary Law/ Natural Law/ Ecclesiastical Law/ Historical Outline

The Constitution and Authority of The Church

The Ecclesial Community in Communion/ Sanctions/ Particular Penalties/ Remission of Penalties

The Law of Marriage

The History of Marriage and Canonical Form/ The Nature of Marriage/ The Properties of Marriage/ The Convalidation of Marriage/ The Prohibition of Marriage

The Law of Dissolution

The Indissolubility of the Ratified and Consummated Bond/ Non-Consummation/ The Doctrine of the Privilege of the Faith/ The Separation of the Spouses/ Proof of Baptism/ The Standard of Proof

The Law of Annulment

The Problem of Retroactivity/ The Judicial Process/ The Statistics

The Grounds of Annulment I

The Diriment Impediments/ Lack or Defect of Form/ Defects of Consent

The Grounds of Annulment II

Defects of the Will/ Force and Fear/ Conditional Marriage

The Solutions

The Church's Pastoral Solutions/ Canonical Equity and Oikonomia/ The Information and Communication Gap



Melbourne Tribunal Information for Petitioner
Melbourne Tribunal Guidelines for Petitioner
Research Questionnaire for Tribunal Personnel (USA)
Questionnaire for Candidates for Pastoral Solution (USA)

Glossary of Canonical Terms/ Bibliography/ Chronological Table of Papal Documents/ Index

Published July 1994
Publisher The Federation Press
ISBN 9781862871366
Australian RRP $38.50
International Price $35.00
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Law - Religion & the Law
Law - Family

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