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Title: Conjugal love and matrimonial consent
Authors: Thompson, Louis
Keywords: Marriage -- Religious aspects -- Catholic Church
Catholic Church. Codex Juris Canonici (1983)
Marriage (Canon law)
Consent (Canon law)
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Thompson, L. (2018). Conjugal love and matrimonial consent (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This dissertation will try to demonstrate and argue in favour of the view that conjugal love should be considered as an essential requirement of a valid matrimonial consent. This view, as explained in the concluding chapter, will be propounded after a careful consideration of various factors, particularly the way the Church’s view of marriage developed over time. In the first chapter it will be shown how the legalistic approach towards marriage, as evidenced by the provisions of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, changed to a more personalistic one with Vatican Council II. This change in view was then codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which was intended to reflect the pronouncements that had been made in the said Council. In the second chapter an attempt will be made to analyse the meaning of the phrase “conjugal love”. After considering the significance of this phrase from a Christian anthropological perspective, reference is made to some passages in the Old and New Testaments which bring out the importance of love between the spouses. An analysis is then made of Church teaching on the matter which, inter alia, shows that conjugal love involves the whole person, body and instinct, feeling and affectivity, spirit and will. A whole section is dedicated to the importance of self-gifting in this personal relationship and it is explained that this does not simply mean giving oneself totally to the other without any consideration for oneself. The commitment that spouses make at the moment of consent is analysed from a psychological perspective and reference is made to scientific methods which seek to measure how well one is prepared to enter into a lifelong commitment. The third chapter examines how far one can consider conjugal love as an essential requirement of matrimonial consent. After listing and briefly explaining the particular requisites of such consent, according to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a whole section is dedicated to one of the purposes of marriage, “the good of the spouses”. An analysis is made of the various contrasting views regarding the extent to which one can say that “the good of the spouses” incorporates, or is tantamount to, conjugal love. In another section, an analysis is made of how far one can consider conjugal love as an “essential element” in cases of simulation of consent and hence a ground for an annulment of marriage. The last section in this chapter shows how the maxim “consensus non amor facit nuptias”, despite the developments brought about by Vatican Council II, still has a number of adherents, as is evidenced by very recent publications. As will be explained in the concluding chapter of this dissertation, perhaps the right expression should rather be “consensus cum amore facit nuptias”.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacThe - 2018

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