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Nancy Gibbons wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can I get married by just the Church?

I understand what marriage means in the eyes of the Church and God but I'm not in agreement with how I see marriage under the state law.

I live in California.

Thank you!

Nancy Gibbons

  { If I don't agree with the laws of my state, can I just get married in the eyes of the Church? }

Eric replied:


There is a provision for it under canon law — it's called a secret marriage — but it is only used in very extraordinary circumstances because of the opportunity for abuse. Basically, you probably shouldn't expect to be able to obtain one in the United States.

Talk to a canon lawyer for more information.


Bob replied:


You cannot marry just in the Church unless there are special circumstances, like threat of persecution, war, or something that disrupts ordinary civil-Church relations, and even then, permission by the bishop is usually necessary, so except for dire situations, the answer is No.

The Church cooperates with civil authority and does not attempt to undermine it, even when it is failing to uphold moral principles such as the allowance of Gay marriage.

  • Why don't you want a civil license?


Bob Kirby

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