Catholic ministers cannot celebrate
exclusively civil marriages
CONSIDERING that a new definition of marriage has been adopted by the Federal Government on July 20,2006;
CONSIDERING as a follow-up to this decision, that Québec bishops, in plenary assembly, deemed it advantageous to remain under the present regime whereby the State grants civil effects to marriages performed in the Catholic Church;
CONSIDERING these civil effects are inseparable from the religious celebration of marriage in accordance with the canonical and liturgical standards in force;
WE WISH TO REMIND the statement of Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil that ministers of the Catholic Church are prohibited from performing marriages that are exclusively civil. Departure from the rule may cause the withdrawal of celebrant’s permit. You may wish to consult page 107 of the Canonical and Pastoral Guide for Parishes on the subject, published by the AQCB.
Jean-Pierre CAMERLAIN, priest