A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.
An existing marriage acting as a deterring impediment to another marriage. It exists until the death of either party is legally attested or morally certain. Exceptions are the dissolution by the Church of a natural marital bond or a nonconsummated sacramental marriage. An apparent exception is when the Church declares a previous marital union, considered valid and sacramental, to have been nor real marriage at all.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.