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Catholic Dictionary




An invalidating impediment to Christian marriage, arising from a grave public sin committed by one or both parties. It affects persons who, during the existence of a lawful marriage, have consummated adultery together and have mutually promised each other to marry, or have attempted marriage even by a mere civil act; those who, likewise during the existence of the same lawful marriage, have consummated adultery together, and one of whom has killed the lawful spouse; those who, even without committing adultery, have by mutual co-operation, physical or moral, killed the lawful spouse.