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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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A declaration of matrimonial law issued by Pope Pius X; it went into effect Easter 1908. It was the Tametsi decree of the Council of Trent in a modified form. It took its name from the opening words and decreed that: 1. marriages involving a Catholic are invalid unless performed by a parish priest in his parish or one delegated by him, or by a bishop or appointed delegate in his own diocese; 2. no pastor can validly perform a marriage outside the limits of his own parish without delegation of the proper pastor of the parish in which he is to perform the wedding, or the bishop in whose diocese he is to perform the wedding. A bishop cannot validly perform a wedding outside his own diocese without delegation from the pastor of the parish in which he is to perform the wedding or the delegation of the bishop of that place; 3. it is also decreed that the marriage ought to be celebrated in the parish of the bride; 4. under certain circumstances a marriage may be licit and valid without a priest; 5. all marriages must be registered in the place or places where the contracting parties were baptized. There must be at least two other witnesses for validity beside the pastor or bishop. This decree did not affect persons who had never been Catholic when they married among themselves. It applied to every marriage of a Catholic, even when marrying someone who was not of his or her faith.

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