Open Forum Weekend

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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • Here's a weird one: If a couple in good standing gets married in the Church but never intends to consummate their marriage, are they truly married? I know a sweet old and feeble couple who got married (in their late 80's) that it's pretty clear if you know them that they couldn't possibly have sex but just wondering if they are licitly married.

    Posted on Jun 2nd, 2013 at 7:55 PM by Anonymous

  • Well, it's not necessarily un-annulable (I don't think that's a word), but it's licit. They can't really be planning to have kids either, but that doesn't bar them, at that age, from being licitly married. But there's nothing wrong with a kind of Josephite marriage.

    Posted on Jun 2nd, 2013 at 10:49 PM by Anna

  • I would think it matters if they aren't planning to consummate because they BOTH can't (b/c of feebleness) or vs. because one of them can't vs. because one of them doesn't want to. If that makes sense?

    Posted on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 1:40 PM by unknown

  • If they can't, it's not a real marriage. It's fascinating to realize how much the actual sex has to do with the sacrament. And it actually falls to the male, male impotence makes a marriage null and void.

    Posted on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 5:26 PM by unknown

  • Male infertility makes a marriage null and void? Are you sure about that? Can you cite a source for that? Thanks. It makes it sound as if fertility is paramount to consummation/sexual relations between spouses...but what if a husband or wife is infertile through no fault of their own and they do not withhold that information from the other spouse prior to marriage? Or if they plan to adopt because of infertility?

    Posted on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 6:05 PM by Doubtful

  • It's not infertility that makes it null and void, it's impotence (the inability to consummate the marriage) that is the issue.

    Posted on Jun 3rd, 2013 at 7:12 PM by Claire S

  • Thanks for the clarification. I was mixing up the two. I did come across a reference to impotence in canon law. I wonder if such a couple could enter into a Josephite marriage after seeking spiritual counsel?

    Posted on Jun 4th, 2013 at 7:33 AM by Doubtful

  • Calling your bluff... I may be wrong...but I don't recall anyone here claiming they were experts...or implying what you stated about the validity of marital relations...or doubting the love of God...or raising the issue of family size...or challenging the spiritual fatherhood of priests. Are you sure that you want to speak for "every priest"...? I must have missed the gossiping, too. You are done? Thank you. Me too. God bless you.

    Posted on Jun 4th, 2013 at 2:00 PM by Doubtful

  • Hi Rebecca Teti---what is happening with these open forums? There were two people to whom I was going to respond: boy scouts, and telling in-laws about a visit...where are those posts? Patricia had a wonderful answer that included some names of non-BSA groups that I wanted, as well! Please help!

    Posted on Jun 6th, 2013 at 1:42 PM by Donna L.

  • Dear unknown, Your anger baffles and saddens me. I pray that you find peace and are able to let go of the perceived prejudices that you seem so certain of. It sounds like you have had some bad experiences with other Catholic women. For that I am sorry. But should one meet uncharitable behavior with even more uncharitable behavior? Please don't judge the rest of the women here who post in sincerity and in faith...whether they are sharing their doubts, their sorrows or their joys. We all have enough to deal with in this vale of tears, we don't need to berate each other with our own assumptions. I don't know who "most of you" or "most of us" are...but I've not experienced on this site what you've claimed above. May God grant your heart the peace that you desire, the peace that can only come from Him.

    Posted on Jun 6th, 2013 at 1:43 PM by Faith & Family mom

  • Scott Jeanne's husband: I'm not seeing the connection between what you posted and anything else that was posted above on the Tuesday Open Forum...? Jeanne in Tampa: I'm not sure what pretentious tears you are referring to, but I can see plenty of suffering in the world around us...both physical and spiritual. You've made it pretty clear that you don't care for the content that is posted here at Faith & Family...might I suggest that you save yourself some trouble and begin reading and posting elsewhere...? Just something to think about. I think it would save you a lot of aggravation. I am truly sorry that you feel so much anger against people whom you do not even know.

    Posted on Jun 6th, 2013 at 7:17 PM by Faith & Family mom