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Marriage East and West, CCC #1623

Posted By: Filipe YTOL

Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/20/18 10:09 AM

Hi everyone...
I have been having a discussion with a friend about who presides over the sacrament of matrimony (hence my other question).
I pointed out that in the Eastern Churches it is the priest or bishop, but he countered and said that is not the case, and quoted article 1623 of the Catechism.
So I looked it up and in my version at home it clearly states that the Priest or bishop is the minister, in the Eastern liturgies. But he insisted and it seems that the article was changed recently and now says that "In the tradition of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses,124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary"

Why the change? Is the Church now saying that the priest/bishop is not the minister of the sacrament?
Your opinions are welcome, of course, but any references to authoritive texts would be great.
Posted By: ajk

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/20/18 03:58 PM

Originally Posted by Filipe YTOL

Why the change?
Good question.


Originally Posted by Filipe YTOL
Is the Church now saying that the priest/bishop is not the minister of the sacrament?
The present wording of the CCC:

Quote
1623 According to Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ's grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the tradition of the Eastern Churches, the priests (bishops or presbyters) are witnesses to the mutual consent given by the spouses,124 but for the validity of the sacrament their blessing is also necessary.125
--------------------------------------------
124 Cf. CCEO, can. 817.
125 Cf. CCEO, can. 828.


Quote
1623 Secundum traditionem latinam, sponsi, tamquam ministri gratiae Christi, sibi mutuo Matrimonii conferunt sacramentum, suum consensum coram Ecclesia significantes. In traditionibus Ecclesiarum Orientalium, sacerdotes — Episcopi vel presbyteri — testes sunt consensus mutuo ab sponsis praestiti, 275 sed etiam eorum benedictio ad validitatem sacramenti est necessaria. 276


This neither confirms nor rejects that the priest is the minister of the sacrament of marriage in the Eastern "tradition." This neither confirms nor rejects that the spouses are the ministers of the sacrament of marriage in the Eastern "tradition." The referenced CCEO canons do not use the term minister. In these texts there is no explicit wording that informs us about the minister of the sacrament of marriage in the Eastern "tradition."

I refer the forum to the previous lengthy discussion (2008, 2015) that you also started: Ministers of Matrimony
Posted By: theophan

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/20/18 07:38 PM

Filipe YTOL:

Christ is in our midst!!

ajk's quotation is the wording of the second edition of the CCC. Do you have the first? Maybe that is why you have a discrepancy. As to why a change was made, that is a question for Rome from which the revised second edition came.

Bob
Posted By: ajk

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/20/18 09:38 PM

Originally Posted by theophan
Filipe YTOL:

Christ is in our midst!!

ajk's quotation is the wording of the second edition of the CCC. Do you have the first? Maybe that is why you have a discrepancy. As to why a change was made, that is a question for Rome from which the revised second edition came.

Bob


First Edition Version
Quote
1623 In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the Eastern liturgies the minister of this sacrament (which is called "Crowning") is the priest or bishop who, after receiving the mutual consent of the spouses, successively crowns the bridegroom and the bride as a sign of the marriage covenant.
Vatican Archive

Also, consider:

Quote
EWTN Catholic Q&A
Minister of the Sacrament of Matrimony
Question from John on 05-03-2001:
Dr. Carroll, The Catholic Church holds that the Eastern Church's teaching that the priest confers the sacrament of Matrimony upon the the couple is a valid Catholic opinion. The NCCB's document, "Eastern Catholics in the United States" says, " Marriage in the Eastern Church is a sacrament confered by the priest by means of the "crowning" and nuptual blessing, not by the couple as in the Latin Church." It was authored by my bishop, Andrew Pataki. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "1623. "In the Latin Church, it is ordinarily understood that the spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church. In the Eastern liturgies the minister of this sacrament (which is called 'Crowning') is the priest or bishop who, after receiving the mutual consent of the spouses, successively crowns the bridegroom and the bride as a sign of the marriage covenant." It is therefore an error to dismiss the Orthodox view as heretical because the Magisterium has ratified it as a valid opinion. ,John
Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 05-05-2000:
I am now aware of this fact, which as you say is in the Catholic Catechism. - Dr. Carroll

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Posted By: theophan

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/23/18 09:25 PM

Question is why the second edition of the CCC changed what, to me, was a much better explanation of the differences in theology expressed in the marriage rites.

Bob
Posted By: ajk

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/24/18 03:29 AM

Originally Posted by theophan
Question is why the second edition of the CCC changed what, to me, was a much better explanation of the differences in theology expressed in the marriage rites.
Your question may anticipate a possible answer: " differences in theology." As I noted as the concluding remark of the 2008&2015 thread:
Originally Posted by ajk
4) FINAL CONSIDERATION The Sacrament of Marriage -- or lack thereof -- touches most if not all of us, directly or through family friends etc.. The Church owes us a clear, unambiguous theological foundation for understanding the mind of the Church, uniting and reconciling East and West, and from which details and specifics are consistently formulated. I believe that theological foundation should be based on a theology of Person and the Church, Ecclesiology as the Body of Christ and His Spouse, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and the mon-archē of the Bishop.

link => Ministers of Matrimony
Posted By: Filipe YTOL

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/24/18 11:19 AM

Thanks, everyone, for your help!
Filipe
Posted By: Deacon John Montalvo

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/26/18 01:24 PM

The change in the CCC may be attributed to commentary that developed after the promulgation of the CCEO. In his commentary, _Eastern Catholic Marriage Law_, the late Archimandrite Msgr Victor Pospishil notes, “Because the contract of marriage is a sacrament for the baptized, the parties of the contract are also the ministers of the sacrament.” In _A Guide to the Eastern Code: A Commentary on the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches_, Fr Josef Prader writes, “The minister of the sacrament of marriage is the one who posits the sacramental sign... In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the sacramental sign essentially consists in the indispensably reciprocal consent of the parties and, by ecclesiastical disposition, in the sacred rite, that is, in the priestly blessing...” so Fr Prader is of the opinion that both the baptized parties and the priest are ministers of the sacrament. Fr Prader was an associate professor of Canon Law at the PIO, and a consultor of the PCCICOR (the Pontifical Commission on the Revision of the Code of Oriental Canon Law).
Posted By: ajk

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/27/18 02:00 AM

Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
The change in the CCC may be attributed to commentary that developed after the promulgation of the CCEO. In his commentary, _Eastern Catholic Marriage Law_, the late Archimandrite Msgr Victor Pospishil notes, “Because the contract of marriage is a sacrament for the baptized, the parties of the contract are also the ministers of the sacrament.” In _A Guide to the Eastern Code:
I'd like to hear how this fits with Orthodox theological sensibilities. What of baptized Christians who are in a common law union or those who are members of an ecclesial community (rather than an ekklesia)?


Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
A Commentary on the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches_, Fr Josef Prader writes, “The minister of the sacrament of marriage is the one who posits the sacramental sign... In the Eastern Catholic Churches, the sacramental sign essentially consists in the indispensably reciprocal consent of the parties and, by ecclesiastical disposition, in the sacred rite, that is, in the priestly blessing...” so Fr Prader is of the opinion that both the baptized parties and the priest are ministers of the sacrament. Fr Prader was an associate professor of Canon Law at the PIO, and a consultor of the PCCICOR (the Pontifical Commission on the Revision of the Code of Oriental Canon Law).

Even more so, I'd like to hear how this fits with Orthodox theological sensibilities. Though not authoritative as is the CCC, It is knowledgeable commentary and I'd say a correct and reasonable one, but what is considered the consent that makes the baptized parties ministers? Just answering questions put to each of them? The West has the vows as a very explicit form of "the indispensably reciprocal consent of the parties." Generally vows are not in the nuptial liturgy of the East although they are in the Ruthenian Recension trebnik.

Why then is the CCC so vague?
Posted By: Filipe YTOL

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/31/18 03:24 PM

I came across this document, which is helpful and has many references. It's a doctoral thesis, so what I did was search the word "minister" and just skip to the relevant passages.
Page 200 and footnote 58 are particularly interesting. https://cuislandora.wrlc.org/islandora/object/etd:164/datastream/PDF/view

Although the CCC has changed its wording, it is interesting that, as far as I know, for an Eastern Catholic Marriage, or a mixed Eastern/Latin marriage to be valid, the ceremony must still be presided over by a priest or bishop, lending force to the fact that the Church still considers the Eastern understanding of the Priest/bishop, but not deacon, being the minister of the sacrament, to be legit.
Posted By: Filipe YTOL

Re: Marriage East and West, CCC #1623 - 01/31/18 03:31 PM

In fact, it is worth reading through to page 205, where this issue is discussed further and in some detail, with different positions explained. The change in the wording of the CCC is also mentioned.
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