Serie Diritto Canonico
DAVID SERENO, WHETHER THE NORM EXPRESSED IN CANON 1103 IS OF NATURAL LAW OR OF POSITIVE CHURCH LAW
The question of the legal
origin regarding nullity of the coerced marriage has been discussed since
the middle ages by theologians and canon lawyers. The interpretation of
canon 1103 of the 1983 Code on November 25, 1986, by the Pontifical Commission
for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law permits this
canon to be applied to coerced marriages of non-Catholics. Since the 1983
Code of Canon Law does not apply to the marriages of non-Catholics, canon
1103 cannot be applied to these marriages unless it has its legal origin
of nullity in the natural law.
The present dissertation is a historical and critical research into the doctrine of theologians and canon lawyers on the much-debated question of the legal origin of nullity in a coerced marriage. Authors included in the research start with Thomas Sanchez (1550-1610) and continue onto present day authors. Attention is given also to pertinent highlights of the Church's jurisprudential practice, both recent and past, regarding the nullity of a coerced marriage. In the study particular focus is devoted to the question of indirect fear, which fear gained full juridical relevance in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
The present work not only contributes to a historical and doctrinal understanding of canon 1103, but also it will assist individual judges in deciding cases of nullity due to coercion in those marriages that are not subject to the Church's laws.
DAVID SERENO, born in 1956 in Los Angeles
(California, USA), was ordained a priest in Mexico in 1986. After a few
years of ministry he came to study in the Department of Canon Law at the
Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained his licentiate
in 1993. Completing studies in the jurisprudence section of the department
in 1994, he earned his doctorate in 1997 with the present work under the
guidance of Professor Urban Navarrete.
(C) PUG 1999