CitationsWhat are the just reasons for separation? bring to top
Blameless, unhappy situations fail as reason to separate. bring to top
Recommended by the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative TextsCanon law is written in Latin. English translations with commentary are available. In June 2004, the Midwest Theological Forum published an English edition of the Code of Canon Law Annotated. His Eminence Julian Cardinal Herranz, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in the Roman Curia, commented about this text, "I know of no other single resource that offers an up-to-date compilation of the complementary norms that have been promulgated by English language Episcopal Conferences." (See quote in context)
The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts is one of the departments of the Roman Curia. In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Pope makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors. (More Roman Curia)
In the excerpts below, the code is bold. The annotations are in plain text. To read an approved English translation of the law itself visit Vatican's Website Canon Law 1151-1155
Instituto Martin de Azpilcueta. Code of Canon Law Annotated Second edition revised and updated of the 6th Spanish language edition.Woodridge, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, 2004.
Title page Contents
UNIVERSITY OF NAVARRA SAINT PAUL UNIVERSITY
Faculty of Canon Law Faculty of Canon Law
CODE OF CANON LAW ANNOTATED
prepared under the responsibility of the Instituto Martin de Azpilcueta
edited by Ernest CAPARROS, Michel THERIAULT (+), JEAN THORN (+)
Second edition revised and updated of the 6th Spanish language edition
edited by Ernest CAPARROS, Helene AUBE
assisted by Juan Ignacio ARRIETA, Michael A. HACK, Jerome L. JUNG, David MOTIUK
Wilson & Latleur Limitee Midwest Theological Forum
Montreal Woodridge [IL]
ExcerptsArticle 2 Separation While the Bond Remains
Can. 1151 ---- Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.
1151 -- "Convictus" (from convivo) means "life in company," cohabitation; the CIC/83, therefore, is of the same opinion as the C1C/17: it begins the canons on separation with a declaration of the duty of the spouses to live together. It substitutes the expression : "convictus" for that of "vitae coniugalis communionem" (c. 1128 of the CIC/17), so that there might be no confusion with the conjugal bond which, in accordance with the terminology of Vatican II (GS 48), is described as "communitas vitae et amoris."
Separation does not only involve suspension of common life and of the duty of the spouses to live together, but also entails the suspension of conjugal rights and obligations in general, with the exception of certain aspects; however, the most typical element, and that in which the state of marriage is most clearly shown as separation, is the suspension of common life and conjugal cohabitation.
What are the just reasons for separation? In marriage, apart from the conjugal rights and obligations in the strict sense, there are principles that regulate married life, that is, general guidelines for the behavior of the spouses. There are five such principles:
2) They must strive after mutual materiel or bodily perfection;
3) They must strive after mutual spiritual perfection;
4) The spouses must live together,
5) They must strive after the material and spiritual good of their offspring.
Reasons for separation, therefore, are those actions that seriously damage any of these principles. Consequently, the reasons for separation may be reduced to these four headings: adultery, grave bodily harm to the spouse or children, grave spiritual harm to the spouse or children, desertion.
Can. 1152 [concerns adultery and is omitted on this webpage]
§2. In all cases, when the reason for separation ceases, the common conjugal life is to be restored unless otherwise provided by ecclesiastical authority</b>
1153 -- This canon contains the reasons for temporary separation, that is separation which lasts as long as the reason for it endures. Canon 1131 of the CIC/17 [see Note below] specified these reasons; in contrast, the present law establishes generic types.
In order for the separation to be juridically effective and thus suspend conjugal rights and obligations as well as the objective of mutual assistance, the situations opposed to conjugal life must be culpable, because only guilt breaks the obligation of the other party and one's own right. Of course, the spouse who is the cause of the problem refuses without good reason to cease cohabiting; his or her conduct is in itself a form of culpability.
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