Concubinage as a source of the matrimonial impediment of public propriety in Canon Law
Keywords:concubinage, impediment of public propriety, Canon Law
The article discusses concubinage as a source of matrimonial impediment of public propriety (impedimentum publicae honestatis) in Canon Law. According to Canon 1093 of the Code of Canon Law from 1983 and Canon 810 Code of Canons of Oriental Churches from 1990, the impediment of public propriety arises from notorious or public concubinage. It nulliﬁes marriage in the ﬁrst degree of the direct line between the man and the blood relatives of the woman, and vice versa. Concubinage means a cohabitation between a man and a woman established on a more or less durable basis without a valid marriage. It’s unimportant whether the parties live in the same house or not. Concubinage is considered public when it is known in the community of the faithful, notorious when it is publicly known and carried out in such circumstances that it cannot be concealed or excused. Public propriety is an impediment of ecclesiastical law, hence can be dispensed by the local ordinary (Canon 1078 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law) and by the local hierarch (Canon 795 of the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches) in ordinary circumstances, and also by the persons mentioned in canons 1079–1080 of the Code of Canon Law and canons 796–797 of the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches in exceptional circumstan- ces. It should be noted that even if notorious or public concubinage ceases through the death of one of the parties or by mutual agreement, a dispensation is necessary.