When the application of these guidelines is not possible due to absence or distance, you will be offered alternative ways to carry out the spirit of the guidelines. When suitable alternatives cannot be found, delay of your marriage may be appropriate.
In relationships where physical, chemical, sexual or emotional abuse is evident or use of/addiction to pornography is present, your marriage should be delayed until appropriate remedial action has been taken.
Many couples choose to live together in a sexual relationship prior to marriage. Couples offer various reasons for cohabiting, ranging from economics to convenience. Frequently, they have accepted the widespread societal belief that premarital cohabitation is a prudent way to determine whether they are truly compatible.* Current research, however, finds that this is not the case. Priests, deacons, parish directors or pastoral ministers will explain and discuss with you the teachings of the Church regarding human sexuality and marriage, and the reasons for the Church’s disapproval of cohabitation before proceeding with your marriage.
Marriage guidelines will be pastorally and sensitively interpreted in light of your ethnicity, culture and race.
While the Code of Canon Law does not list HIV/AIDS as an impediment to marriage, it is essential that you receive proper counsel prior to any decision to marry if either of you have tested positive to HIV/AIDS. If you have tested positive to HIV/AIDS and are contemplating marriage, you must inform your prospective spouse of the virus infection. In situations where one or both partners have HIV/AIDS you will be requested to explore the unique issues you face with a qualified representative of the Church.
If either of you is not yet nineteen years of age, additional meetings with you and your parents are advised to determine if it is appropriate to proceed with your wedding at this time. Other professional counsel will be recommended if necessary.
The marriage preparation process is to be adapted to your age and maturity as a couple but preparation should not be eliminated.
In general, persons with disabilities have a right to marry, but certain physical and mental disabilities may be an impediment to marriage. Priests, deacons, parish directors or pastoral ministers should extend appropriate pastoral care.
Pregnancy should not be the determining factor in proceeding with or delaying a marriage, nor is it sufficient reason to omit the marriage preparation process.
Preparation for remarriage includes a process to determine your canonical freedom to marry and to implement the marriage preparation guidelines, while sensitively addressing the unique challenges you may face. If a Church process is necessary to address a previous marriage, a date for marriage cannot be set until that process, with an affirmative outcome without restriction, is completed.