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Ne Temere

From Academic Kids

Ne Temere (literally meaning "not rashly" in Latin) is a decree (named for its opening words) of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Council declaring invalid any marriage of a Roman Catholic or any person who has ever been a Roman Catholic, unless contracted before a qualified Roman Catholic priest (or the bishop of the diocese) and at least two witnesses. The decree was issued under Pius X, Aug. 10, 1907, and took effect on Easter Apr. 19, 1908. This decree was voided for marriages in Germany by the subsequent decree Provida

The explicit intent was to eliminate clandestine marriages, with the justification that the Roman church has "always very justly detested and forbidden secret marriages" extending a decree of the Counter-Reformation Council of Trent enforcing parish discipline in matters of betrothal and marriage. However, it did not just prohibit secret marriages, but any marriage which did not have the explicit authority of the Catholic Church.

The result made official civil marriages difficult for lapsed Catholics in some Church-dominated nations. It also made mixed marriages between Roman Catholics and non-Roman Catholics conditional on the appoval of the Church (or for the Catholic to face excommunication), and thus allowed the Church to impose conditions such as an obligation for any children to be baptised and brought up as Catholics, and for the non-Catholic partners to submit to religious education with the aim of converting them to Catholicism.

One effect is that if a Roman Catholic marries in a way invalidated by the decree, then once divorced by the civil authorities they can remarry in the Catholic Church without needing an annulment. Curiously, Protestants who marry other Protestants in a Protestant Church, and then divorce, would still need an annulment if they then wished to marry a Roman Catholic in a Catholic Church.

The continued application of Ne Temere has been used as a justification for continuation of the discriminatory provisions of the UK's Act of Settlement 1701.

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