Dr. Edward Peters 

To work for the proper implementation of canon law is to play an extraordinarily

constructive role in continuing the redemptive mission of Christ. Pope St. John Paul II







1983 Code



1917 Code


 Liber Extra



 Eastern Code


1152 x 864


2 apr 2017

Marriage Sacrament and Law (AT 746)





General remarks





This course presents the fundamental doctrinal and canonical aspects of the Sacrament of Matrimony.


Class meets: Mondays 6 PM to 9:30 PM, Room 114.


Required texts: No texts need be purchased for this course, but students will need access to: (1) the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992/1997) 1601-1666; (2) Canon Law Society of America, Code of Canon Law, Latin-English Edition, New English Translation (Canon Law Society of America, 2012) ISBN: 1-932208-32-1; (3) the Scriptural and magisterial documents listed below.


Class format: Interactive lecture.


Course grading: Two exams consisting of multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions.


Additional remarks


Course Description (SHMS Bulletin): This course provides an historical study of the development of the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic theological tradition from biblical times until today, and an examination of marriage law with attention to the canonical and pastoral considerations involved in the preparation for marriage, the annulment and dissolution of marriage, and the ecclesial procedures used in issuing decrees of nullity. Included will be contemporary and ecumenical issues. (Prerequisites: MNS 300, AT 780, or AT 550).


This course focuses directly on the original sources (i.e., Sacred Scripture, Magisterium, the Code) of Catholic doctrine and law of marriage with an eye toward modeling for students how to plumb these original sources for information and inspiration in coming years.


Other Resources


In addition to the standard canonical commentaries, scholarly works useful for graduate-level study of Catholic matrimonial doctrine and law would include:


Perry Cahall, The Mystery of Marriage: a theology of the body and the sacrament (Hillenbrand Books, 2016) 490 pp.


R. Dodaro, ed., Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church (Ignatius, 2014) 324 pp.


  Adhémar Esmein (French layman, 1848-1913), Le Mariage en Droit Canonique [1891], in 2 vols., rev. by R. Génestal, (Recueil Sirey, 1929/1935).


  Ramón García de Haro (Spanish priest, 1931-1996), Marriage in the Documents of the Magisterium: a course in the theology of marriage (Ignatius, 1993) 435 pp., W. May trans. of Haro’s Matrimonio & Famiglia nei Documenti del Magisterio: corso di teologia matrimoniale (1989).


  George Joyce (English Jesuit, 1864-1943), Christian Marriage: an historical and doctrinal study (Sheed & Ward, 1933) 632 pages. Review: G. Osterle, Ius Pontificium 14 (1934) 237-238.


  Pietro Gasparri (Italian prelate, 1850-1934), Tractatus Canonicus de Matrimonio [1892], in 2 vols., 9th ed. (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1932).


  Urbano Navarrete [Cortés] (Italian Jesuit, 1920-2010), Structura iuridica matrimonii secundum Concilium Vaticanum II: momentum iuridicum amoris conjugalis (Gregoriana, no date) 155 pp., reprinted from Periodica 56 (1967) 357-383, 554-578, and 57 (1968) 131-167, 169-216.


  Victor Pospishil (Austrian/American Ukrainian priest, 1915-2006), Eastern Catholic Marriage Law (Saint Maron Publications, 1991) 532 pp.