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Impediments.

Factors that prevent marriage* from being properly constituted.

Luths. have recognized impediments based on degrees of relationship either of consanguinity or of affinity (Lv 18:6–20; 20:10–23; Dt 27:20–23; Mt 14:3–4; 1 Co 5:1). Impotence and incurable disease were usually considered natural impediments.

In RC theol. 2 types of impediments are distinguished: (1) prohibitory, which make marriage unlawful but not invalid (e.g., vows of virginity; differences in religion); (2) diriment, which make marriage invalid and unlawful (e.g., when man is under 16 and woman under 14; permanent impotence prior to marriage; existing marriage; disparity bet. a RC and one who is unbaptized; sacred orders; certain blood relationships; affinity resulting from valid marriage; spiritual relationship). Bps. can dispense from many impediments; some are reserved for the diocese of the pope.

See also Prohibited Degrees.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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