SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Instruction on the dissolution of marriage
– As it is noted
As it is noted, this Congregation has treated and long studied the question of the dissolution of marriage in favor of the faith.
Now, finally, after a diligent examination of the problem, Pope Paul VI granted his approval to these new norms, in which are articulated the conditions for granting the dissolution of a marriage in favor of the faith, whether on the part of the petitioner who is baptized whether converted or not.
I. In order to validly grant the dissolution, three conditions are absolutely necessary:
II. Furthermore, it is required:
III. The dissolution will be granted more easily when there are other substantiated reasons to question the validity of the marriage itself.
IV. A marriage between a Catholic and a non-baptized person, contracted with a dispensation from the impediment of disparity of cult, can also be dissolved provided that the conditions set out in II and III above are met, and it is demonstrated that the Catholic party, because of the particular regional circumstances (especially because of the small number of Catholics in the region), could not avoid the marriage and could not act in the marriage according to the Catholic religion. It is also necessary that this Sacred Congregation is informed about the implications of the celebrated marriage.
V. The dissolution of a legitimate marriage, contracted with a dispensation from the impediment of disparity of cult, is not granted to the Catholic party who seeks to enter a new marriage with another non-baptized person who does not convert.
VI. The dissolution of a legitimate marriage is not granted if it was contracted or convalidated after having previously obtained the dissolution of a another legitimate marriage.
So that these conditions can be applied in a just way, “new procedural norms” have been redacted, according to which all future processes will be instructed. We attach these norms to the present instruction.
Once these new norms come into force, the preceding norms, which were issued to instruct these processes are completely abrogated.
Rome, December 6, 1973.
+ Franjo Card. Šeper
+ Fr. Jérôme Hamer, O.P.