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Hence, the matter of determining whether a marriage took place cannot be handled on the level of the individual conscience.
Rather, this must be examined and judged by the proper external forum established by the Church.
However, the authority to judge whether or not a marriage is null belongs to a marriage tribunal.
As individuals, we do not have the authority to decide whether a marriage was null.
If a marriage occurs, it is either a sacramental marriage or a natural marriage. Both are recognized as valid and protected by the Church as holy unions.
When validly contracted between two baptized people, marriage is a sacrament.
Encouraging yet forthright, The Catholic Guide to Dating After Divorce offers sound advice to anyone who has experienced the deflating effects of divorce, but is not ready to give up on love.A diocesan marriage tribunal must ascertain that to the best of their knowledge the previous union was not a valid marriage.If certain impediments are found to have been present when marriage vows were exchanged, the marriage may be declared null and void the marriage never existed.Published letters may be edited for length and clarity.Names and cities of letter writers may also be published.