• Georges Ruyssen Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome


While affirming the inseparability between contract and the sacrament of marriage between two baptized in virtue of the ex opere operato principle, the role of faith of the future spouses, ministers of the sacrament, is examined under the heading of the intention faciendi id quod facit Ecclesia. After having analyzed certain Church documents dealing with the link between the faith of the future spouses and the sacrament of marriage, such as the I.T.C. proposals on marriage of 1977, the article focuses on the juridical approach concerning the lack of faith in relation to the validity of the matrimonial consent. Article 14 §2 of the common procedural rules on the way of proceeding in marriage nullity cases, which accompany the two M.P. of 15th August 2015 on the reform of the canonical process of marriage nullity cases, provides that “the defect of faith […] can generate simulation of consent or error that determines the will.” Though not constituting a new motive of nullity, this defect of faith is linked to two existing motives of nullity. In this respect the opinion of two eminent canonists, both Auditors of the Roman Rota, Pompedda and Faltin, are examined.

Author Biography

Georges Ruyssen, Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome

Georges Ruyssen (° 1967) is a Belgian Jesuit teaching canon law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome as well as at the Centre Sèvres, Facultés Jésuites de Paris.