Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, General Decree Concerning the Granting of a Dispensation from Canonical Form, January 1998.


In accordance with the prescriptions of c. 1127, §2, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference hereby decrees that the granting of a dispensation from the canonical form is subject to the following conditions:

20. That the freedom of the parties to marry and to marry each other be established and that all pertinent information be recorded on a pre-nuptial enquiry form, the original of which is to be filed in the archives of the parish in which the Catholic party has at least a quasi-domicile and a copy submitted to the local Ordinary from whom the dispensation is requested.

21. That the requirements of c. 1125, §§1-3 for the granting of permission for a mixed marriage be complied with.

22. That reasons for granting dispensations from canonical form be concerned in some way with:

– the grave difficulty of a non-Catholic party to be married by a Catholic priest when his/her parent or close relative is a minister in his/her Church;

– the strong reluctance on the part of the family of the non-Catholic to submit to the Catholic form of marriage.

23. That, because of the significance attached to the priestly blessing on the occasion of marriage, neither of the parties to the proposed marriage belong to one of the Eastern rite Catholic Churches.

pg. 1070

pg. 1071
The Conference further decrees that since the granting of the dispensation is subject for validity to some form of public celebration, the rescript granting the dispensation is to indicate this requirement specifically.

Copies of the rescript are to be filed in the diocesan archives of the local Ordinary of the Catholic party who granted the dispensation, and in the archives of the parish in which the Catholic party has at least a quasi-domicile. When the fact of the celebration of the marriage has been established, the marriage together with the details of the dispensation is to be recorded both in the marriage register of the diocesan curia and of the parish in which the Catholic party has at least a quasi-domicile (c. 1121, §3).

The parish of the baptism of the Catholic party is to be notified of the marriage and the dispensation so that the appropriate entry may be made in the baptismal register (c. 1122).




Code of Canon Law Annotated (Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur Limitée, 2004): 1785.