Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Correspondence Concerning the Dissolution of the Marriage Bond in Favor of the Faith, 1996. Private.


This entry involves an inquiry sent from an archbishop in a country outside of the United States through the papal nuncio in that country. The response came from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.




September 3, 1996

His Excellency

Papal Nuncio

Your Excellency:

This archdiocese has a question concerning the dissolution of marriage in favor of the faith. Would you please transmit it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

pg. 1071

pg. 1072
The facts of the case are as follows:

A non-baptized female was married to a baptized non-Catholic. After marriage the woman was baptized a Catholic, and in accord with the teaching of her new faith she had a birth control device removed. Her husband, who was hostile to the Catholic faith, ceased having sexual relations with her after Baptism, except for a few instances in which he did so by using a condom which prevented the transmission of the semen.

The question is:

Is it possible to obtain a dissolution of marriage in favor of the faith when sexual intercourse after baptism has only taken place with the use of a condom that prevented the transmission of semen?

I thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Archbishop




The following response [in English] was received from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith:




15.X.1996

Your Excellency,

Thanks for your inquiry dated September 6, 1996.

You ask “Is it possible to obtain a dissolution of a marriage in favor of the faith when sexual intercourse after baptism has only taken place with the use of a condom that prevented the transmission of semen?”

Our answer: It is not possible to obtain a dissolution of marriage in favor of the Faith if the non-baptized person is baptized and then sexual intercourse takes place with the use of a condom.

If you wish for clarification on any other issue, please let us know.

pg. 1072

pg. 1073
With kindest regards to Your Excellency, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tarcisio Bertone




RRAO (1997): 23-25.