MEANWHILF. , Cantotic HERALD readers have been raising questions about the May 14 wedding of Don Juan Carlos and Princess Sophia in Athens, who went through two ceremonies. one Catholic, one Orthodox. One questioner put it: How could the Catholic Church's prohibition of nonCatholic weddings for Catholics be so flagrantly violated with the Holy Sec's approval?
Our "Here's the Answer" expert comments:
Generally speaking, Canon Law prohibits a marriage ceremony before a non-Catholic minister, even when a dispensation for a mixed marriage has been granted. This is clear from Canon 1061. Section 1.
This was the section to which the Osservatore Romano referred. when dealing with the Athens wedding in its May 13 issue.
iI went on to say, however, that the religious celebration in the Catholic Cathedral would he followed by a ceremony before a minister of the Greek State Church to secure the civil effects of Article 1367 of the Greek Civil Code, this being the only way in which the Greek Orthodox can secure the civil effects.
A spokesman at the Greek Embassy in London confirmed for me that there is no civil marriage in the ordinary sense in Greece. According to Greek civil law, no one can contract a valid marriage there unless he is married in his own Church.