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The priest adds that a serious obligation rests on everyone to reveal to him any known impediment to the proposed marriage.
consanguinity, affinity, previous marriage) to an intended marriage, is conscience bound to reveal it to the parish priest of the contacting parties; it then becomes the duty of such parish priest to investigate the statement made to him (usually under oath ) and decide to the character of the evidence; if a grave suspicion be aroused in him, he must refer the case to the bishop, who decides whether a dispensation can or cannot be granted.
Confessors, lawyers, physicians, midwives, are not bound to reveal impediments known to them through the discharge of their official or professional duties, nor does and obligation rest on those who fear that to make known and impediment would cause great detriment to themselves or their families, or who are aware that no good can result from their action, or know that the contracting parties have already made known the impediment.
The period for which the publication of the banns is valid depending in local ecclesiastical authority and custom. In practice the period varies from six weeks to six months.
It may be added that the marriage of members of royal houses ( matrimonia principum ) are by custom exempted from publication of the banns.
The obligation of making known to the bishop all proposed marriage dates as far back as the beginning of the second century (Ignat, ad Polyc., c.v.). In the United Stated the Sixth Provincial of Baltimore recommended the bishops of the province to introduce the laws of the banns as laid down by the Councils of Lateran and Trent ( juxta mentem concilli Lateranensis et Tridentini ).
Its object is to discover any impediments to a proposed marriage; incidentally, it makes known to all duly interested in the latter the fact of its near celebration. Moreover, the parish priest cannot refuse to publish the banns excepted for reasons stated in the canon law.
When both parties permanently reside in the same parish no difficulty can arise as to the parish priest whose right and duty it is to publish the banns. to the bishops of England and the United States, 7 June, 1867; see also its decree of 6 May, 1886). It must be noted that by the council's own special act its marriage decree "Tametsi", with its provision for the banns (see CLANDESTINITY ) is binding only in those parishes in which it has been severally promulgated ; hence, when such formal promulgation is lacking the obligation of proclaiming the banns rest not on the Tridentine law, but on the earlier Lateran canon, also on local or particular ecclesiastical legislation and custom. The publication in the church of the names of persons intending marriage seems to have originated in France about the end of the twelfth century; it was already a custom of the Gallican Church in 1215, when Innocent III mentions it in a letter to the Bishop of Beauvais (c. In the same year the Fourth Lateran Council made it a general ecclesiastical law (c. The Council of Trent confirmed this law, and specified to a certain extent the manner of its execution.The banns of minors must also be published in the place of residence or their parents or guardians. Custom has in many places exempted Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The banns are published regularly at the parish or principal Mass, though the publication may occur at any other Mass on the prescribed days, nor is it required that such publication be repeated at more than one Mass on the aforesaid days.The law of quasi-domicile is also frequently to servants, apprentices, soldiers and students in institutions of learning. It is also customary in some places to proclaim the banns on suppressed feast days, also at Vespers, provided there be on such occasions a considerable attendance of people in the church (S. By a rescript of the Congregation of Propaganda the Vicars Apostolic of India were permitted to publish the banns on weekdays.It also should be stated whether the actual proclamation is the first, second, or third, and whether there will be a dispensation from further publications.