There can be a union between a Catholic and a non-Catholic that would be a true and valid union. This union is to raise children in the faith. God gave a power to the Church to add conditions of validity to some of the sacraments for the sake of the salvation of souls. Remember, the supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls.
In the 1500's the protestant heresy entered the world. Now for the first time you have this massive number of thousands and hundreds of thousands of Catholics, who are no longer Catholics, they have become protestants, who say they believe in Jesus Christ. But they don't believe in His teachings. Then they began to inter-marry with the Catholics and there began a great loss of faith throughout the 16th century. Therefore the pope, whichever one it was, made a decree called the Tametsi. In the Tametsi it says, from now on whenever a Catholic marries, whether it be a fellow Catholic or a non-Catholic, doesn't matter, whenever a Catholic marries, we are adding a condition to the validity of marriage that the priest must be a witness.
Why did the Church make the law that a priest must be a witness? What's the purpose of that law? To protect the faith.
The purpose of the very law by which the Church had the right to say from now on (now has been almost 400 yrs.) from now on when any Catholic marries a non-Catholic and they are not married by the witnessing of a priest the marriage is declared invalid. They're not married. If you married (without a priest) a in 1423 it would be valid, but if you married [without a priest] a Catholic in 1823 or 1923 or 2018 it's invalid. Because God gave a power to the Church to add conditions in order to preserve the faith. For the sake of the preservation of the faith the popes added the condition: no Catholic will be considered validly married [without a priest]. We [the Church] take away the right to accept that marriage.
Remember marriage is a union between man and woman for the purpose of babies, which means it's a union for the purpose of society. Now there are two societies, one society is called the Church and the other society is called the state. Hence, these marriages must be recognized by the Church and by the state. One rule of the Church for instance is, you don't just get married in front of the priest, you must make sure that you're marriage is legal before the government as well. So we have to make sure that whatever the laws of the local country, there are various laws in different countries. We will make sure that you are legally married before the state so the state recognizes that you are married and these children belong to your family, cause you're going to be members of the American state, here in the United States, or the French state, or the Philippine state or any other state. If you're going to be members of that state you need to be validly truly united before God and recognized by the Church and recognized by the state. Both should recognize the marriage. ....... One such positive serious law is the law that says all Catholics must be married in the presence of the priest as a witness of the Church and if this witness is not, the marriage is invalid. Except. The exceptions must be very serious because it's a serious law. The seriousness law of marriage is one of the most serious laws. It's one of the 6 precepts of the Church that we must memorize and obey. You must be married in front of a witness of a priest. That priest should be approved by a bishop and you should be married in the parish Church of the bride.
So what about the last 50 yrs. since Vat. II?
25:45 What is it that has happened throughout the entire world in the last 50 years? There has been a loss of faith. There have been marriages in which souls are getting married and losing their faith. The reason for the Tametsi, the reason for the law that says all Catholics must be married in front of a priest in order to be validly married, the reasoning behind that law is: the salvation of souls and preservation of the faith. Preservation of faith is the primary reason. The priest is supposed to check with a non-Catholic: Are you going to raise that child Catholic? If you're not going to raise the child Catholic, we're not doing the marriage. You must raise the child Catholic. Also in the old days if a non-Catholic married a Catholic 2 things were strictly forbidden.
In order to show the Church frowned upon the marriage the priest would witness the marriage in the rectory or he would witness the marriage outside, or witness the marriage in a parish hall or wedding venue, but he was forbidden to witness the marriage inside the Church. Some priests would say we're going to have the marriage and then we're going to have our normal Mass. But it's not the Mass of the marriage. It just so happens that there was a marriage and then a Mass afterwards and it looks like it was the Mass of a marriage but it wasn't. They said the Mass of the day, St. Anselm for example, instead of the marriage Mass. But the Church said NO, non of that!
So there was a special indult made for the United States in the 1930's. An indult only for the United States that the priest was allowed to marry a non-Catholic with the surplice and stole, without any vestments in the Church, but outside the communion rail without the server. That was an indult for the U.S. It was forbidden to have any marriage of a Catholic with a non-Catholic inside the Church so that it would be very visible the Church does not approve, but it's allowing the marriage.
It says in the Code of Canon Law the priest must do everything in his power to prevent the marriage outside the faith. But if he cannot prevent it he will do the marriage. So he would try to encourage the Catholic man or Catholic woman don't marry a non-Catholic, you're endangering the faith of all your children, you're endangering the future, don't marry the non-Catholic. But if you're going to marry and I can't stop it- because in the old and even new law in the 1600's you could still marry a non-Catholic- so the Church respects that. Therefore he says alright I'm going to witness the marriage, it's going to be a valid marriage, you're not going to be able to get a divorce. You're going to be truly united before God, but it's going to be showing that we're frowning on it. Therefore, outside the Church not in the Church. The rectory or anywhere else. The priest is there so it's clear it's a valid marriage. Then in the U.S. the indult was granted so that it could be inside the Church building but outside the communion rail w/o Mass. Then it was noted don't have a Mass. If there's a Mass scheduled at 9a.m., it's cancelled because we cannot give the impression there's a marriage with a Mass if they are Catholic marrying a non-Catholic. That was the old rule to show the seriousness of this law and the seriousness and the importance of raising children Catholic when being married.
Note this point: The reason for all the laws concerning marriage in the Church equals to: PROTECT THE FAITH.
This is the reason why Catholic priests, thousands & thousands of them down the last 50 years, have said you don't get married in the Novus Ordo parish. Don't get married by Fr. Bob. Don't get married by a Fr. Bill. Don't get married in a N.O. Church because it's a danger to your faith. That's the reason behind all these laws.
Remember the law of Epikeia is the law by which we deliberately break the law in order to keep the law. This is following the mind of the lawgiver. So the lawgiver has a law that's designed for safety. If to follow the safety law you're going to kill someone, you break the safety law to save people's lives. In normal circumstances you do follow the safety law but in circumstances in which the safety law endangers safety, don't follow it.
This is called the law of Epikeia. Our safety is the salvation of the soul and the preservation of the faith.
This is one of the practical reasons why for instance, at OLMC and the SSPX we have many parishes. One here in Massachusetts, another in Colorado another one somewhere in the Philippines another in Calif. and Canada and everywhere else all over the world and these parishes we interconnect in some way. Why do we do that? Because the Catholic Church is a social organization. We are a society. One of the very simple practical reasons is the young boys who have the faith can meet young girls that have the faith. And they can marry each other in the faith. Cause if you never meet the girl it's gonna be really hard to marry her. And if you don't meet the guy it's going to be very difficult to marry him. How are they going to meet? We're going to connect the Catholics with other Catholics. Not only in your little parishes but throughout the other parishes. For what purpose? To preserve the faith.
We've been doing this now for 2000 yrs. There have been laws about this for the last 400 yrs. in our holy Church, and there have been many organizations created by priests throughout the entire world to help Catholics be together so that young Catholic men and young Catholic women could meet each other and marry in the faith and raise children in the faith.
When we come to the present law several thousands of priests of tradition in the last 50 years, have all, each of them done marriages without the approval of the bishop, without any worry, without any concern, without any problem. We study holy Canon Law, which is practical theology and we study the dogmatic and moral theology in our seminaries and we know the purpose of our faith is to save souls. Therefore, if I tell little miss Suzy Q and little Johnny to go to the Novus Ordo priest. What's he going to do? He's going to try to drag them away from God. He's going to teach them about NFP. He's going to teach them that the new mass isn't really all that bad. He's going to try to bring them into the liberalism and he's going to try to drag them away from God. Is that a good idea? No!
Why is it not a good idea? Because it is a danger to the faith. What is the purpose of the Tametsi? What is the purpose of the law? To preserve the faith. Therefore in order to follow the law of the Tametsi and in order to follow the law of the Church, we must say, No! Do not go to the local Novus Ordo pastor because he doesn't have the faith.