You have got to read this: it's unbelievable

Published: July 9, 2009 at 12:01am
I can't marry you, honey - my ex had an abortion

I can't marry you, honey - my ex had an abortion

I’ll bet the one who sneaked to the priest and ruined the wedding was the ex girlfriend who had the abortion. But then on the other hand, I don’t blame the would-be bride for refusing to marry a man who kept something like this from her, on the grounds that it was ‘in his past and before her time’. What a frigging disaster.

And if women who have had abortions and men whose girlfriends have had abortions are not permitted marriage by the Catholic rite, even if they confess and repent, where does that leave the many hundreds of Maltese people who have terminated pregnancies and gone on to marry? If their marriages are null and void, then there’s a bit of a problem there.

It’s probably because I’m out of the doctrinal loop and have not kept up with the categorisation of sins, but if people who commit murder are allowed to marry by the Catholic rite, then surely people who have abortions are permitted that grace too.

The Malta Independent, 8 July

Law Report: The implications of breaking a promise to marry

This case concerned a claim for damages arising from the breach of a promise of marriage. The facts of the case were as follows:

X and Y had been courting for about six years and a half. In October 1996, the couple got engaged when the watch that X gave Y and the engagement ring Y gave X were blessed.

The wedding date was set two years in advance, for December 1998, when X and Y had not yet attended the Cana course. However, despite the fixed wedding date, the wedding did not take place since officials at the Curia refused to allow the wedding to take place for reasons imputable to the defendant.

The plaintiff was informed of such refusal on the eve of the wedding day. As a consequence of such refusal X and Y ended their relationship immediately.

Expenses for the wedding including the dress, wedding reception location, photographer, food, drink, cars etc, were incurred nonetheless, together with the expenses shared in the purchase of a house for which they had taken out a home loan.

Before the wedding was to take place, a priest claimed that it had come to his knowledge that Y had had a relationship with another woman who had conceived and aborted his child.

At first, Y denied this, but then allegedly confessed to the Curia asking for forgiveness on the eve of the wedding. The Curia, however, refused to give its blessing and prohibited the marriage from taking place in the Church.

Upon this rejection, X refused Y’s pleas to get married in a civil ceremony and the relationship ended.

20 Comments Comment

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Is X the woman or the man? If it is indeed the woman, then even if the Curia had given permission or whatever it was, X was still refusing to get married, so the Curia was probably thinking of that, not the abortion, but they fucked up their PR as usual.

      [Daphne – X is the woman. The Curia refused permission for them to marry in church. X refused to marry civilly, but I suspect that she was mightily cheesed off and the absence of a religious rite was only partly to do with her refusal.]

  1. P Shaw says:

    Is this an EU country or Saudi Arabia? The priest must be very proud of himself.

    • Joe S says:

      We are in Malta, not in any of the other 26 countries in the EU or for that matter in Saudi Arabia. Not many years ago children borne out of wedlock were not allowed to be baptised. Another new excuse to be used when applying for an annulment: “My ex had an abortion so our marriage is null and void and we can get an annulment.”

      [Daphne – Children borne out of marriage are still refused baptism unless there is a valid reason why their parents cannot marry each other: that valid reason being… of them is (or both are) married to somebody else.]

    • Kev says:

      In a secular state, it is up to religious entities to decide whether to be idiotic or not, precisely because this is not Saudi Arabia. I suspect the bride-to-be refused to go ahead with a civil marriage because, as Daphne said, she was peeved with the secrecy involved.

  2. John Azzopardi says:

    This is Taliban country. Organised religion and churches have no place in human society.

    [Daphne – Well, I don’t know about that. It’s never going to happen voluntarily, and when enforced you get the USSR and China, so….The important thing is that secular laws control the excesses of religion, but then secular laws can do nothing to help people who submit voluntarily to this kind of horrible control over and disruption of their lives. They seem to want it.]

    • David Buttigieg says:

      Not at all, it has every place. The problem is when it is given extra space, i.e. interfering in state affairs, or the affairs of people who do not believe in it, as is the case in Malta. The Catholic Church has every right to guide its flock but not to order it around, and certainly no right to impose on those who are not believers. The agreement between the Catholic Church and the Maltese state on marriages for example is completely and utterly ridiculous.

      I don’t mind a priest being given a licence to marry people, as long as it is recognised that he is also performing a civil marriage, too, which after all should be the only one to count legally.

  3. john says:

    It is a woman’s decision to have an abortion. How in God’s name does another person have to confess and repent and be held responsible and be damned for somebody else’s decision?

  4. Sarah says:

    Goodness, how on earth can the man be held responsible for his ex’s actions in having aborted his child? Even if he “coerced” her into having an abortion, there is forgiveness. The Bible mentions forgiveness hundreds of times. Just type in “forgive” or forgiveness” into the search box of and you come up with countless results.

  5. Manuel says:

    Marriage cannot be denied on the grounds that one’s ex-girlfriend committed abortion.

  6. Anna says:

    I understood that the man had a relationship with the other woman at the same time that he was engaged to X and not before. The report is not clear.

    [Daphne – Makes my suspicion even more likely then that the Other Woman waited until the eve of the wedding to report him to the priest so as to cause maximum damage and heartbreak.]

  7. Joachim says:

    What the church is effectively doing, here, is repelling the young from it not rooting out what it classifies as sin.

  8. sj says:

    I’m surprised how many experts in canon law contribute with their comments.

    Canon 1398 provides that, “a person who procures a successful abortion incurs an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication.” This means that at the very moment that the abortion is successfully accomplished, the woman and all formal conspirators are excommunicated. Conspirators who incur the excommunication can be those who make access to the abortion possible, including doctors and nurses who actually do it, husbands, family and others whose counsel and encouragement made it morally possible for the woman, and those whose direct practical support made it possible (financially, driving to the clinic etc.). It alson means that until that excomunication is lifted by the competent authority, one cannot participate in sacramental life.

  9. joseph says:

    Excommunication is lifted when the person involved approaches the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If society does not agree that an unborn child is a full human person, the Catholic Church has also a right to differ and say that the unborn is fully human, and thus the person involved in an abortion has committed homicide.

    If the persons involved wanted to get married by the Catholic rite, then I am to assume that they agree with the rules that govern Catholics – or else it is just a discrepancy in beliefs.

    However, my impression of the case is different. The prohibition to get married was not regarding abortion, but simulation. When the groom promised to marry this woman, he was having sex with somebody else, and so was unfaithful and false.

  10. joseph says:

    If this country were Saudi Arabia, that women would be stoned to death and the man would go free. People who do not agree with the Catholic Church should decide not to get married by the Catholic rite: now that would be a breath of fresh air.

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