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58. Certain other Impediments

1. Impotence is physical inability to perform the marriagefunction. If this inability exists before marriage, and isincurable (that is, perpetual), it renders marriage impossible; itis a diriment impediment.

2. Inability to perform the marital act is diriment tomarriage (if it occur before the valid marriage and isincurable) even if it come from preternatural causes, such asdemons, and constitutes a kind of spell or bewitchment.

3. Insanity is an impediment to marriage, for madmencannot freely and knowingly make a valid contract. If it comesafter marriage, of course, insanity does not affect the marriagebond. If insanity is notconstant, so that the afflictedperson has intervals of sanity, he is capable of marrying at suchtimes; yet it is most unwise for him to do so.

4. Incest committed by a spouse is a reason for which theother spouse may refuse marriage rights; but it does not dissolve amarriage.

5. Defect of age is an impediment to marriage. Girls underfourteen and boys under sixteen are debarred by church law frommarrying. By the natural law, marriage is invalid for persons whohave not attained puberty.

"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."
Thomas á Kempis

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"God commands not impossibilities, but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."
St Augustine

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"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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