Abortion before marriage, marriage tribunal jurisprudence and moral theology


Perhaps the most neuralgic issue shaping the Catholic Church's relationship to wider contemporary society is abortion. In Australia, the Church's efforts to counter abortion's increasing incidence and after-effects are evident in Bishops' statements, websites such as Walking with Love, and, from lay-inspired movements such as the Rachel's' Vineyard Retreat. Further, research is bringing a greater appreciation of the trauma and long-term effects of the abortion experience. Given that, it is reasonable to assume its influence, in some instances, on marital consent. Investigating this question, then, is a timely exercise. At the same time, it can provide an insight into a ministry that is somewhat specialised, and, of its nature, sensitive and confidential, namely, the marriage annulment process. Finally, from within that context, it raises adjacent questions relating to Moral Theology.


Christian ethics, abortion - moral and ethical aspects, marriage - religious aspects, marriage annulment

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