Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/631

This page needs to be proofread.




expedition in 1739 met with better success. This campaign closed his military and official career in the colony. He returned to France imder a cloud of censure from the Government, after liaving faithfully served his coimtrj- for more than forty years. He was buried with military honours in the cemetery of Montmartre.

French, Louisiana Historical Collections (New York, 1846-.53), Pt. Ill, 20-22; H.imilton, Col. MobUe, vii-xiv; Thwaftes, Jesuit Relations, LXVI, 342; French, Historical Memoirs of Louisiana (New York, 1853), for portrait and valuable additional information.

E. P. Spill.\ne.

Bigamy (inC.\nox L.^^w). — According to the strict meaning, the word shovild signify the marrying of a second after the death of the first wife, in contra- distinction to polygamy, which is having two simul- taneous wives. The present usage in criminal law of applying tlie term bigamy to that which is more strictly called polygamy is, according to Blackstone (Lib. IV, n. 163), a corruption of the true meaning of bigamy. Canonically viewed, bigamy denotes (a) the condition of a man married to two real or interpre- tative wives in succession, and as a consequence (b) his unfitness to receive, or exercise after reception, tonsure, minor and sacred orders. This unfitness gives rise to an irregularity which is an impediment impedi- ent and not diriment, lience orders conferred in viola- tion of it are valid but iUicit. This irregularity is not a punishment, medicinal nor punitive, as there is no sin nor fault of any kind in a man marrjin^ a second wife after the death of his first, or a third after the death of his second; it is a bar against his receiving or exercising any ecclesiastical order or dignity.

Origin. — ^This irregularity is not affixed to bigamy by either the natural or Mosaic law. It has its true origin in the apostohc injimction of St. Paul: "It behoveth, tlierefore, a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife" (I Tim., iii. 2); "Let deacons be the husbands of one wife" (loc. cit., 12) and, ". . . the husband of one wife" (Tit., i, 6). By these words the Apostle does not enjoin marriage on bishops and deacons [Sts. Paul, Titus, and Timothy were celibates as were, according to Tertuliian ("Monogamy", iv, in "Ajite Nicene Fathers", Amer. Edit.) all the Apostles with exception of St. Peter], but he forbids bigamists to be admitted to Sacred orders. Owing to the small number of those who practised celibacy at the coming of Christ, the Apostles found it impossible to supply celibates for bishops, priests, and deacons and were forced to admit married men to Sacred orders. Blamelessness of life, however, was required, and since iteration of marriage was considered by the Apostles and the people as a strong presumption of incontinency it was decreed that should the bishop-elect (priest- or deacon-elect) be a married man, he must have had only one wife, and further, that after his ordination he should live apart from her. St. Epiphanius (Ha;r. Lxiv, 4) and St. Jerome (Epist. Contra Vigi- lantium, I) assert that such was the general custom of the Church. This practice of celibacy before or after ordination was universal in all the Churches of the East as well as of the West until about the year A. D. 700 when in the Sj-nod of Trullo concession was made to Greek priests to coliabit with the wives they had married liefore ordination. They were forbidden, however, to marry again under penalty of absolute deposition from the ministry. In the Pauline injunction no mention is made of sub- deacons or clerics in minor orders, for the simple reason that those orders were not then instituted. The .'Vpostolic Canons (fourth ccntun,-), which ex- tended the Pauline prohibition to all grades of the sacrament of orders, were not luiiversally observed. Vestiges of a lax discipHne on this point are to be met with in France (I Council of (Grange, c. x.xv) and in Spain (Counc. of Toledo, ec. iii and iv). The Church

of Rome, on the contrary, strictly followed the Apostolic canons. This is evident from the decrees of the Sovereign Pontiffs Innocent I (401—417), Hilarj- (461-468), Gregorj- I (590-604), Celestine III (1191-98). and Innocent III (1198-1216). Gregorj- IX (1227-41) and Gregorj- X (1271-76) further de- creed that bigamists should be deprived of everj- clerical privilege and the right to wear the clerical garb and tonsure under penalty of excommunication. The Council of Trent fuially forbade bigamists to exercise functions attached to minor orders, even though these functions were, on account of the necessity of the times, allowed to be f>erformed by lajTnen (Sess. XXIII, c. xvii, de Reform.). The reason for the existence of this irregularity is two- fold: moral and mystical. The moral reason, which was that of tlie Orientals and some Latin Fathers, is the presimied incontinency on the part of the bigamist and his consequent unfitness to discharge efficiently the office of the priesthood among a people who looked with great suspicion upon a bigamist and held him in little or no esteem. The mystical reason, which was and is the primary reason of the Western Church (it admits the moral reason, but as secondary to the mystical) is the defect in the perfect resemblance of the second marriage to the great type of Christian marriage — the mystical tmion of Christ with the Church. Tliis union is the union of one husband (Christ) with one spouse (the Church) without spot or blemish. Second marriages destroj' the unity of one husband with one \irgin wife, and cause a dividing of one flesh with two bodies, instead of cementing the union of two bodies in one, accord- ing to Genesis, ii, 24, "Tliey shall be two [one hus- band, one wife] in one flesh". This division of one body with two, instead of union with one body, is the bed-rock of this irregularity. This defect in the perfect resemblance of the second marriage (real or interpretative) to the great tj'pe of marriage gives rise to the irregularity, and to the name bj' which it is known, "ex defectu sacramenti". It is not proper that one who has received a sacrament de- fective in its resemblance to its exemplar should become a dispenser of sacraments to others.

Division. — In the first centuries there was only one kind of bigamy called true, or real, or proper. A second kind, called interpretative or fictitious, was afterwards added. In the Middle Ages a third kind, called similar, was introduced by the scholas- tics (Devoti, can. univ., II, p. 206). Durandus was the first to use the term -s-itnilitudinaria (Specul.. pars. I, de dispens. Juxta. n. 6). Since then the traditional division has been and is threefold, viz. real, interpretative, and similar. Many canoni.sts of this centurj' and last hold that similar bigamy should not be included under the. irregularity e.r bigamia. Another division is made, but there is no unanimity concerning it, i. e. bigamy ex defectu sacramcTiti (by rea.son of defective sacrament) and bigamy ex delicto (by reason of guilt). D'Annibale (Summul. Theol., Pars. I, n. 417 and 418, note 11 fourth edit.) holds that similar bigamists and not a few interpretative bigamists are irregular ex delictu. and not ex defectu sacramenti. St. Alphonsus (lib. VII, de Irregul., n. 436) and very many others, as well as the National Sjmods of the Syrians (.an. 1888, p. 173, edit. 1899) and of the Copts (Cairo, an. 1898, p. 142), class all three kinds of bigamists as irregular ex de- fectu sacramenti. Bigamy in general is the state of a man who has really or interpret at ively contracted and constmimated two valid or two invalid marriages, or one valid and the other invalid, or one real, and the other a spiritual, marriage. Two things are essential to every kind of bigamy: (1) a marriage valid or invalid — adulterous connexions or concu- binage do not enter into the question at all; (2) a carnal knowledge by which the parties legally