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josephite marriage
Question from Joseph on 7/27/2002:

Some are marrying at a late age, 50 plus. Therefore I wonder if a marriage without children or sex is a valid one. I read some had this type of 'josephite' union: Jacques Maritain and some saints for example did. thanks + joe

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 7/28/2002:

Dear Joseph, Personally, I have never run across this nomenclature, "Josephite" marriage with some few exceptions in this Forum. If a couple intends never to bear children, the marriage is invalid. I think even the oldsters beyond the age of bearing children can't not intend procreation. They know time has run out for them; their nature is exhausted but their loving intention remains the same as though each were 18 years old. Mary and Joseph did enter a valid marriage since they conferred on each other the radical right to copulate, but practically chose not to use that right in the light of what was revealed to both of them. I don't like their marriage called a "Josephite" marriage since it was a real marriage not a simulated one. Raissa and Jacques Maritain also, with permission, entered into a valid marriage like everyone else,the radical right to copulate was exchangefd, but they agreed to practice celibacy with each other. God bless you. Fr. Bob Levis

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