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Its object is to discover any impediments to a proposed marriage; incidentally, it makes known to all duly interested in the latter the fact of its near celebration. Moreover, the parish priest cannot refuse to publish the banns excepted for reasons stated in the canon law.
The subject will be treated under the following heads: I. If the contracting parties refuse to consent to the publication of the banns, the parish priest cannot assist at their marriage, and where the Tridentine legislation does not obtain he is bound to warn them not to attempt marriage elsewhere.
In course of time this Tridentine decree has given occasion to more specific interpretation, regularly and primarily applicable where the decree has been promulgated.
Among the more important authentic decisions are the following: The proper (own) parish priest of persons intending marriage is he in whose parish both (or one of) the contracting parties have a true domicile or quasi-domicile, i.e.
The banns of minors must also be published in the place of residence or their parents or guardians. Custom has in many places exempted Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. The banns are published regularly at the parish or principal Mass, though the publication may occur at any other Mass on the prescribed days, nor is it required that such publication be repeated at more than one Mass on the aforesaid days.
The publication in the church of the names of persons intending marriage seems to have originated in France about the end of the twelfth century; it was already a custom of the Gallican Church in 1215, when Innocent III mentions it in a letter to the Bishop of Beauvais (c. In the same year the Fourth Lateran Council made it a general ecclesiastical law (c. The Council of Trent confirmed this law, and specified to a certain extent the manner of its execution.
The obligation of making known to the bishop all proposed marriage dates as far back as the beginning of the second century (Ignat, ad Polyc., c.v.). In the United Stated the Sixth Provincial of Baltimore recommended the bishops of the province to introduce the laws of the banns as laid down by the Councils of Lateran and Trent ( juxta mentem concilli Lateranensis et Tridentini ).