Religion Past and Present

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Petrine Privilege
(183 words)

[German Version]

This (unofficial) designation is in several ways inappropriate. It does not relate to any privilege as a special right of particular persons; moreover, the reference to Peter has no basis in the New Testament.

The term refers to divorce, on the basis of papal authority (the so-called potestas vicaria), of a non-sacramental marriage, including cases in which, at the time of contracting the marriage, one party was already baptized (half-Christian marriage). The marriage is dissolved by papal decree. The sufficient reason is in general the salvation of the soul, no…

Cite this page
Primetshofer, Bruno, “Petrine Privilege”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 30 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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