(L. Abduction); an act whereby a person (or persons) is taken out of his or her place of residence or place where he or she presently stays, or he or she is confined in a custody of another person who is not his or her lawful guardian, forcefully against his or her will, with a criminal intension. In short, it is the act of taking away a person by fraud or force, or to induce a person to go from any place by force or deceitful means.

Abduction of a woman with the intention of marrying her invalidates the marriage, unless the woman consents to the marriage after her freeing from the abductor and established in a free and safe place (cf. CIC, c. 1089). Unlike CIC, according to CCEO both men and women can incur the impediment of abduction. Thus, woman who abducts a man with the intention to marry invalidates the marriage according to CCEO (cf. CCEO, c. 806). Both CCEO and CIC impose a perceptive penalty on crime abduction (cf. CIC 1397).

Abduction was made an impediment for marriage by the Council of Trent for the first time. The Council decreed, “The holy Synod ordains, that no marriage can subsist between the abductor and her who is abducted, so long as she shall remains in the power of the abductor. But if she that has been abducted, being separated from the abductor, and being in a safe and free place, shall consent to have him for her husband, the abductor may have her for his wife” (Decree on the Reformation of Marriage, ch. VI).

The Council of Trent also established the punishment from the crime of abduction. According to the Decree on the Reformation of Marriage, “the abducted himself and all who lent him advice, aid, and countenance, shall be ipso jure excommunicated, for ever infamous, and incapable of all dignities; and if they be clerics they shall forfeit their rank. The abductor shall furthermore be bound, whether he marries the person abducted, or marries her not to settle on her a handsome dowry at the discretion of the judge” (Ibid).