CONCUBINAGE, which such restrictions tended to develop, is noticed tinder a separate heading (q.v.). It might be described as marriage which has no consequences, or only slight and peculiar consequences, in legal status. In the left-handed or " morganatic "1 marriages of the German royal families we have the nearest approach ever made by concubinage to true marriage, the children being legitimate, but neither they nor the wife acquiring any right to the rank or fortune of the husband. Under the Royal Marriage Act in England a union of this kind has no matrimonial effect whatever.
Differences of religion are no longer regarded in Christian countries as hindrances to marriage, except possibly in some branches of the Greek Church. But the marriage of persons of different religions frequently requires the intervention of the law as to the faith of the children, more particularly in Europe as between Catholics and Protestants. In some countries the clergy make it a condition of such marriages that the children shall be educated in the Catholic faith. English law gives the father an indefeasible right to dictate the faith of his children, no matter what engagements he may have entered into (see INFANT). The practice on this point varies in Europe - the question being ignored in French law, Germany following in some parts the same rule as England, in others giving effect to ante-nuptial stipulations. In Ireland mixed marriages (i.e., between Catholic and Protestant) were by 19 Geo. 11. c. 13 null and void if celebrated by a Catholic priest. This Act is repealed by 33 & 34 Viet. c. 110, which permits mixed marriages to be validly celebrated by an Episcopalian or Roman Catholic clergyman, subject to conditions set forth in section 38. (E. R.)