The term ratum sed non consummatum (Latin: ratified but not consummated) refers to a specific type of marriage in Catholic matrimonial canon law. If a matrimonial celebration takes place (ratification) but the spouses have not yet engaged in intercourse (consummation), then the marriage is said to be a marriage ratum sed non consummatum. The Tribunal of the Roman Rota has exclusive competence to dispense from marriages ratum sed non consummatum, which can only be granted for a "just reason". This process should not be confused with the process for declaring the nullity of marriage, which is treated of in a separate title of the 1983 Code of Canon Law.
The favor of dispensation from a marriage ratum sed non consumatum is an inherently administrative procedure, while the process for obtaining a Declaration of Nullity (often misleadingly termed "annulment") is an inherently judicial one. In a ratum the valid marriage bond is dispensed from, while in a Declaration of Nullity a marriage is declared to have been null from its beginning. A ratum ends, for a just reason, a marriage that truly is (although never irrevocably and sacramentally "sealed" by consummation) while a Declaration of Nullity juridically declares that a marriage never truly was in the eyes of Catholic theology and matrimonial law.
The 1917 Code of Canon Law stipulated two cases in which a marriage ratum sed non consummatum may be dissolved:
This administrative process for granting the favor of a dispensation was formerly the exclusive competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.Since 1 October 2011 it has been the exclusive competence of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.