(This is very long - sorry!)
I am so heartsick! My family is falling apart right before my eyes and I don't know how to stop it. Please help me to help us!!
My daughter is 27 and has been living on her own since she was 21. She used to be our one child that followed the faith most "religiously." One thing that I'd hoped would change as she grew up was the fact that she has NEVER wanted to have children - she hasn't
We now are faced with our daughter choosing to NOT be married by a priest for 2 (possibly 3) reasons:
(1) Since she truly believes she never wants children, she intends to use artificial birth control (in spite of knowing there are natural birth control methods equally "reliable". She does still hold the church in highest esteem so she could never 'lie' about what she intends to do.
She knows that "disqualifies" her from being married by a priest and, because she does not believe it's a sin so couldn't very well ask forgiveness for it, she could never again receive holy communion.
(2) She insists on having an outdoor wedding and does not believe that a ceremony MUST take place inside a church. She and her fiance believe God is everywhere and, therefore, they fully believe He WILL approve of their marriage.
My husband suggested they be married in a very private ceremony inside the church beforehand. She said she and her fiance would not believe THAT ceremony will be their "real" ceremony but she did, VERY reluctantly, agree to do that (tho I don't know how - refer back to reason #1).
(3) The man she intends to marry (also baptized Catholic) was married before by a Justice of the Peace and, in spite of HIS trying his best to remain married, his wife left him for another man after their 7 years of marriage AND left him with their 2 children (aged 2 and 5).
Both my daughter and her husband-to-be believe that, because he had not been married in the church AND because his wife left him and their children, he should be viewed "automatically" by the church as having never been married. They were not planning to actually get the Declaration of Invalidity but (I'm hoping) they may have changed their minds about that.
Here's where I desperately need your help, please.
Our family is breaking up because, unless
our daughter does
get married inside the church FIRST
, my husband will not attend EITHER the wedding or the reception.
While I absolutely understand his reasons, our children are not supporting that decision (our oldest daughter is so furious with him she isn't even speaking to him now!) I am so very upset - do you have any advice that could help our family come back together?
How could I convince my daughter to NOT use artificial birth control?
Why does the Church NOT allow outdoor weddings??
Please, please help.