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  #1  
Old Sep 1, '09, 9:18 am
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cabolissa cabolissa is offline
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Default Father won't attend daughter's wedding

My cousin is getting married next spring, and is marrying a non-catholic.
She was raised catholic, but is not confirmed. The reason she's not confirmed is because during the time of her life when she'd have been in religous ed, her ultra-devout catholic parents were having a horrendous divorce. Their divorce was one of those knock-down drag out events that spanned ther entirety of her teen years. The two kids were torn apart (one lived with each parent), and the parents spoke badly of the other parent in their presence. The marriage was eventually anulled (never remarried), further confusing my poor cousin about the faith. Unfortunately, she believes in God, but not exactly the church.

She's just been engaged to a wonderful man, who is not catholic. He was raised (and his parents are) Hindi. He is not particularly religous, but is not opposed to having the children baptized catholic. He won't participate in the faith, however.

They want an outdoor wedding (winery).

Her father has refused to attend and she's distraught. I called to speak with him last night in order to understand his decision. He said he's an old man (73) and all his time is spent in spiritual activity. He doesn't want to do anything that would compromise his soul. By attending the secular wedding, he'd be endorsing it, and that's a sin.

She's offered to have two weddings, one in the church (for family) and the main one (at the winery), but wants her father at both... I haven't yet told her she can't do this unless she's confirmed and he'll convert first, but I didn't want to bring it up yet. He said he couldn't go to the secular wedding in good conscience.

He promised to speak with his pastor today, before they meet for dinner tonight. I'm praying for his compassion and understanding.

Help me understand this situation. Is it a sin to attend a non-catholic wedding????? That seems CRAZY to me.

Didn't Jesus love everyone? Including the non-Jewish Samaritans?
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  #2  
Old Sep 1, '09, 9:46 am
agapewolf agapewolf is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabolissa View Post
My cousin is getting married next spring, and is marrying a non-catholic.
She was raised catholic, but is not confirmed. The reason she's not confirmed is because during the time of her life when she'd have been in religous ed, her ultra-devout catholic parents were having a horrendous divorce. Their divorce was one of those knock-down drag out events that spanned ther entirety of her teen years. The two kids were torn apart (one lived with each parent), and the parents spoke badly of the other parent in their presence. The marriage was eventually anulled (never remarried), further confusing my poor cousin about the faith. Unfortunately, she believes in God, but not exactly the church.

She's just been engaged to a wonderful man, who is not catholic. He was raised (and his parents are) Hindi. He is not particularly religous, but is not opposed to having the children baptized catholic. He won't participate in the faith, however.

They want an outdoor wedding (winery).

Her father has refused to attend and she's distraught. I called to speak with him last night in order to understand his decision. He said he's an old man (73) and all his time is spent in spiritual activity. He doesn't want to do anything that would compromise his soul. By attending the secular wedding, he'd be endorsing it, and that's a sin.

She's offered to have two weddings, one in the church (for family) and the main one (at the winery), but wants her father at both... I haven't yet told her she can't do this unless she's confirmed and he'll convert first, but I didn't want to bring it up yet. He said he couldn't go to the secular wedding in good conscience.

He promised to speak with his pastor today, before they meet for dinner tonight. I'm praying for his compassion and understanding.

Help me understand this situation. Is it a sin to attend a non-catholic wedding????? That seems CRAZY to me.

Didn't Jesus love everyone? Including the non-Jewish Samaritans?
This isn't just a "non-catholic wedding". This is a Catholic marrying outside the church. If it were 2 non-catholics, it could be a valid marriage.

She is baptized Catholic, therefore she is bound by Canon law. Her "marriage" done outside the church would indeed be invalid. The father is making a correct judgement that it would be invalid...his personal choice to avoid attending is within his discretion.

You have some incorrect information here though. She can get married in the church if she wishes, and her fiance does not have to convert. It would be a valid natural marriage, but it would not be sacramental as he isn't baptized. If she really doesn't believe in the church though, this may not be the best idea.
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  #3  
Old Sep 1, '09, 10:00 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

It is not a "non Catholic" wedding. She is a Catholic. It would be an invalid marriage, and Catholics are not to participate in invalid weddings. Catholics are bound by Catholic canon law and must ask for and receive permission to marry non-Catholics and to marry in a form other than that prescribed by the Catholic Church.

If she chooses to be married in the Catholic Church, she could ask for a dispensation to get married outside (but the Bishop might not grant it). Or, since she is marrying a non-Christian, she can get a dispensation from Catholic form and be married in the winery. She also needs a dispensation for disparity of cult since he is not baptized.

Also, her Hindi fiance does NOT have to convert in order for the two of them to be validly married in the Catholic Church.

She should talk to her priest about getting confirmed (and, it is possible to be married without being confirmed depending upon circumstances) and getting married validly-- which could mean in Catholic form or, with a dispensation, outside Catholic form. He will discuss all the options with her.

Her father is right in content, but his delivery is not the greatest.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #4  
Old Sep 1, '09, 10:07 am
Thomas63116 Thomas63116 is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

There are a lot of issues here, and a lot of misunderstanding about what is and is not required. It seems to be compounded by a lot of emotional baggage.

Your cousin, as a baptized Catholic, is obligated to marry according to the Church's laws. Normally this means marrying in a Catholic Church, with a priest or deacon presiding as the church's official witness. The Church also requires some marriage preparation to assess people's readiness for marriage. If she ignores these requirements, the Church will not consider her marriage to be valid. Her father, knowing that it will be an invalid marriage according to his faith, is free to attend or not attend, based on his own best judgement.

Normally, a Catholic is to be confirmed before marriage, but this is not an absolute requirement. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic in the Church, the non-Catholic spouse is not required to convert. The catholic spouse is required to reaffirm their intention to remain in the faith, and is required to promise to do all they are able to have their children baptized and raised as Catholics. No specific promises are required of the non-Catholic.

Regarding the location of the wedding, the Catholic can request what is called a dispemnsation from canonical form, which allows the wedding to be celebrated outside of a Catholic Church, and by someone other than a priest or deacon, but still be recognized by the Church. My understanding is that these are usually granted to allow the couple to marry in the non-Catholic spouse's church, perhaps with a friend or relative who is a minister presiding. In the case of a Catholic marrying a non-Christian, where the non-Christian party would be uncomfortable participating in a Chirsitan ceremony, permission is sometimes granted for a wedding in another venue entirely.

Essentially my advice would be for your cousin to speak with the pastor at her local Catholic church. She should be able to accomodate the requirements of the Church, while also respecting the conscience of her intended spouse. But she needs to be willing to talk to someone about how to make that happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabolissa View Post
My cousin is getting married next spring, and is marrying a non-catholic.
She was raised catholic, but is not confirmed. The reason she's not confirmed is because during the time of her life when she'd have been in religous ed, her ultra-devout catholic parents were having a horrendous divorce. Their divorce was one of those knock-down drag out events that spanned ther entirety of her teen years. The two kids were torn apart (one lived with each parent), and the parents spoke badly of the other parent in their presence. The marriage was eventually anulled (never remarried), further confusing my poor cousin about the faith. Unfortunately, she believes in God, but not exactly the church.

She's just been engaged to a wonderful man, who is not catholic. He was raised (and his parents are) Hindi. He is not particularly religous, but is not opposed to having the children baptized catholic. He won't participate in the faith, however.

They want an outdoor wedding (winery).

Her father has refused to attend and she's distraught. I called to speak with him last night in order to understand his decision. He said he's an old man (73) and all his time is spent in spiritual activity. He doesn't want to do anything that would compromise his soul. By attending the secular wedding, he'd be endorsing it, and that's a sin.

She's offered to have two weddings, one in the church (for family) and the main one (at the winery), but wants her father at both... I haven't yet told her she can't do this unless she's confirmed and he'll convert first, but I didn't want to bring it up yet. He said he couldn't go to the secular wedding in good conscience.

He promised to speak with his pastor today, before they meet for dinner tonight. I'm praying for his compassion and understanding.

Help me understand this situation. Is it a sin to attend a non-catholic wedding????? That seems CRAZY to me.

Didn't Jesus love everyone? Including the non-Jewish Samaritans?
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  #5  
Old Sep 1, '09, 10:42 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

When your cousin's parents had her baptized, they committed to raise her Catholic and to be a Catholic, they committed to teach her the Catholic faith including the rules on marriage.

If the parents failed in this responsibility, the Godparents should have taught her.

Seems that was not done.

Now, your cousin is Catholic. She can formally defect from the Faith or she can follow the laws on marriage. Unless she does one of those things, she is entering a false invalid marriage.

A Catholic cannot in good concience attend and celebrate what will be this girl having sex outside of marriage.

Pray for her and try to lead her back to the Faith.
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  #6  
Old Sep 1, '09, 10:59 am
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Corki Corki is online now
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

You mention her father is devout in his Catholicism. So, it might be distressing to her but should not be surprising that he might have problems with this wedding.

Besides the fact that the ceremony itself is being conducted outside of the Church (and I'm not referring to the building here), she is marrying a non-Christian. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic, there are issues. She may have her fiance's permission to have children baptized but what about bringing them up in the faith? The Church's process of dispensations and marriage prep is designed to address these serious issues before a couple get married. If her parents marriage was annulled her father is likely keenly aware of how important it is to be properly prepared for marriage.

It is not a sin to attend a non-Catholic wedding. But it is a sin to publically endorse another person who is acting publically against the faith. Presumably there will be people at the wedding who know your cousin's father. If he attended, they might assume that he approved of or endorsed this wedding. That would be the sin of scandal.

Pray for his compassion and understanding but also pray for your cousin's heart to be open. She is planning a wedding that she knows will hurt her father. She may not be doing it for that purpose but she is doing it with full knowledge that that will be the result. She may have lots of bad feelings about the divorce and want to "get back at" him, for all we know but I won't judge her motives. For whatever reason, she has chosen to put her father in an impossible position. He has few choices but she has many.
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  #7  
Old Sep 1, '09, 10:59 am
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cabolissa cabolissa is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

I thank all of you for the very informative responses. It is good to know that he can marry her without having to convert and it can be a valid marriage at the winery. I'll pass on the information and refer her to her priest.
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  #8  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:15 am
FastLearner FastLearner is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabolissa View Post
I thank all of you for the very informative responses. It is good to know that he can marry her without having to convert and it can be a valid marriage at the winery. I'll pass on the information and refer her to her priest.
Some people get confused on that last part. Just to be clear (not necessarily for you but for others who might stumble onto this thread), it is not a valid marriage unless she meets with a priest and receives the appropriate dispensations. So she should contact her priest ASAP for guidance (the dispensations take some time).

She can't just have the wedding and assume that it's valid. Some people hear "The Church allows weddings outside..." then ignore the rest and go ahead with the wedding. That is not correct. She must meet with a priest or deacon.
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  #9  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:27 am
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iluvmybabies iluvmybabies is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

I have a question... Sorry for bringing this up outside of the OP but I was wondering...How did people get married when Jesus was around??? Were they all the same religion marrying through the church in a sacred ceremony where they had to abide by certain rules and regulations??? Just wondering....
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  #10  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:32 am
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvmybabies View Post
I have a question... Sorry for bringing this up outside of the OP but I was wondering...How did people get married when Jesus was around??? Were they all the same religion marrying through the church in a sacred ceremony where they had to abide by certain rules and regulations???
When you read the old testament, you will see where God warned Isreal over and over and over not to allow non-isrealites to marry their children.

No Jewish family would arrange a marriage with a non-Jew in that time.

The Jewish people have very ancient and formal wedding traditions.
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  #11  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:35 am
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Rascalking Rascalking is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

This is shocking!? How could it effect his soul? And what father wouldn't attend his daughters wedding? Oh my!
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  #12  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:41 am
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lizaanne lizaanne is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

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Originally Posted by Rascalking View Post
This is shocking!? How could it effect his soul? And what father wouldn't attend his daughters wedding? Oh my!
A father who loves his daughter very much and wants to see her in heaven.

He is right - read the responses before you say "Oh my!" and you will learn why the father is right.

~Liza
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  #13  
Old Sep 1, '09, 11:43 am
Brenda V. Brenda V. is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by kage_ar View Post
When you read the old testament, you will see where God warned Isreal over and over and over not to allow non-isrealites to marry their children.

No Jewish family would arrange a marriage with a non-Jew in that time.

The Jewish people have very ancient and formal wedding traditions.
This is so true - for a glimpse of such watch Fiddler on the Roof - even though fiction it does touch a little on the formal wedding traditions as well as the need to Marry in the Faith!

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Old Sep 1, '09, 11:47 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizaanne View Post
A father who loves his daughter very much and wants to see her in heaven.

He is right - read the responses before you say "Oh my!" and you will learn why the father is right.

~Liza
I DID read the answers, thank you. I still can't believe that his going to the wedding would someone put his soul in danger. Perhaps you will say he is "giving scandal" or something along those lines-I don't know, that any father wouldn't go to his daughters wedding, no matter what, I just don't get it...regardless of wether or not it's a catholic wedding.
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Old Sep 1, '09, 11:49 am
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cabolissa cabolissa is offline
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Default Re: Father won't attend daughter's wedding

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastLearner View Post
Some people get confused on that last part. Just to be clear (not necessarily for you but for others who might stumble onto this thread), it is not a valid marriage unless she meets with a priest and receives the appropriate dispensations. So she should contact her priest ASAP for guidance (the dispensations take some time).

She can't just have the wedding and assume that it's valid. Some people hear "The Church allows weddings outside..." then ignore the rest and go ahead with the wedding. That is not correct. She must meet with a priest or deacon.
It was clear to me.
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