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Old Nov 22, '05, 5:24 pm
charlottechow charlottechow is offline
Observing Member
Join Date: November 22, 2005
Posts: 2
Religion: Catholic
Default Can I attend the civil wedding of two baptized Catholics?

My daughter got through college still attending Mass regularly, but in the last 2 or 3 years her faith has faltered. She says she still believes, but she does not attend because she is in an ongoing state of mortal sin. There are other things which have negatively impacted her faith. She is now engaged for the second time to the same young man about whom we have some real concerns, which we have expressed clearly to her. He is also a baptized Catholic. His mother told me during that their first engagement that she hoped my daughter would be able to bring him back to the Church. But it appears that the opposite is happening. During their first engagement they were planning a Church wedding at her request. This time they will not be married in the Church. I understand that this would be considered an invalid marriage. Despite our heartache and deep unhappiness with this marriage and wedding, we would probably still attend. However if this would be wrong for us to do, we will tell her so and will not attend. Help!
Old Nov 23, '05, 4:28 pm
Fr. Vincent Serpa Fr. Vincent Serpa is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 4, 2004
Posts: 4,937
Default Re: Can I attend the civil wedding of two baptized Catholics?

Dear Charlotte,

There is no doubt that your daughter and fiancÚ know your position on the matter. If they were being married in a private ceremony, I would see no harm in your attending. But if the wedding is taking place before many people who might think that you approve of your daughter being married outside of the Catholic Church, there is the matter of giving scandal. I know that not being present for the wedding can cause much family tension for years to come. But what we say about our faith in Jesus and His Church matters most. You and your family are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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