This summer I went to my brothers wedding, which was not in the Catholic Church. He had been away for about 7-8 years. He left because of the poor example of people in my family who did not practice what they preach. Which left him with a poor impression of the Church, and also he was never well instructed in the faith.
I debated for a long time about whether or not to go. Although in the back of my head I knew that I would probably go because I didn’t think I would have enough courage to deal with my family if I didn’t attend. Plus it wouldn’t really change there mind about anything it would just give them something to gossip about. I read on Catholic Answers, that one is not expressly forbidden to attend an invalid wedding and that one had to use their judgment based on the situation. I also heard on Catholic Answers Live that if one thinks that you are doing the best thing in that situation, you are not committing a sin. I meant to ask a priest at church but I chickened out. In the end I went, but I was not in the bridal party, even though I was asked, and I didn’t give a gift or a card of congratulations. I let my brother know that I came because I didn’t want to ruin or relationship not because I thought what he was doing was right. I told what the Church taught about his situation. Lately he has shown a little bit of openness to coming back to the Church and I didn’t want to make him so mad he would never come back.
I did confess going to the wedding, not because I was sure I had done the wrong thing, but because I thought it was better safe than sorry. At the time I didn’t confess that I had been debating about going for months, and that I had been pretty sure that I would end up going no matter what, because of my lack of courage. I thought I was being too hard on myself, but now I feel I should have confessed it. It has been bothering me. Was I in sin in the time before my brothers wedding when I was struggling with what to do? Is it a sin to know you are probably going to do the wrong thing because of your weakness? Was it a sin to go to his wedding in the first place? Did I make a bad confession?