Attending a Wedding


My wife and I are both Catholic, and as I am trying to live by the faith, that means not going to any weddings that are presumed to be invalid. I believe such weddings that would fall into this category would be someone who is divorced but never annulled.

So… my wife’s brother is getting married. He is Catholic. The woman he is marrying is divorced with children. I’m not sure if she is Catholic or some other denomination. I have no idea if she has received an annulment, whether in the Catholic Church (if she was Catholic) or in her Church, (if she was “other”). I am also not certain if they are getting married in the Catholic Church. Although I suppose this could be easy enough to find out.

My question is, how would I know if I would be allowed to attend this wedding and that the marriage was presumed valid if the types of information I would need to know is not readily available or offered? I mean, I don’t just want to ask her if she got an annulment, I barely know her, and I’m not really going to ask her brother. I suppose the only thing I could find out is if they were having a Catholic wedding, which I guess if that were the case, she would have to be annulled, right, since they couldn’t get married in a Catholic Church if she hadn’t. But what if they are not getting married in the CC? How do I know this is valid? She can’t just up and divorce her husband and “remarry”.


In charity, Joe, you don’t. You simply put it in the most charitable light, give them the benefit of the doubt, and attend or not based on your availability and desire to do so.

If you are not actually close enough to someone to know their situation, then you are not in a position to make such a determination-- valid or invalid-- nor should you attempt to.

Now, if someone tells you-- as one of my friends did-- that he/she is marrying outside the church (because her fiancé did not have an annulment). then that is a different story. I refrained from attending that wedding because she knew she what she was doing and she was sharing it openly, and she also knew it was wrong because she started her confession with “don’t be mad at me, but…”.

We are, of course, **not **talking about so-called same sex weddings, which are never marriages and never valid and should not be supported in any way.




If they are getting married in a Catholic Church - then that is a good sign that they will be getting married. The Church looks into such matters when someone seeks to get married.


However, Catholics can receive dispensation from form. So, a Catholic marrying in a non-Catholic service does not automatically mean there is an issue.

If the OP is not close enough to know these details, it is best to put it in the most charitable light possible rather than speculating.



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