Being a groomsman for a ex-Catholic

Is it ok to stand up for a friend at a wedding who has not been catholic for 10 years and brought his fiance out of the catholic church as well? They will be married at a protestant church.

What level of participation would be proper?

I would say that being a witness is really a bad idea. However, I think that simply participating as a guest is a way to support love for the person without endorsing something that goes against your beliefs.

In my opinion no participation in the wedding itself, unless they both have formally left the Catholic faith.

Would attending a Protestant church fulfill c) of #1?
c) the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

If so then at least for the guy who has been away for 10 years and has even lead some bible studies in one of the Protestant churches he was involved in has formally left the church.

So if he has formally left the church, then are you saying it would be appropriate to stand up?

Competent ecclesiastical authority = Bishop or a Diocesean Administrator (if there is no sitting Bishop).

This means he has to write a letter to the Bishop and the Bishop has to accept that letter.

Just going to a protestant church and leading a study does not defection make.

Your friend is a Catholic, he is a Catholic who has placed his soul in danger and is now taking another Catholic down that road. It is best to pray for them.


"the reception of that decision by the competent ecclesiastical authority."
is his proper Catholic Pastor and his diocesan Bishop.

So let me get this right. For a Catholic to have formally left the Church, the Catholic would internally decide to leave, understand that decision, and would need to speak or write to his pastor or bishop?

The third requirement seems like most who have left the Catholic Church have not formally left because most would have simply stop going and attend some other church without speaking to their pastor, especially their bishop.

My son, a baptized non-practicing Catholic and his legal wife, also a baptized non-practicing Catholic, a year after they were married in a civil ceremony, an elopement, decided to have a large "wedding " and another civil type ceremony and reception. My son was well aware of the Catholic Church’s position, that neither was permissible, and that his family would not attend. Of course I received a long letter from his wife, basically on how hurtful I was being. My answer was my son knew what my reaction would be and by doing it anyway, accepted the consequences. I spoke with two priest whom I trusted to give me the truth and was told by both that not attending was the correct action. We did attend the reception, not to show support of the choice they made but to keep the line of communication open with my son’s wife. That was four years ago. Their divorce was finalized about six months ago. Your friends and family need to know what your faith means to you and what you are willing to sacrifice for what is right. I agonized over my decision for months, I did not make it lightly. My son is still non-practicing, so please pray for his conversion and hers.

Yes, and one more thing, there needs to be an acknowledgemnt back from the Bishop.

=pecatholic;4903157]Is it ok to stand up for a friend at a wedding who has not been catholic for 10 years and brought his fiance out of the catholic church as well? They will be married at a protestant church.

What level of participation would be proper?

No, and here’s why

I am making the assumption that you are and are known to be a practcing Catholic?

The Catholic Church prohibits such asctions because of the scandal they bring to the the Catholic Church.

The base position of the RCC is that we are (mt. 16:18-20) the Only Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ. Therefore by agreeing that some other “communion” is equal to the RCC, we support what in fact is not The Truth. Judging actions, not words.

You might say, they understand, but clearly they do not, or they would not have left the RCC. Your (proposed) actions speak VOLUMES, while your intent wispers. Your actions affirm the legitmacy of the other “communion” and will be clearly Evident to everyone who knows that you are a Catholic. At the same time, those who MIGHT understand your “thinking and motives” will be few, in comparison to the whole.

No, you may not participate as you describe your role. To do so is a Grave and Serious (Mortal) sin.

You may however attend the ceremony, IF, If, you are not part of the ceremony ANDIf you DO NOT receive their form of “holy communion”!

Thanks for asking,

Love and prayers,

Technically that is correct. Many “Ex-Catholics” are actually simply non-practicing Catholics. To some extent it does not matter if they are officially Ex-Catholics or Non-Practicing Catholics, they are both steaming towards large icebergs, and some one should warn them. If they heed the warnings is up to them.

As a catecumen, I was asked to be a groomsman for my sister’s wedding, to be conducted by the retired Protestant minister who officiated at our parents’ wedding. I declined, but was present as a wedding photographer. They found a friend of the groom to serve as best man, a non-practicing Catholic.
The marriage only lasted a few years, but on the up side, her ex-husband later became a Catholic, married a fine Catholic woman and they raised a large Catholic family.

I was wondering what you meant by that??? This is a very hard thing…he’s your friend and you’d like to be part of the festivities, but what exactly does say about your committment to your own faith?

I participated in my sister’s wedding in a UCC church, as a reader along with the grooms oldest sister. I was outside the church myself at the time, but could never consider myself as anything but Catholic. It was just weird being on that podium (not exactly an altar, you know what I mean?). It was a nice wedding, but it always bothered me that she went to a different church. They’ve very active there, and I’m probably the only practicing Catholic left in my family. In retrospect, something I thought at the time didn’t really matter still bothers me 17 years later. Everytime something happens that involves going to their church, it bothers me.

I meant that she was a catholic when they started dating and now she attends a protestant church. He was the one who invited her to protestant activities.

So, if I was just going to attend the ceremony and be an observer, then that would be ok to do?

So, it sounds like I can go to a protestant function as long as I am only observing such as:

  1. I can go to a wedding to observe but not be participate in their communion or things such as a groomsman, a reader, or a usher.
  2. I can go to a baptism to observe but not be a godfather.
  3. Would going to a wake and a funeral be ok since you’d really be just observing?

I am a practicing Baptist and I go to Catholic weddings when they are in my family or close friends . I just don’t participate in the Liturgy and I don’t partake of their Communion . As a matter of fact, the Bishop who was officiating at the last wedding I attended , reminded all people who are of different religions not to partake of Catholic communion. In our pluralistic world , it is very common to encounter different religious groups in an official religious happening . But I would not go as far as being an official witness, no . I merely attend as a guest …

One thing to understand, this will not be a “protestant function”. Unless they have formally defected, these are two Catholics who are openly defying the Church laws on marriage. Serious thing…

There is a huge difference between what one CAN do and what one SHOULD do.

You can go. No one is going to stop you, no bolt of lightenin will strike.

What you SHOULD do is a pastoral issue, speak to a good holy Priest about it.

I guess her faith wasn’t very strong. That’s too bad, but then again: been there, done that, except for the Protestant part.

I don’t see any problem attending the wedding if you want. It’s too bad your friend and his girl have made the decisions they’ve made, but they’re adults and you can’t stop them.

In your place I’d consider whether you attending this wedding of “fallen away” Catholics (do we still use that term?) would hurt anyone in any way. Would it hurt your faith? Probably not. Would it hurt anyone else? Maybe the only hurt would be your friend if you don’t attend.

Hmm…I think you have to make this decision yourself. Being part of my sister’s wedding made me realize the ONLY church I could attend would be Catholic, and the only service that meant anything to me was Mass.

Yes , I would go to a funeral . The last one I went to was my father . He was from a different religion. I did a eulogy but I did not mention anything about our different beliefs . You have to judge these things on a case-by-case basis, I think .
People with different beliefs are still creatures of God, are they not ?

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