Best Man at Catholic Wedding


#1

Can a Jewish man be the best man at a Catholic Wedding?


#2

[quote="Cateva, post:1, topic:336963"]
Can a Jewish man be the best man at a Catholic Wedding?

[/quote]

Yes. He is simply there as a witness so his religion has no bearing on anything.


#3

Yeah I agree, its not like with godparents where the person has to be catholic.


#4

[quote="Cateva, post:1, topic:336963"]
Can a Jewish man be the best man at a Catholic Wedding?

[/quote]

Yes! He's only there as a witness to the marriage. He has no religious role to fulfil.


#5

I remember being told as part of our wedding preparations that at least one of the witnesses (best man or maid of honor) should be Catholic. In our case, the best man was, the maid of honor (my sister) was not. I don't know whose rule that was, but if neither of your official witnesses are Catholic I would check with your priest to make sure everything is in order.


#6

[quote="silicasandra, post:5, topic:336963"]
I remember being told as part of our wedding preparations that at least one of the witnesses (best man or maid of honor) should be Catholic. In our case, the best man was, the maid of honor (my sister) was not. I don't know whose rule that was, but if neither of your official witnesses are Catholic I would check with your priest to make sure everything is in order.

[/quote]

While the prenuptial investigation asks things like the religion of the bride and groom's parents, I have never known a priest to be concerned about the religion of the witnesses. You could grab two strangers off the street and have them serve as your witnesses. That satisfies Canon Law. Even back in 1975, before this most recent Code, the question never came up and my witnesses were both Protestant.

The only thing I've seen on any of the prenup forms is the names of the witnesses and their addresses -- usually because that's what the government needs on the papers the churches have to file.


#7

U

[quote="Phemie, post:6, topic:336963"]
While the prenuptial investigation asks things like the religion of the bride and groom's parents, I have never known a priest to be concerned about the religion of the witnesses. You could grab two strangers off the street and have them serve as your witnesses. That satisfies Canon Law. Even back in 1975, before this most recent Code, the question never came up and my witnesses were both Protestant.

The only thing I've seen on any of the prenup forms is the names of the witnesses and their addresses -- usually because that's what the government needs on the papers the churches have to file.

[/quote]

I have heard other people tell me that their priest insisted that the Best Man and Maid/Matron of Honor be Catholic. :shrug:

It's obviously not a canon law requirement.


#8

[quote="Phemie, post:6, topic:336963"]
While the prenuptial investigation asks things like the religion of the bride and groom's parents, I have never known a priest to be concerned about the religion of the witnesses. You could grab two strangers off the street and have them serve as your witnesses. That satisfies Canon Law. Even back in 1975, before this most recent Code, the question never came up and my witnesses were both Protestant. ....

[/quote]

Hello,

I agree with you on the requirements of the Code. Well, there are none expressly stated in the Code. One might be able to argue that a wedding witness *should *be at least 14 years old, since that is the age limit on being a witness in a trial (c. 1550). A witness *must *have the use of reason--that is a requirement.

Getting to the real point of my response: I would note that there could be local legislation that defines the requirements of witnesses more particularly. In Korea, for instance, I was told that family members were not allowed to be a witness (this was in 2007). Whatever a local law might be in this regard--must be Catholic, must not be related, must be one man and one woman, must be at least 21 years old, etc.--it would never lead to a defect of form. I think the only thing that could lead to that is using a witness who was lacking the use of reason.

Dan


#9

A witness would have to meet any legal requirements if a Catholic wedding is also a civil ceremony. In locations where the Catholic ceremony is distinct from the civil ceremony. (If the ceremonies are separate you could use different witnesses if necessary.)


#10

A marriage witness is just that a witness. Her/his details are entered in the register. They sign the register. If a plaintiff seeks an annulment a witness may be questioned by the tribunal.

A marriage witness plays no role anagolous to a baptismal or confirmation sponsor. There’s no need for her/him to be Catholic, practising or lapsed.

A Catholic, non-Catholic Christian, non-Christian or non-believer can be a witness. There’s no qualifications required for being a witness. You were misinformed in your marriage preparation.


#11

He’s imposing his own preferences. He cannot do this.


#12

The standard North American commentary on the Code of Canon Law says that one lacking the use of reason cannot be a witness. It states that’s not an official Church requirement. It does stand to reason. You can’t be the witness if you don’t understand what your witnessing.

If a civil law is not contrary to divine positive law, natural moral law or ecclesiastical law, the Church “canonises” it and it has the same effect as if it were canon law. If a civil jurisdiction has requirements of the witnesses the Church would accept them.

I don’t know if a legislator below the Supreme Authority in the Church is competent to legislate on qualifications for witnesses.

My wife’s maid-of-honour was a catholic. My best man was baptist. It never came up as an issue.


#13

[quote="Cateva, post:1, topic:336963"]
Can a Jewish man be the best man at a Catholic Wedding?

[/quote]

Yes.

The best man does not have to be Catholic or even baptised.


#14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.