Bible Verses to Support Refusing to Attend Mixed Faith Marriage

I am supposed to participate in a wedding in a Methodist church. The groom is a Catholic who is not seeking a dispensation to be married outside the Catholic Church.

These are my questions:

  1. What are the “bible” verses that support my decision not to participate?
  2. What are the “cannon law” references that support my decision not to participate?

catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/canonlaw.htm

Particularly Canon law 1124 along with 1059, 1061.3, 1071.5, 1031.2, 1115, 1118.1 are all laws about marriage of a Catholic and how they are valid.

If you haven’t already mentioned to the groom that he should consider going to his parish priest to ask for a dispensation of canonical form for his marriage so that he can still validly receive the sacraments of confession and communion after his wedding date, do it. It has to be done tactfully, but do it with great concern and affection for this individual.

Good luck. You will be in my prayers.

as far as bible verse :
bible.cc/matthew/18-18.htm
Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven

catholicdoors.com/misc/marriage/canonlaw.htm

Particularly Canon law 1124 along with 1059, 1061.3, 1071.5, 1031.2, 1115, 1118.1 are all laws about marriage of a Catholic and how they are valid.

If you haven’t already mentioned to the groom that he should consider going to his parish priest to ask for a dispensation of canonical form for his marriage so that he can still validly receive the sacraments of confession and communion after his wedding date, do it. It has to be done tactfully, but do it with great concern and affection for this individual.

Good luck. You will be in my prayers.

as far as bible verse :
bible.cc/matthew/18-18.htm
Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven

**WWJD? ** Do you really think that sharing scripture and Canon law is going to make a difference to a person who doesn’t know their faith? Obviously your presence is important to this person or you wouldn’t be asked to be involved and invited to witness.

And its in the witnessing that you must be most Christ-like. Gently, lovingly quote scripture/Canon law but in the end you must make sure that your absence won’t have a profound or long term affects on the relationship.

I have a sister who is going through this very thing. The love of her life is not Catholic and its affecting her. In our case, pulling away from her would be devastating. So there is great care, love and prayer when we approach her about things, etc.

Again, what would Jesus do? He came for the sinners. There was always great love behind the correction and instruction. And while it will not be a Catholic marriage, there is always hope for a reconciliation and Catholic blessing.

You and your situation are in my prayers.

One more thing ~ I noticed your signature line is from Divine Mercy. I have a deep love for this Catholic devotion.

Jesus is MERCY! Again, we must instruct lovingly but ultimately there is always HOPE and MERCY!!!

His fiance (who is my wonderful step daughter & Methodist) has a huge influence on him. She is apparently the spiritual leader of the two. Therefore, I know the topic of “where is that in the Bible” will come up. I need to be ready to defend the truth.

This means sooo much to me. Thank you and God Bless.

This is a good idea. I will ask St. Faustina to intercede for this cause. Thank you.

Do these outline how a Catholic cannot attend a wedding where the Catholic is invalidly getting married?

Your prayers are very appreciated. Thank you and God Bless.

A Catholic may not be a formal witness to a mixed wedding in which no dispensation has been given for the Catholic soon-to-be-spouse. If you are not being asked to sign as a witness, I don’t see why you can’t attend.

But, why not talk to the Catholic groom to encourage him to get either a dispensation or ask that a Catholic priest or deacon be present to witness the vows? If he wants to practice his Catholic faith now is the time to say so and to show his bride that she is not going to take him away from his faith–that is if he’s serious about remaining a Catholic.

It is my understanding that a Catholic cannot attend a mixed faith wedding regardless of whether or not they are a signed witness when the Catholic getting married is not following church law.

He doesn’t understand the implications at this time and I don’t think he is serious about remaining Catholic. I have asked him to contact his parish priest but I don’t think he will. I want to be ready with a “reasoned defense” when I talk with him next time.

Last Sunday my eldest daughter was married by a woman celebrant to a divorced man.

My children had known for years how it would be - except that we had said we couldn’t attend at all.

Our priest advised that we could attend for family reasons - to keep the relationship - but could not participate in being a witness to the wedding. He suggested we stay at the back and that is what we did, much to the bewilderment of some of the guests.

It might give the impression of tacit approval, I know. But, when it comes to families and what is best, sometimes it is better to attend and keep the lines of communication open. Most Protestants aren’t formal heretics these days and so cannot understand why Catholics have these “rules”. They only see it as rude and/or “intolerant”, and most don’t want an explanation. So, it’s often more prudent to save the explanations to afterwards, when emotions aren’t running high in the days surrounding a wedding.

He doesn’t understand the implications at this time and I don’t think he is serious about remaining Catholic. I have asked him to contact his parish priest but I don’t think he will. I want to be ready with a “reasoned defense” when I talk with him next time.

That’s too bad, but doesn’t surprise me. Many Catholics are “in name only” Catholics and poorly catechized. They don’t get their values from their faith but from the culture, and you know how caustic our culture has become.

I want to do what the Catholic church teaches on this matter. If I am not supposed to attend, then I will not.

If I am not going to attend, I want to provide solid reasoning based upon the Bible and the Church. I am supposed to give the bride away so I cannot wait until afterwards to give my explanation.

I pray I can convince the groom he needs to get a dispensation.

This must have been extremely difficult for you. I pray I can be as strong as you.

This is the first time you’ve said what your part in the ceremony is supposed to be, thank you for clarifying. :slight_smile:

If the bride wants someone to give her away, she should chose a male member of her family, not a Catholic friend. You could tell her you were honored to be asked and then suggest she ask Uncle So-and-So in order to make him happy and keep peace in the family, or whatever. There are ways to keep from making a difficulty where none need exist. You know, being as wily as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.

There are some things are common sense…

Is there a verse in the Bible that says “do not celebrate the fact that your family member is committing a mortal sin”? There does not need to be.

Your family member is breaking Christs laws on marriage, they are Christ’s because HE started the Catholic Church and the gates of hell have not prevailed against it.

If the non Catholic has any respect at all for the faith of their intended, they would ENCOURAGE the intended to go through the proper process to get married.

It will be hard since my step daughter (who is Methodist) wanted me to share giving her away with her real dad. I have a wonderful relationship with her since she has lived with me for over 14 years. Her dad does not yet know we are both going to give her away. I am not sure how he will react. My wife (who is Methodist) and I both had our first marriages annulled.

Again, a bit of information new to us. :slight_smile: You could tell her that her real dad should more properly do the honors, but that you want the first dance at the reception or something along those lines.

I didn’t supply a lot of detail at first because I didn’t think anyone would be that interested.:o She is the one that is insisting I give her away. This is a great honor to me and I will surely break her heart if I refuse. Since she is not Catholic, it will be hard for her to understand.

Perhaps you could walk down the aisle with her and her dad and then have the dad give her away–he’d have the “speaking part”. And when asked “Who gives this woman in holy matrimony” the dad can say something like: “Her family and I” just to include everyone. After all, she just wants you to be a part of her special day, so if you can come up with a compromise that will make her happy and not violate the spirit of Church law, that should do it. I’m sure your priest would agree that keeping your family speaking to you is more important than taking a stand on an issue no one there would understand but you. :slight_smile:

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.