Can I attend a non-catholic wedding or is it like a gay "marriage" ceremony?


So a childhood friend has just gotten engaged and I’m wondering if I am allowed to attend her wedding ceremony when she gets married or if it is to be avoided since it is a non-catholic marriage?


Of course you may attend. “Gay” marriages between same sex couples should be avoided.


Certainly, if it is in a Christian Church and they both are baptised it will also be a sacramental marriage. Marriages are not invalid simply because two non-Catholics are marrying. I presume your childhood friend is not Catholic? In that case she would be obliged to marry within the norms the Church sets out or seek a dispensation. But if that is not the case I can see no reason why not to attend.


Rational marriages, YES!
Irrational marriages, NO!

On the YES above, avoid any cultic function of the ceremony if it is not Christian, but you may attend any other functions. You will be more comfortable this way.


Why not?

As long as you’re not actively participating in a non-Catholic religious rite (say, receiving the Lord’s Supper in a Protestant Church, praying to Allah, or taking steps around a sacred fire in Hinduism), I don’t see any problem in doing it, on purely social grounds. (Gay marriage is a different beast; the objection to gay marriage is that it violates natural law. A marriage between a man and a woman, even if it takes place under a Hindu, Muslim, Protestant or civil rite, is in keeping with natural law.)


So you are saying that if two Jewish friends are getting married Catholics may not attend?


I think “Certainly” is the answer to the OP’s question (that is, he can attend), and the second part of the sentence points out (in addition) that any marriage between two validly baptised Christians is a sacramental marriage in the eyes of the Church. This second clause wouldn’t apply to a Jewish wedding, but the OP is certainly free to attend it. :slight_smile:

Or, in simple terms:

Gay wedding: no-no.
Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or civil marriage between a man and a woman: Can certainly attend, as a social (not religious) obligation
Christian marriage between two baptised individuals: Can certainly attend, plus it’s a sacramental marriage.


No and if anyone has taken that meaning it is not what I mean, a Jewish marriage is a rela marriage as Is one between two Hindus, Muslims etc. etc.


Not so sure about this. If you know them, why should it be avoided? I don’t believe there would be anything wrong with attending a wedding with same sex couples. If that is their lifestyle they have chosen, who am I to judge?


Since by definition a same sex wedding is impossible it is not so much a matter of judging as condoning the activity by attending in that case.


That which they do is not what they call it. You want to attend a marriage ceremony find one and not this since it is not a marriage. If people you know do armed robbery and are murderous and they once invite you to join them in a merits-achievement feast, can you go and say “who am I to judge?” while you know where their merit came from?


Attending a gay marriage would be as bad as attending a heterosexual marriage if one or both of the bridal party have divorced for any reason other than adultery.


Not you, but God.


“Who am I to judge?” only works for the Pope. :stuck_out_tongue:

No seriously, if that is what you mean then you should remember that the Holy Father’s full quote was “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis is implying that he shouldn’t judge if the gay person is seeking God and has good will.

Seeking God and trying to live life by His teachings would certainly preclude homosexual relations.


The Catholic Church assumes a marriage between two non-Catholics (one man and one woman) to be valid. Marriages before Jesus founded the Church were this kind of marriage. It was natural but not sacramental. Jesus then raised the natural state of marriage to the supernatural making it a sacrament. And when Jesus did this he reaffirmed that marriage is between one man and one woman. A “gay marriage” is neither natural nor sacramental. It is an anti-marriage because it is the exact opposite of what marriage has been from the beginning. A homosexual relationship goes against God’s plan but also goes against basic biology and the design of our bodies. Therefore, it is always rejected by the Catholic Church.


If one or both of the couple is remarrying without benefit of a declaration of nullity, this is also an invalid marriage and should be avoided.


It’s definitley okay to attend a wedding ceremony of somebody who belongs to a different sect of Christianity, or even the wedding ceremony of somebody of a different religion (that would be a good opportunity to evangelize.)

However, I’m not sure whether or not it’s wrong to attend the wedding of a gay couple. You should pray to God about that.


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