Can I attend the wedding?


My parents have a dear Catholic friend getting remarried over the weekend. I wouldn’t dare ask them if she had gotten an annulment, that’s how close they are, though I doubt it, due to the couple going on vacations together with her kids, etc. Her son is also a friend of mine.

However, I wont put my already precariously mortal sin inflicted soul in danger to attend a possibly adulterous wedding. Help?


Why are you worried about things you don’t know? Also, why is your soul mortal sin inflicted? Perhaps fixing that situation should be first on you list before a wedding.


Since you’re only a young man, is it even possible for you to avoid going?


I wish… I go to Confession Sundays before Mass.


I guess I could ask about annulments then seek permission to stay home if none were obtained, but, I would most likely be shot down and, maybe considered a Catholic fundamentalist :shrug:.


If you are truly in mortal sin. You need to go to confession ASAP. However I’m sensing a scrupulocity vibe with your op.


Not without a fight and therefore the sins of anger and presumption can I maybe have the chance to go to confession. I committed sins of impurity, so I am in mortal sin. Should I take the risk?


I don’t see how this could be a possible adulterous wedding. It should be fairly obvious whether or not it is. You say they are getting remarried… Now there is only 2 options:
1 They are getting married in a catholic church and thus the annulment is a foregone conclusion. You can and should attend if you so desire.
2. They are getting married outside of a catholic church and thus no matter what, this will be an adulterous (or at least a fornicating) relationship. You should not attend if you don’t want to.
I guess it is possible that an annulment was granted and an out of church dispensation waiver (not sure of the accurate term) to wed outside of the catholic church, but if this is the case I’m sure it would surface rather quickly, without having to ask the question.

Of course, if you are 14 years old and live in your parents home, none of this matters. You should, and most likely will, do what they say. :slight_smile:


No, not “no matter what”. A Catholic can be dispensed from form.

People don’t disclose their personal business.

In charity, we don’t go around speculating about dispensations and decrees of nullity.


Absolutely not.

Respect your elders and stop speculating about them. In charity, we presume the best about people, not the worst.

Obey your parents in this matter.


It shall be. I am sorry for committing gossip(?).


Please get help from your pastor. You were not gossiping.

You were asking for guidance. You seem to have some scrupulous questions.


They are Catholic, therefore they have to get married in a catholic church. If they aren’t they most likely are getting married without annulment.

If they are getting married in the Church, someone did all the homework for you…the priest.


This advice, Upgrade 25, is not at all correct. You are 14 years old and your parents have made specific provision so that you can go to confession on Sunday. They have told you when they will take you to confession and when you are not supposed to be away from them without their permission, so you should do as your parents ask since the Lord would want you to do that.

When you are an adult, you may choose otherwise but in the interim no one in this forum has ANY business telling a minor child to directly disobey what his or her parents have expressly decided in this sort of matter – least of all on an issue for which the parents are making perfectly reasonable accommodation.

I would hope any parent on this forum would rightly resent strangers on the Internet telling their own child that they should disobey the directive of their parents in an issue like this. That is not right.

As a priest, I can say it is already exceptional for a 14 year old to be going to confession on a weekly basis. As I have said in advice to you before, it is critical for your confessor to understand how deep seated your anxiety is concerning the state of your soul so that this issue can be addressed and so that you can be helped. It makes me sad and concerned that a child your age is suffering under the burdens you are taking upon yourself and expressing. That is why, again, I urge you to open your heart to your parish priest who can help to unburden you and help you to deal with your issues from a healthier perspective.

To the matter at hand, it is not for a 14 year old to take upon himself matters such as making moral determinations relative to the friends of his parents. You have no moral responsibility for these decisions that these adults are making. It is not helpful – either to you or to them or to your parents.

You are not putting your soul in danger by attending this wedding. You do not need to feel any guilt for accompanying your parents to this event of their friends, which they want you to attend with them; you would simply be present at it as their teen-aged son.


Oh my, I posted this response before seeing Father Ruggero’s response. So only take my advice in light of what he has already posted. :slight_smile:

This is an excellent question, Upgrade.

I applaud your conscience and it’s sensitivity! You have a great desire to know and follow the truth!

I have found it helpful to find answers from the Catechism or a knowledgeable and trustworthy priest rather that seek opinions from fellow Catholics. However faithful they may be, their opinions can vary widely. :slight_smile:

According to the Catechism:

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."22 Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.

So you are free and encouraged to ask these kinds of questions and even disobey if you find it would be morally wrong to obey them. Just asking questions does not make you scrupulous. It means you are curious and want to learn. :slight_smile:

I think previous posters have clarified that if the wedding is performed in the Catholic Church, you are free to attend. Abuses of Canon Law with regards to annulments and remarriage do occur, but you have no direct knowledge of that and so you would in no way be culpable for sin. Even if you know they were fornicating or committing adultery, the culpability would rest with them and the priest marrying them. Plus you wouldn’t know if they went to confession and repented before the ceremony.

If it were someone closer to you committing such sins, such as your own parents, you would be on grounds to take a firmer stand, but you are removed from having any involvement in this couples moral choices.

If they are not being married in the Catholic Church it would be safely assumed they don’t have an annulment:

This article written by Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D., (serves as Executive Director of the national radio apostolate Relevant Radio) gives a direct answer to your question:

Case 4: “Remarriage of a divorced person without annulment.” Invalid. Potentially remediable through annulment and sanatio (from the Latin for “healing”), which cannot be presumed. For purposes of clarity, an annulment invalidates a marriage, while sanatio validates a marriage. Practicing Catholics should not attend. Possibly against natural law; certainly does not fulfill canon law.

Because of the strong words of Jesus cited above (see Mt 19:9), I don’t see how a practicing Catholic in good conscience can attend a wedding ceremony that he knows will be an invalid marriage. His/her attendance seems to condone what is going on. Rather, he should explain to the individauls that he loves them and prays for them and wants the very best for them, but that he will not be helping them at all if he ignores the clear teachings of Jesus Christ. These can be very hard conversations. But remember what Jesus said: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father” (Mt 10:32). That should be some consolation.

However, some wise and prudent priests with many years of pastoral experience are of the opinion that there could be some cases in which one’s (passive) presence may be legitimate, especially so as not to cut oneself off from one’s relative. For this to happen, the principle of double effect applies: (a) action is good or indifferent (just being there); (b) the intention is good (keeping lines of communication open); © the good effect intended is not a consequence of the evil effect; (d) there is a proportionately serious reason. In that case it might be advisable to attend the ceremony and miss the reception, and indicate as well that one does not approve the union.

Only time and the Second Coming will tell if you made the right choice.

With regards to your personal struggle with mortal sin, please, please do not be discouraged or afraid!!!

Everyone struggles and it can be especially hard at your age.

You don’t want to fall into the two traps of the devil:

  1. Scrupulosity
  2. Laxity

This can take a long while to figure out. Be patient with yourself. Jesus will be!

He loves the fact that you love Him enough to take up the struggle!

Just turn to him with an Act of Contrition and promise to get to Confession as soon as you can. If you can’t get there until the end of the week, tell Him! He is your best friend. Don’t be afraid of Him. Be completely honest with Him.

How would you respond to a friend who owes you money and says they’re sorry but they will get it to you at the end of the week? It would depend on how sincere that friend has shown themselves to be, right? So be sincere and talk to Jesus as your very best friend. :slight_smile:

Also, keep learning the tools and tricks to avoid and combat mortal sin. Many posters here have knowledge to share. One thing to consider if you are struggling with any kind of addiction is to seek the sacrament of the Anointing for the Sick. It is a very powerful and much underused sacrament!

Jesus will be looking at your heart and your sincere intentions. I am only so glad to know a young person with a heart as pure as yours. Your intentions are very clear for all to see!!! :thumbsup:


I hardly ever go to the wedding. People don’t remember if you were there or not. I always attend the reception as there is cake. Go to the reception and you will have no moral quandary.


He is a 14 year old boy who is attending with his parents, who want him there…they will assuredly know whether he is with them or not, without regard to what other people know or do not know. Besides, as a child, his transportation to and fro is dependent upon his parents.


Point taken from an ever wise poster. My apologies. Obey your parents.


This is not complete. We know one party is Catholic. We do not know about the other party.

Therefore, we cannot say whether a dispensation from form has been obtained. We can draw no conclusions form the location of the wedding.

Nor should a 14 year old be doing so. The parents have decided to attend, and have decided to include their child.


No, one should not make such an assumption. Particularly when we do not know the religious affiliation of the person this lady is marrying.

No one should be telling a 14 year old to “take a stand” with their parents or with friends of parents. No one should be telling a 14 year old not to go to this wedding or to not obey his parents.

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