Can I attend this non-catholic wedding?

One of my friends is getting married. He is a lapsed Catholic, no longer practicing and is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage. He is marrying a girl who was raised a Catholic but is no longer practicing either. They are getting married in a non-Catholic ceremony.

Does this mean I should not attend the wedding or the reception?

I can’t really tell these guys that the reason I am not attending is because I don’t approve of their marriage. That would go down like a lead balloon. I’m also worried it might turn them off ever returning to the faith as they might interpret me not wanting to attend their wedding as Catholicism harboring bigotry towards others (by not attending their wedding).

Even if i don’t attend the wedding or reception, I feel I should still give a present (cash). I don’t know what to do, this is the first time i’ve encountered this issue. Any advice would be welcome.

Go, enjoy it as best you can, but don’t take communion if offered. There’s no sin in doing the above.

Its a civil ceremony. No religious aspect at all.

In reality, it depends on what your presence will mean for the couple.

Will you be the stogy and hateful Catholic who refused to come? Will it enforce negative stereotypes about Catholics and sever your ties with this couple? Do you have any hopes of guiding them towards the Church?

If you answer yes to those, then you should go.

If your missing the wedding will have no or little bearing on your friendship, then skip it and take them out for dinner after and keep building the relationship you have to be a positive witness for the Catholic Church.


I have hopes the guy could come back, and I help bring that about. I don’t know the girl well enough to know about her.

I feel i have two options:

  1. Don’t go, and lie about why I was not there (i can’t tell him the truth)
  2. Go to the wedding in the hope it makes me, who he knows is a practicing catholic, seem decent and keep his mind open on returning to the church.

I just need good Catholic advice, as I try to follow the church in all I do.

Love God, Love your neighbor. Option 2

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I gave you Catholic advice.

You cannot lie. If you don’t go you can say that you were “busy” or had “other obligations” both of which can be true, but you cannot lie.

From my understanding 2 is what I just spoke about.

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Honestly, if you don’t feel like you can discuss his lifestyle and political choice with him, then he’s not that close to you. Don’t go if it offends your sensibilities. Better than being false.
If you truly wish him a good life, happy marriage all the best, go. You are not responsible for his poor choices anyway.


Try this article for some more thoughts:

When you say it will go over like a lead balloon, I’m just wondering if you have talked to them about marrying in the Catholic faith some day, ie. having their marriage blessed. If you find it very hard to discuss this at all with them, I’m just wondering if lack of courage is the problem. How close is the friend?

My advice is to invite them over for dinner very soon. After dinner, try to create an environment conducive to talking, perhaps with a drink. You could start with asking “So how are your parents about your not getting married in the Catholic Church?” or “Are you hoping to have your marriage blessed in the future?” Or, “Aren’t you worried that it’ll be harder to stay together without the grace of a Catholic marriage?”


Just go to the reception, IMO.

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Do you have a real friendship with this person, or is his behavior now so antithetical to your values that keeping up the friendship is a burden?

If you have a real friendship, it means you have other things in common with the person and, while you might not be happy with his choosing to marry outside the Church, you genuinely wish him well in his marriage and perhaps insert the genuine hope that he will return to the Church and marry in the Church one day. Also, if you’re really friends, you should be able to tell him just that. “While I wish you had married in the Church, I wish you and your bride a lot of luck and love in your marriage. I hope God blesses you. Perhaps one day you will consider returning to the Church.”

If you can say something like that, then I would suggest you either attend the wedding and send a gift, or have some commitment where you can’t go to the wedding (it’s quite easy to schedule a trip to see family out of town on the same weekend as a wedding, so you don’t have to lie) and send them a gift.

But if you can’t genuinely say something like that to the person, and you find his act so distasteful that the only reason you’d be going to his wedding would be in some valiant attempt to show that Catholics aren’t bigoted or to try to coax him back to the Church, then I don’t think this falls in the category of a “real friend” and perhaps you might let this “friend” go, skip the whole wedding thing, put a little distance between you, because you don’t have much in common.

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God bless you for your gracious and thoughtful response. My daughter has recently become engaged .I want our relationship to remain rooted in God’s love though she does not at this planning stage intend to marry in the Church. I will pray for the grace to gently urge her to allow God into her life . Your common sense and wisdom helped calm the anxiety of a conflicted and fearful but caring father


Remind her that a commitment before God and His church is harder to break for most people.
It’s the seriousness of the vow, not the location of the wedding.
Some people (not talking about your daughter, Congrats, btw) plan a wedding.
Remind her to plan her marriage. And into include the Lord in those plans.
God bless you.

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You can go,even if you do not like their opinions on moral/ church issues.
People around me are the same but i live with them.

You cannot escape from sinners ( including ourselves),but be nice and share your views in a good tone.

We know that.

The question is whether or not to go. There is no prohibition on it anymore because the church recognizes that boycotting such ceremonies might drive people further away from the church, so it asks that discretion be used.

Thank you for your gracious response .
Love and truth go together .
Brand new to this forum with all it’s thoughtful perspectives like your kindness to me.
God Bless you too

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What does it accomplish to avoid the ceremony and go to the reception? You want to indicate your disapproval of the wedding but celebrate it at the same time?


Go, keep your lines of communication with this friend open as you never know when you will plant a seed.

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Express disapproval at the method of union, but have joy that the union happened.

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