"Can I attend this wedding" with a twist


Ok, my cousin just got engaged, apparently to the ‘man of her dreams’. She and my mother are very close (she’s actually my mother’s cousin). Here’s the problem: she’s been married several times before, divorced, never with an anullment. She was raised, Baptised, Confirmed, first Eucharist, actually married the first time, in The Church. She lives in Michigan, we live in California. There are plans for us to attend in the wedding in the works, but I don’t know if I should attend. She’s comitting adultery, she’s not getting married in The Church…

So normally I would just come up with an excuse to not go. The twist, however, is that my parents are also saying we may visit our relatives in Ohio, who I rarely see, including my Grandfather who’s very pleased with my conversion to Catholicism. He sent me a Catechism when he heard and told me to ‘keep up the good work’. He’s not long for this world, so I’d like to see him again.

If I go on the trip it’ll be expected of me to attend the wedding. If I don’t go on the trip, I miss out on seeing my relatives.

Should I just go on the trip, but refuse to attend the wedding? That could cause a huge family rift that would span several generations…:frowning:


Well, that would be completely up to you; however, if I were in your shoes I would go see my family members but I would not go to the wedding. As I see it, by going it would show that I supported the union (which I could not do). If some in my family were upset, I’d attempt to explain my reasonings but regardless whether they understood or not, I would not attend. If they want to be mad… so be it. God bless.


I didn’t go to my sister’s wedding for some of the exact same things.


Travel separately to see your Grandfather.


Talk to your Priest.


I agree.


Couldn’t you make it clear that you don’t really support the wedding, but still go if that is a condition of seeing the rest of your family.


Could you travel up with your parents but then spend the time you would spend at the wedding visiting your relatives? (ie if they go see grandpa first, you go too and then stay there in OH while they go to the wedding and then take a bus or something to meet back up with them or go straight over to grandpa’s while they go to the wedding and meet up with them afterwards at grandpa’s).


There is no “twist” here - it’s the same old arguement = already married person seeks to “marry”, should I go? The rest of it is totally irrelevant. The same answer stands - to be present at such a scandal would be to condone adultry. Period.

If you want to see your family then travel for that - but don’t attend this adulterous ceremony.



I see you’re a college student? So are your parents going to be paying for your travel? I can see how that is very tempting, since plane fare to visit your grandfather might be unaffordable otherwise. I think it would be better for you not to attend the wedding. But if you talk to your parents and they are still ok with paying for your fare to visit your grandfather, then go and don’t worry about what the rest of the family thinks. They’ll get over it, sooner or later.

You may want to write an honest but loving letter to your cousin explaining why you can’t attend the wedding. Maybe even keep a copy of it with you on your trip, so that you can have a “cheat sheet” if you end up having to discuss the situation with other family members. I wrote a letter like this last year for a cousin’s wedding. It included the following:

-We love you and want what’s best for you
-From what we know of your fiance, he’s a very nice man (IOW, it’s not personal)
-As you know, we are committed Catholics and try to aways follow the laws of our Church.
-According to the Church, your marriage wouldn’t be valid because ___"
-Therefore, we will not be able to attend the wedding. To do so would be to go against our faith.
-I respect your right to make your own decisions. I hope you can understand my need to do what I believe is right as well.
-I love you (always good to repeat)

The parts that you’ll likely have to repeat to other family members are that it’s not personal, that you do love your cousin, and that just as you respect her right to make her own decisions, you deserve to be respected for making yours as well.


**I think trying to work out a way to spend time with grandpa instead of attending the wedding would be a good option if it’s at all possible. And if he is happy with your conversion hopefully he is a strong enough Catholic to support your decision and back you up to the rest of the family?



Wise advice.


Or you can simply accidentally miss the wedding and attend the reception! :cool:

Isn’t grandpa going to be AT the wedding?


The reception is the celebration of the event that just occured. To attend the celebration is to “celebrate” the union. Sorry - this no easy out here. The only proper thing to do is just not attend.

Be the living breathing witness to the Catholic Faith and stand up for what you believe in by not going. No one said it was ever easy to be a Catholic.



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