Can I go to this wedding


A friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, is going to have a wedding, to which I’ll likely be invited. Here are the facts of the case:

(1) This person is a lapsed Catholic. To what degree I don’t know.

(2) This person has been living with the future spouse up to this point.

(3) I don’t know what they do together under their roof. All I know is that they live together—full stop. Don’t get carried away with your imagination.

(4) I don’t know whether they’re getting married in the Church. Suppose, for argument’s sake, that they are not getting married in the Church.

This is a real situation. I’ve just presented this way to be as clear as possible. So, in view of statements #2 and the supposition in statement #4 (bold), I’m unsure whether I can attend this wedding. I certainly don’t want to seem holier than thou. Then again, sometimes we’re asked to put ourselves in awkward situations for The Kingdom.

What are your thoughts?


I think that ypu should write up a questionairre for them to fill in. It will give you a clearer idea of what you should do. For example:

Are you currently having sex?
Have you participated in unatural acts?
Are you currently using or have you used or are you likely to use contraception?
Do you support SSM?
Do you drink excessively?
Have you used non prescription drugs?
Would you consider having an abortion?
Can I still come to the wedding?

The answer to the last one should solve your problem.


You know, I thought about making a questionaire, but I figured that wouldn’t be thorough enough. Do you have any other great ideas?


If you are going to the wedding of a lapsed Catholic, and they are getting married outside of the Church, I believe that would be a sin, as you are approving of THEIR sin.


Thank you for answering my question. I appreciate your directness. I feel same way, but it’d be nice if I could have something to sink my teeth into, though. Do you have any reasoning for your position, or?


It doesn’t sound as though you really know much about the circumstances here. The fact that they lived together before marriage is not relevant, in light of the fact that they are fixing that with marriage. The possible fact that the wedding may not take place in a Catholic Church proves nothing. They could have a dispensation from canonical form. You could charitably hope that this wedding is valid. Attendance would be problematic only if you knew for a fact that the wedding would be invalid.


(Some text was quoted by Priests below, some other non quoted text was also said)

I watched an episode of Web of Faith on EWTN, which is hosted by two Priests, and they answer people’s questions and a question came up from a person who asked about attending a same-sex wedding and the answer from Fr Keith Brighenti was, “of course you should say no” regarding attendance, but he also said the person should send a letter, commenting why they can not attend, saying that there prayers will be with them… but do not be condescending, be prudent in how they write the letter.

Fr John Trigilio then pointed out about “consistency” and that you should boycott a Catholic getting married by a Justice of the Peace, a Catholic getting married outside the Church with no dispensation etc. you shouldn’t attend those, but he said if they are non-Catholic wedding and their marriage is their first that is valid.

In regards to your situation I think you need to find out more information in regards to whether they are going to have an invalid marriage. If they are going to have an invalid marriage you shouldn’t attend, but write a letter like which Fr Brighenti said the person who questioned whether they should attend the same-sex wedding should write.


If this person is truly your friend, just ask the questions directly. Once you know for sure whether they are marrying in the Catholic Church, you will have your answer. Supporting your Catholic friend means advising them of the teachings of their Catholic faith. Once you have done that, you will know what you should do. You can explain it to your friend.


As a general principle, if you don’t believe, in good conscience, that the wedding is going to be valid, it’s best to avoid going.


I’m not really sure why you think you have to go to everything you are invited to.
You don’t HAVE to go, and you don’t have to explain yourself.
If you think you’re going to catechize someone about a day into which they’ve put a lot of planning, thought (whether or not it’s correct thought) isn’t going to go down well.
If you don’t want to go, don’t go.
I get invited to LOTS of events…I’m very selective of what I go to on my single day off.
Stay home. Particularly since you’ve made no mention of these people being dear to you.
Satay home rather than making this into a near occasion of sin for yourself. Either by going to something you shouldn’t go to, or by imagining their sins.



Also, if your being there as a practising Catholic would be a cause of scandal, then it’s best to stay away.


Another day, another thread by a catholic who wants to boycott a wedding. Seriously, folks, how about a sticky on that subject? It gets really old. Perhaps we should have an entire page on “should I go to a particular wedding?”


Good idea! :thumbsup:

(sez de man who’s attended more Hindu than Catholic weddings… :))


If you know they are Catholic and they are getting married outside the Church it *might *be invalid. The real question is if they have received a dispensation to marry without canonical form.

If you know they are a Catholic and are marrying outside the Church *without a dispensation *then we know according to canon law that the marriage is not valid. Now we can speculate that a lapsed Catholic would not seek a dispensation so there is a high chance that it is invalid, but we cannot simply assume that to be the case. The only way you could know it is invalid is if you know both parties are Catholic and marrying outside the Church. To the best of my knowledge you cannot get a dispensation from canonical form if both parties are Catholic.


I would echo these sentiments. There are plenty of reasons people can’t or won’t attend a wedding. If you do not feel right because of concerns expressed simply say “Thank you for the invitation, but I cannot attend.” You are not required to explain why.


The person is a “lapsed” Catholic…tis not likely they are going to seek a dispensation of form. While one could charitably hope it is valid…tis not sounding promising…



1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;

  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;

  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;

  • by protecting evil-doers.

I do not recommend attending an invalid marriage or reception - for such is a kind of “celebration” (approval) of such. I do not attend such.

Catholic Answers and Jimmy Akin as a number of write up’s about attendance.


I came here to post the same thing. The only way I could see anyone possibly going through asking for such a dispensation is because a steadfast parent or grandparent won’t go otherwise.

And let’s say that such a dispensation is denied, I ask the folks here which of the following is going to occur:

  1. The “lapsed” Catholic decides to return to the Catholic faith.
  2. The couple breaks up since they won’t get married without the dispensation.
  3. They go through with the wedding they’ve already been planning.


For crying out loud, just go to the wedding.



As I understand things, approving/encouraging another’s sinful actions may be a sin in itself - by going to the wedding you show approval.

Please someone correct me if I’m wrong.

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