Divorce and remarry

What does the Catholic Church say about attending the wedding of a person who was born and raised Catholic, is divorced and is going to remarry. I do not want alienate this person as they are a close relative. Can I attend the wedding?



I’m not sure what the Church Teaches… when I was a child it was understood that a Catholic could not take part in a non-Catholic celebration (worship or otherwise); things were simple then… then there’s the “go with your conscience” phenomenon–the problem with that is that if our conscience is not well-formed (Catholic Faith and Doctrine) we can walk straight into hell and reason that “my conscience” is clear.

Consider this: are you aligning yourself with God or aligning yourself with your “loved” ones?

Jesus warned that He did not Come to bring “peace” to the world but “War.”

Jesus is speaking of Holy War.

He further states that there will be two working in a field and one will be taken and the other one left behind; three ladies working together, one taken and the others left behind; He even goes as far as the intimacy of the bedroom: two in a bed: one taken and the other left behind.

…St. Paul warns that a Christian should not be yoked to non-Christians…

The scene is set: choose Life, so that you shall live!

…while it may seem generous to attend this wedding, consider that you, as a Catholic, are saying that you recognize the wedding as valid.

Here’s what the Church has to say about the Sacrament of Marriage:


1638 "From a valid marriage arises a bond between the spouses which by its very nature is perpetual and exclusive; furthermore, in a Christian marriage the spouses are strengthened and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and the dignity of their state by a special sacrament."142

The marriage bond

1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself.143 From their covenant arises "an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society."144 The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: "Authentic married love is caught up into divine love."145

[size=]1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved.

This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom.146 (vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c3a7.htm)

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]***Merry Christmas!***Maran atha!


I am guessing that you are speaking of a wedding outside the Church of a divorced person who has not received an annulment from the Church.

Catholic Answers apologist Michelle Arnold discusses this at:


It doesn’t seem prudent to attend. They are still married to their spouse and in essence you would be celebrating adultery, not love, sadly.

That is not to say you have to be cold or cruel about it, and they aren’t monsters, just sinners like the rest of us.

Would you rather alienate yourself from God or this relative? By attending you are in effect affirming that what they are doing is right and the Church is wrong.

This is a matter of prudential judgment not sin for you. If not attending would do more damage to your relationship with family, it’s better to attend than not. However, you shouldn’t take on an active role, such as a formal witness. Now days people don’t care what anyone’s church says they can and cannot do and will not judge the matter by that criteria. They only judge it according to your relationship with the couple/family. However, if your absence would actually make them rethink getting married outside the Church, that would be the best choice. Still, that’s not usually the reaction you’d receive. You’re in the situation with this close relative, so only you can best judge what you should do. Of course, you may talk to your priest about it beforehand. However, he probably would tell you the same thing since it’s not a matter of sin but of making the best choice under the circumstances.

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