Do we go to the Wedding?


#1

We have four children ages 7-17. We are trying our best to instill the values of our Catholic faith in them.

My neice (baptized Catholic) gets married in a Yugoslavia Orthodox Church. We attend with 2 daughters standing up in the wedding. My Father is disappointed that it is not a Catholic Church but he attends.

My oldest sister was married many years ago in the Catholic Church. She then divorced. She remarried in a non-demon church. When she was expecting their first child she had the first marriage annulled. Then her “second” marriage was “blessed” by the Catholic church. Two children later she divorced. No annullment. She had been cohabiting with her latest boyfriend (after having done the same with another). We had been able to keep these details from our children. She then wants to “set things right” and decides to marry the latest boyfriend. They marry in local neighborhood non-Catholic church. I decided we shouldn’t attend because in the eyes of the Chruch, she is already married. I get some flack from other members of my family, most of whom attend. Should I have went?

Now, my nephew (from another sister) announces he is getting married next year. He was baptized a Catholic but is not longer a practicing Catholic. His girlfriend is Methodist. They are going to get married in front of a Methodist minister at some outdoor setting. His mother (my sister) is a semi-practicing Catholic. She doesn’t understand why we didn’t attend the other sisters latest “wedding”. My children feel “left out” since we didn’t attend the one wedding even though I did my best to explain it to them.

Do we attend the wedding of my Nephew? How can we celebrate and put our blessings on this? On the other hand, if we choose not to go, we are alienating ourselves from the family who don’t understand the Catholic faith. To top it off, the new couple plan on moving across the country after they get married, in essence, distancing themselves from us anyway. On the other hand, I don’t want to hurt my sister whom I have grown very close to. We have many discussions about our faith and I think she is open to expanding her faith. If I don’t go to her sons wedding, I am sure this will destroy our relationship to a degree.

I really hate these situations.


#2

I would go to the wedding with my spouse but I would not haul my children with me.
Go… but you are not obligated to subject your children to anything you disapprove of.


#3

The children are very fond of this nephew. Plus since three of them are teenagers I know they will really want to go to celebrate with their cousins. I would have a hard time explaining that Mom and Dad are going even though we don’t approve, but you can’t.

Not that I have any trouble exercising my authority, I just don’t know how to explain that type of situation to them. To my family, keeping my children at home would be just as bad as if none of us showed up.


#4

If your nephew has left the Catholic Church formally and become a Methodist, then he is no longer bound by the form of a Catholic wedding under Canon Law. So, you would not be witnessing an invalid marriage attempt by a Catholic… you would be attending the wedding of two Methodists.


#5

Our pastor made a very good point in his homily today. He said whenever you’re dealing with someone who is not living the Catholic faith, keep in mind that none of us do. You have to live in a complicated world, one in which you witness the truth on one hand and accept people as being sinners on the journey to Heaven on the other. It is not easy. If it seems easy, you’re probably not paying attention.

Having said that, I think that deciding not to go to the wedding of someone who is already married is quite different from not going to the wedding of someone who has left the faith. That’s what I think; I don’t have canon law on that.

In your sister’s case, she was asking you to stand as a witness to bigamy. It is not out of line to tell her that when her annulment comes through, you’ll be the first in line to congratulate her on her marriage. Until then, as far as you know she is already married, and married in the eyes of the Catholic Church – which she went out of her way to establish – and sorry but it is fairly obvious what kind of bind that puts you in.

It is not your job to register disapproval every time someone in the family isn’t living the faith to your standard. That your nephew has left the Church is sad, yes, and there is nothing wrong with telling him that it saddens you. But at some point, you have to love – be patient, kind, never rude, etc., etc. – and hang on in hope. There is every reason to believe that he’s entering into a valid marriage.

You may not approve of what your nephew does, but let your kids know that you love him, anyway. To go to his wedding does not misrepresent the Catholic faith.


#6

[quote=1ke]If your nephew has left the Catholic Church formally and become a Methodist, then he is no longer bound by the form of a Catholic wedding under Canon Law. So, you would not be witnessing an invalid marriage attempt by a Catholic… you would be attending the wedding of two Methodists.
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No, has not become a Methodist. In fact, I get the impression he is just going along with it because she is Methodist and it really doesn’t matter one way or the other to him. I think he claims to be “spiritual” by not “tied” to any one church.


#7

[quote=BLB_Oregon]Our pastor made a very good point in his homily today. He said whenever you’re dealing with someone who is not living the Catholic faith, keep in mind that none of us do. You have to live in a complicated world, one in which you witness the truth on one hand and accept people as being sinners on the journey to Heaven on the other. It is not easy. If it seems easy, you’re probably not paying attention.

Having said that, I think that deciding not to go to the wedding of someone who is already married is quite different from not going to the wedding of someone who has left the faith. That’s what I think; I don’t have canon law on that.

In your sister’s case, she was asking you to stand as a witness to bigamy. It is not out of line to tell her that when her annulment comes through, you’ll be the first in line to congratulate her on her marriage. Until then, as far as you know she is already married, and married in the eyes of the Catholic Church – which she went out of her way to establish – and sorry but it is fairly obvious what kind of bind that puts you in.

It is not your job to register disapproval every time someone in the family isn’t living the faith to your standard. That your nephew has left the Church is sad, yes, and there is nothing wrong with telling him that it saddens you. But at some point, you have to love – be patient, kind, never rude, etc., etc. – and hang on in hope. There is every reason to believe that he’s entering into a valid marriage.

You may not approve of what your nephew does, but let your kids know that you love him, anyway. To go to his wedding does not misrepresent the Catholic faith.
[/quote]

Thank you for the reply. It’s not so much that I want to register my disapproval of what he is doing so much as I do not want to give him or my children the idea that it has my stamp of approval either.

And it’s not a matter of them not living the faith to my standard, it’s the Churchs’ standard. Yes, we are all sinners. But if you know someone is going to sin, it seems that the loving thing to do would be to try and stop them, or at the very least not show your support for it.

I guess it also comes down to whether or not he is entering into a valid marriage. I’m not that clear on when and where the Catholic Church decides what is and what isn’t a valid marriage outside the Church. Any help in that regard would be greatly appreciated. If I knew it was a valid marriage, it would make the decision much easier I think.


#8

[quote=Chris G]Thank you for the reply. It’s not so much that I want to register my disapproval of what he is doing so much as I do not want to give him or my children the idea that it has my stamp of approval either.

And it’s not a matter of them not living the faith to my standard, it’s the Churchs’ standard. Yes, we are all sinners. But if you know someone is going to sin, it seems that the loving thing to do would be to try and stop them, or at the very least not show your support for it.

I guess it also comes down to whether or not he is entering into a valid marriage. I’m not that clear on when and where the Catholic Church decides what is and what isn’t a valid marriage outside the Church. Any help in that regard would be greatly appreciated. If I knew it was a valid marriage, it would make the decision much easier I think.
[/quote]

I get your meaning… your reply is very gracious. With permission, a Catholic may validly marry a non-Catholic (mixed marriage) or even a non-Christian (disparity of cult). Your nephew’s marriage is not invalid, per se. You don’t have to ask to see the paperwork to agree to attend the wedding.

I found this of interest in the catechism, referring to Catholics who divorce and remarry without annulment.

"Towards Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons:

They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace."

In other words, because divorced Catholics who re-marry prior to annulment cannot receive Eucharistic communion or be granted reconciliation through the Sacrament of Penance unless they commit to living in complete continence, the catechism instructs that extra solicitude must be exercised by the community, lest they be marginalized! Give support to them in every way you can support them, and you’ll be right in line with the catechism.

So unless your relatives or friends are doing something expressly forbidden by the Church (like having a wedding prior to their annulment), by all means extend all the gracious support of their journeys that you have to offer.

Go to your nephew’s wedding, and pray, pray, pray, that when he and his new wife have children that he will hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit and instruct them in the faith. In the meantime, see to it that the young couple is exposed to the Gospel as St. Francis instructed: Preach always, and when necessary, use words. You need not fear that your patience, kindness, or graciousness will preach overpermissiveness to your children or anyone else. It will speak the love of God.

The Jews consider participating at a wedding a mitzvah – a holy act, a little bit like the Catholic corporal and temporal works of mercy. Go to this wedding and enter fully and unabashedly into the joy and excitement of the day. In doing so, you will witness Christ.


#9

I suspect your children are smart enough to have figured out you disapprove of your nephew’s leaving the church and getting married by a Methodist minister. I say go to the wedding anyway. That will go a lot farther in bringing them both home.


#10

does he still claim to be a catholic? if not- your ok. if he does, he needs a dispensation.

you were right to not attend the 1st wedding. i myself am becomming the black sheep of the family for not attending 2 divorced-remarriages, and 1 party for an elopment with a j.p.

hang in there!


#11

Okay, Chris, am I missing something?

I understand not attending your sister’s wedding…but the nephew…I’m confused?

I’m not Catholic, so I am trying to REALLY understand why you wouldn’t want to attend your nephew’s wedding…

My husband and I were married by a Methodist minister, outside in our front yard of our new home…my marriage is sarcamental is it not?


#12

[quote=DJgang]Okay, Chris, am I missing something?

I understand not attending your sister’s wedding…but the nephew…I’m confused?

I’m not Catholic, so I am trying to REALLY understand why you wouldn’t want to attend your nephew’s wedding…

My husband and I were married by a Methodist minister, outside in our front yard of our new home…my marriage is sarcamental is it not?
[/quote]

I “want” to attend my nephews wedding, but only if it is “right”.

As far as your marriage, I can’t say if it was sacremental or not. That’s part of my dillema. Since he is(?) (my nephew) Catholic, though not practicing, and she is not, I don’t know if they are entering into a valid marriage. I can’t celebrate an invalid marriage any more than I can celebrate two men getting “married”.


#13

[quote=Chris G]I “want” to attend my nephews wedding, but only if it is “right”.

As far as your marriage, I can’t say if it was sacremental or not. That’s part of my dillema. Since he is(?) (my nephew) Catholic, though not practicing, and she is not, I don’t know if they are entering into a valid marriage. I can’t celebrate an invalid marriage any more than I can celebrate two men getting “married”.
[/quote]

From Canon Law:
Can. 1124 Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons, one of whom was baptized in the catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the catholic Church.

Can. 1086 ß1 A marriage is invalid when one of the two persons was baptized in the catholic Church or received into it and has not by a formal act defected from it, and the other was not baptized.


#14

[quote=DJgang]Okay, Chris, am I missing something?

I understand not attending your sister’s wedding…but the nephew…I’m confused?

I’m not Catholic, so I am trying to REALLY understand why you wouldn’t want to attend your nephew’s wedding…

My husband and I were married by a Methodist minister, outside in our front yard of our new home…my marriage is sarcamental is it not?
[/quote]

If your still Episcolalian, I suppose.

But if you are Catholic…no.


#15

[quote=DJgang]Okay, Chris, am I missing something?

I understand not attending your sister’s wedding…but the nephew…I’m confused?

I’m not Catholic, so I am trying to REALLY understand why you wouldn’t want to attend your nephew’s wedding…

My husband and I were married by a Methodist minister, outside in our front yard of our new home…my marriage is sarcamental is it not?
[/quote]

If neither of you were Catholic at the time and neither of you had been Catholic before (without defecting from the Church by a formal act), and both of you were validly baptized Christians at the time, then yes.

Can. 1055 ß1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptized,** been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament**


#16

[quote=Chris G]I “want” to attend my nephews wedding, but only if it is “right”.

As far as your marriage, I can’t say if it was sacremental or not. That’s part of my dillema. Since he is(?) (my nephew) Catholic, though not practicing, and she is not, I don’t know if they are entering into a valid marriage. I can’t celebrate an invalid marriage any more than I can celebrate two men getting “married”.
[/quote]

Okay, I understand now…your main concern is whether your nephew is Catholic or not? Correct? If he is…then he should be married in a Catholic church…correct?

Now, I would think if he is not practicing…he is no longer Catholic.

Therefore, I would, though, assume that he is a christian since he is being married by a Methodist minister, therfore, you will be attending a wedding between two Christians…correct? What’s wrong with that?

I am sincere in my questions, Chris, just trying to understand…


#17

[quote=lifeisbeautiful]If neither of you were Catholic at the time and neither of you had been Catholic before (without defecting from the Church by a formal act), and both of you were validly baptized Christians at the time, then yes.

Can. 1055 ß1 The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptized,** been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament**
[/quote]

Well, that’s what I thought too lifeisbeautiful, but Aimee seems to think not, since I’m not Catholic.

Yes, we both are christian, both were baptized as young people…therefore, my marriage is sacramental. I view my marriage as a covenant with God and divorce is not an option. I made vows to my husband and God.

Now, I am and have been seriously thinking about attending the Catholic church. But it really concerns me when I read people not wanting to attend weddings between two christians who have never been married before and who take their vows seriously. Just being honest.


#18

[quote=DJgang]Okay, I understand now…your main concern is whether your nephew is Catholic or not? Correct? If he is…then he should be married in a Catholic church…correct?

Now, I would think if he is not practicing…he is no longer Catholic.

Therefore, I would, though, assume that he is a christian since he is being married by a Methodist minister, therfore, you will be attending a wedding between two Christians…correct? What’s wrong with that?

I am sincere in my questions, Chris, just trying to understand…
[/quote]

My main concern is whether or not his marriage will be a valid sacremental marriage.

From the Canon law cited, it would appear that even if he is not a practicing Catholic, he would need to formally renounce it in order for him to not be bound by Church law.

And I can’t even assume that he is a Christian for that matter. Many men marry in a church just because it’s the wish of their future bride. I’m not sure if that is his case or not. All that I have heard so far is that he is “spiritual” meaning he believes in a God.

As far as “what’s wrong with attending a wedding between two Christians?”: As a Catholic I am passing my faith along to my children as I promised at their baptism. In the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are as long as both participants are Christian. Just like I couldn’t participate in communion at a Lutheran Church since it isn’t a valid sacrament.

And I believe you are sincere in your questions and I will do my best to sincerly answer them.


#19

I wouldn’t let anyones decisions here stop you from attending mass at a Catholic Church. If God is calling you to, then nothing here should stop you.

I repeat, it is not a matter of not wanting to attend. It is a matter of whether or not it is right to attend. I try to forego many of my wants in lieu of what is right.

And I will have no idea how seriously they will be taking their vows. I can honestly say that I did not take mine as seriously as I should have on the day I way married, but thanks be to God, I remain faithful to them today (19 years later) and now I have a much much greater appreciation for those vows. Left to my own devices I would have cut and run long ago.

And again, my concern is not how sincere they are. My sister that is breaking Gods laws by marrying someone legally while she is still married to her first husband in Gods eyes is very sincere I believe. I have spoken to her at great lengths and she sincerely believes she is doing Gods will even though I can see that God teaches us otherwise. Regardless of her sincerety, she is sinning and I can’t condone or celebrate it.

I’m sure some homosexuals are sincere in their vows as well, however misguided they may be. The real question should be, what is the will of God and what has He taught us as to the validitiy of marriage? And what does His Church, the one with the God given authority to administer and participate and officiate in the sacrements teach on the matter? That is my number one prime concern and focus.


#20

[quote=DJgang]…therefore, my marriage is sacramental. I view my marriage as a covenant with God …
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With all due respect, does God view it the same way as you do? I’m not saying He doesn’t, I’m just illustrating that what we perceive to be Gods views are not necessarity what Gods actual views are. We are human and very succeptible to deceiving ourselves. Hence the need for His guidance through His Church.


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