Figuratively speaking, Abel’s father has a gun to his head. In no way is Abel’s father condoning the “marriage” of Abel and Baker. Abel knows this, and surely he will tell Baker. Does Abel’s father have the obligation to go around and tell all of the guests “I don’t support this ‘marriage’, I have a very personal reason for being here”? I don’t think so. The less said, the better. Family harmony, or what’s left of it in this case, is more important than avoiding scandal. We are not obliged to avoid scandal at all costs. Sometimes scandal is taken, and nothing can be done about it. Does it not fall upon the other guests to give Abel’s father the benefit of the doubt, and say to themselves “everybody knows what a faithful Catholic Abel’s father is, and we didn’t expect him to show up, but here he is, and his reasons for being here may be very personal, and something we don’t need to be thinking about”? We’re always being told “not to judge, not to judge”. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.
I tell this story to demonstrate how there can be nuance, and excusing cause, that would permit something that, at first blush, one would think cannot be permitted. I think it was scenarios such as this one, that the US Catholic bishops had in mind. Again, that’s far from being relativism.