How To Respond To Divorced Brother's Engagement


#1

My wife is a convert to the Catholic faith, for the past 15 yrs. She is a wonderful Catholic. Anyway, her older brother, a Protestant, has become engaged. He has already been married once, and divorced. The woman he is engaged to already has a couple of grown children, we think from a previous marriage as well.

Anyway, my wife is very dissapointed. Being a strong Catholic, her belief is very much against divorce. Her Mother (very anti-Catholic & twice married) told her to expect his call in regards to his engagement, anytime. Being anti-Catholic, they don’t really care for me — but I want her to be able to receive the right advice. That’s why I have come to all of you.

She would like to know how she should react to her brothers news, and whether or not she should participate in the marriage ceremony, if she is asked.

Thank you all very much in advance!


#2

Her prescence at the ceremony might seem to be an endorsement of this behavior, but it’s probably best to make sure that, whether or not your wife attends, her thoughts on the matter are made known to her brother.

It’s up to your wife’s conscience, ultimately, but I’ll remember to keep you in my prayers:gopray:


#3

She likely shouldn’t participate in any meaningful way (wedding party, etc.), but just showing up for the ceremony isn’t necessarily a problem.

I know how hard these things can be, though. I have 2 marriages coming up (my brother’s and my best friend’s), where one party is a fallen away Catholic, and the other isn’t Catholic at all, and so the Church will have no part in the wedding. :frowning:

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight


#4

My sympathies. I have been going through this for the past month only with my sister. After extensive catechesis research and speaking with two priests your only responsibility is to make your faith concerns known in a loving way, as to not cause and “aura of scandal”. Then it is entirely up to you if you want to attend or not. It is not a sin to attend but is a sin to take part in any way. By taking part, you will be advocating this invalid marriage.

In my case, I have decided to attend. My husband and children will not attend. I have explained that I hope to be an instrument of peace in the future and that I have to attend in order to keep the lines of communication open. I was literally split down the middle on this. Even after I lovingly voiced my concerns about our faith, and she still isn’t talking to me, I am going to take the higher rode.

It is a bump in the rode that you must cross over. Pray about your decision, talk to your priest. It will truly help.

Peace,


#5

Well my once divorced brother-in-laws 2nd marriage to another divorced woman took place yesterday. My wife attended. It was out of state. She did not participate in the wedding, however, helped her mother with some of the arrangements, ie: flowers, etc.

Now that they are are married, invalidly… in our Catholic eyes, how should they be treated by us in the future. I know with dignity and respect (as individuals), however, it does not seem right, to me, that we should now honor their marriage in the future, when we did not honor their wedding.

What do we do, say if they want to come and visit us? Do we allow them to stay at our house, for example? Bear in mind … we do not believe that this marriage is valid, but they do.


#6

My once divorced brother-in-laws 2nd marriage to another divorced woman took place yesterday. Both are non-Catholic Christians. His new wife, may be an ex-Catholic. My wife attended. It was out of state. She did not participate in the wedding, however, helped her mother with some of the arrangements, ie: flowers, etc.

Now that they are are married, invalidly… we believe as Catholics, how should they be treated by us in the future. Obviously, with dignity and respect (as individuals), however, it does not seem right, to me, that we should now honor their marriage in the future, when we did not honor their wedding.

What do we do, say if they want to come and visit us? Do we allow them to stay at our house? Bear in mind … we do not believe that this marriage is valid, but they do.

I posted this on another forum, w/o a response. I hope this forum is more appropriate


#7

Well, I doubt if it says what to do in the Bible.

You could consider Jesus’s teaching about casting the first stone. He could have tossed a rock, but he didn’t. Suppose you have them in your home. You get to show them what a valid marriage is. Hopefully they will want the love you and your spouse share and they will be closer to God as the result of it.

I suppose the Church says you can get to heaven being a Lutheran. If that is so, good Lutheran’s can divorce and remarry. So, I guess the person, being a good Lutheran, would go to heaven if divorced and remarried. After all, he was being true to his faith.


#8

Your wifes brother probably already knows how she feel, she can still have her feelings but support her brother, we cant always expect our family’s to behave how we want them to, so a little tolerance is asked for when it happens


#9

It seems perfectly reasonable to suggest they stay in a nearby hotel when they visit since they are out of state. That can be suggested as a matter of comfort for them (privacy, etc) rather than because you don’t want them overnight in your home. I assume, though, that you would invite them to a dinner or similar event, just that you don’t want them sleeping as a ‘married’ couple in your house?


#10

Hi Jaguar,

I’m in the same boat you are right now. My Lutheran nephew was married in August to a fallen away Catholic divorced young lady. My husband and I attended the wedding and left the reception early without much fanfare. We will be seeing the couple for the first time at Thanksgiving.

Since I don’t know much about your family situation, I can only tell you how we plan to handle ours. First of all, the couple are civilly married and the legal status of their relationship is entitled to some respect. Treating them as if they anything less than a married couple would only alienate them and make us look petty. And that wouldn’t get us anywhere with them.

Second, an “ex-Catholic” who marries into the family should, in my opinion, be viewed as an opportunity. Try to find out if she is, in fact, an “ex-Catholic” and why she decided to leave. In my situation, I intend to try to get to know my nephew’s wife better. Newlyweds love to talk about their relationship and the adjustments to married life, at least in my experience. For all I know, sharing stories about new married life may just lead to a discussion about the role of our Catholic faith in forming a good, solid sacramental marriage and what that means to us. Then, if the Holy Spirit decides to work in her heart… (well you get the idea)

Blessings,

Mrs. Mac


#11

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