Is it a sin not to go....

to the birthday dinner my father invited me to for his “wife”. He left my mother several years ago and “married” another woman this year (I did not attend the wedding or send a card or present). I do not want to go the this dinner for several reasons, one of which is that I do not want to affirm their relationship because it is sinful. However, I also do not want to break the commandment to honor my father. If it was a dinner for him, I would definitely go.

Were you invited to the wedding? IMO, you are burning bridges with your Dad if you didn’t attend the wedding or send a card or present.

Have you met your step-mom and her family? You may be surprised, but they may want you to be a part of their family. When my mom re-married after a divorce, as children, my siblings and I were welcomed into my step-dad’s family with open arms and consider his children to be my brother and sister and all of his other family to be aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

When my Dad re-married, I was an adult and living on my own and don’t consider any of her family to be “step”. If not for Facebook, the only interaction I have with her family is at Christmas.

It probably depends on some of the other details involved, such as your age and the circumstances of your parents splitting up.

For example, if you are still a minor, then your duty to honour your parents is greater than when you are an adult, and even if you think your father is in the wrong, you should perhaps respect his wishes nonetheless… I’m not saying you should definitely go, but you need to give it fair consideration and perhaps the advice of trusted priest or older friend.

If your attending this event will greatly upset your mother, and perhaps she was the one wronged when they split, then I can understand your not wanting to go. This would make it very hard.

Then again, as per the previous post, you don’t want to burn your bridges. You don’t need to approve of your father’s actions in order to live harmoniously as a family. You have made your point by not attending the wedding. But there’s no reason to continue to ostracise his new wife, as hard as it may be to accept her.

Offer this one to God, that He may grant you the wisdom to best deal with this imperfect situation…and I’ll offer a prayer for you too.

My advice is for you to go to the birthday party and be kind. Take your step-mother a present and tell her “Happy Birthday.” A little kindness will go a long way. As Christians we are called to love one another. It is possible that your dad and mom would be able to annul their marriage and your dad could marry his new wife in the Church. You need to pray for God to send them graces so that they would see their error and try to amend it, whether by getting an annulment or choosing to end their marriage–whatever GOD’S WILL may be in this situation. In the meantime you should live your life with the love of Christ so that you might be an example to others. As someone suggested–never burn bridges–we Christians are in the business of trying to assist God in SAVING SOULS. We can’t do that if we don’t love one another and pray for one another.

By refusing an invitation to a party in your step-mother’s honor, you would not be dishonoring your father, but dishonoring his sin. There would be no sin in such a refusal, and some praiseworthiness.

However, I might go anyway, because there is no sin in going, either, and my relationship with my father might be his only hope for salvation.

Difficult choice.

Just my opinion.

You are in the right unless there was an annulment (and I presume there wasn’t)–in thinking that this relationship is wrong. It is most definately wrong (if there was no annulment) and if you don’t feel comfortable going to this dinner because of that than by all means don’t. This would **not **be sinful.

It wouldn’t be sinful to go though, as long as you don’t lie that you approve their “marriage.”

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