Married outside the Church?


#1

My brother (lapsed) is talking about getting married in a civil ceremony. I have expressed my concerns. What now? Can I go to the wedding? Can he sleep in the same bed in my house with his bride? How does this work?


#2

Has your brother ever been married before?
He is Baptized, right?
Has his finance ever been married before? Is she Baptized?


#3

This is often a topic on ask the apologist section here, such as here:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=167154

In short, there is no Church requirement that you do not attend. It is good that you have expressed your concern. Beyond this, do you think there is any further benefit to your brother by not attending? If anything, it is perhaps likely to drive a wedge, whereas attending (having raised your objections) shows that you love and value your family.

I'm not sure about afterwards. My gut instinct would be that you treat them as though they are properly married, but I have no real basis for this. I'm not sure.


#4

[quote="Suslar, post:2, topic:322642"]
Has your brother ever been married before?
He is Baptized, right?
Has his finance ever been married before? Is she Baptized?

[/quote]

Thanks for the responses! Yes he has been baptized in the Church, no he has not been married. I don't even know this girl, but they are 22, so I doubt she has been married. I don't even think they have dated before and they dont currently inhabit the same city. They may be old friends who just decided to get married is my impression. He wont even tell me who she is. This is out of nowhere.


#5

[quote="LaSainte, post:4, topic:322642"]
Thanks for the responses! Yes he has been baptized in the Church, no he has not been married. I don't even know this girl, but they are 22, so I doubt she has been married. I don't even think they have dated before and they dont currently inhabit the same city. They may be old friends who just decided to get married is my impression. He wont even tell me who she is. This is out of nowhere.

[/quote]

Now THIS might be a reason not to go.


#6

You should, of course, counsel him to marry in the Church. Pray for him daily. If he insists on marrying outside the Church, you may attend the wedding, if only to maintain good relations with him, his wife and future children.


#7

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that he doesn't consider himself to be Catholic, so don't 'put' Catholic rules onto him. It will drive him further from the Church, not draw him closer. I like to think in terms of strategy, like a chess game over a long period of time. I would attend, and yes, treat them as husband and wife afterward. Things can change when a baby arrives so try to stay on good terms. Of course, continue to pray that they fall in love with Christ and return to practicing the faith.


#8

[quote="LaSainte, post:4, topic:322642"]
Thanks for the responses! Yes he has been baptized in the Church, no he has not been married. I don't even know this girl, but they are 22, so I doubt she has been married. I don't even think they have dated before and they dont currently inhabit the same city. They may be old friends who just decided to get married is my impression. He wont even tell me who she is. This is out of nowhere.

[/quote]

Why is he being so secretive? I probably wouldn't go until he was more forthcoming with some basic information.


#9

He’s always been secretive. I think he’s doing it mostly because he is in the military, and they won’t let you live with someone unless you are “married”. He says they will marry in the Church later and it’s just a piece of paper. Ugh.


#10

[quote="LaSainte, post:9, topic:322642"]
He's always been secretive. I think he's doing it mostly because he is in the military, and they won't let you live with someone unless you are "married". He says they will marry in the Church later and it's just a piece of paper. Ugh.

[/quote]

But you are his sister. And that he is in the military, I'd wonder if he's getting married for the extra BAH and other benefits that come with being married since you don't know much about the girl and about the relationship.

I would talk to my priest about the situation.


#11

[quote="LaSainte, post:9, topic:322642"]
He's always been secretive. I think he's doing it mostly because he is in the military, and they won't let you live with someone unless you are "married". He says they will marry in the Church later and it's just a piece of paper. Ugh.

[/quote]

Oh no. I see your dilemma. It's not "just a piece of paper." Is there a way you can help him understand the Sacramental nature of Catholic marriage without giving him too much trouble about who the woman is? Help him to see that it is for life . . . .


#12

[quote="Suslar, post:11, topic:322642"]
Oh no. I see your dilemma. It's not "just a piece of paper." Is there a way you can help him understand the Sacramental nature of Catholic marriage without giving him too much trouble about who the woman is? Help him to see that it is for life . . . .

[/quote]

I'm trying to be delicate. To be honest, she sounds great. Part of me is glad that they are doing it in a courthouse since it is in such a rush. I mean, even though it is sinful to marry outside of the Church, if it falls apart, it's not valid anyway if they don't have it convalidated. I know that's a terrible thing to think, but this is very, very sudden. If he comes to his senses later, I don't want this to haunt him forever or be an irreversible mistake.


#13

Ok so it seems I was wrong. They seem to b madly in love. The problem is, they are impatient and the military will not let them live together until they are married, and she lives halfway across the country and can't afford to move into her own place to be near him. They wouldn't even be able to take pre-Cana together! Well, they are getting married in 3 weeks in a civil ceremony by an ordained minister. Hopefully later they will get their marriage convalidated. Right now he has been away from the Church for awhile, but I am hoping that once they start having children he will want to rejoin the Church.


#14

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