Please help me explain why wedding

Must be in a church, to non catholic/agnostic future daughter in law!

Well - I think this should probably come from your son and his expression to how important it is to him that his marriage be a sacramental one. I think that unless he believes it to important - that there may not be much you can do on your own.

Your son is a Christian …so he gets married as a Christian…

just as a Jew gets married as a Jew…

your future daughter in law and your son need to address these questions…and with a Priest… for a mixed marriage can bring problems of its own…

in NJ one needs to follow the laws of NJ to get married validly in the state…

as a Catholic he needs to follow the way Catholics get married…

you are right. If only he felt as strongly about his faith as he does for this girl!!

Address it with a priest yes. But the good ones(in our life) have all been sent to Rome!

Because your son is Catholic and his baptism obligates him to seek the Catholic form of marriage in order for it to be valid.

Since his fiancee is not Catholic (and perhaps not even a baptized Christian since you say she’s agnostic–a danger to any children who your son is obligated to do his best to raise Catholic) then it is possible he could request a dispensation from form in order to be married in another location. But he needs the proper permissions to do so. And he still needs to go through whatever marriage preparation is required. He needs to contact his pastor to see what is required of him in order to marry according to the laws of the Catholic Church.

If your son is marrying a non-Baptized person then the Marriage is NOT a Sacrament and does not have to be celebrated in a Catholic church (with the Bishops Dispensation for the Marriage to take place and permission for an alternative location)

Is your son also a non-believer? If so I do not see anything wrong with them getting married outside of a church, even if he was baptized. They are full grown adults and should get married in any forum that makes them happy. Now is not the time for parental interferance.

No he’s not a non believer just a very lax one. My post asked how to explain, not how do I stop them marrying outside the church. I would not be doing my duty as a mother if I didn’t give it my best shot, but I am more than aware that it is their decision. God knows, if I had any say it wouldn’t be happening at all. This is my second eldest son, yes he’s an adult, but a young one ar 21. I have 12 children younger than him to whom I will need to explain, many of whom will probably be asked to be in the bridal party. If they choose a church they will also get some decent marriage prep hopefully from the one great young priest we know who is still in the country( just on the other side of town)

Thankyou, I didn’t know that, will do some more research.

This bit though

a danger to any children who your son is obligated to do his best to raise Catholic

weighs heavily on my heart.

Surely you have taught your child what is required from him in marriage since he was very young, and have over and over and over told him that to marry outside the Church would be mortal sin and that his parents and siblings would not support such.

Remind him of all the teaching that you as his parents have done, and that you will keep your word and not support the sin.

In a perfect world I would have managed to pass on that knowledge. I have tears welling and a pain in my chest with the knowledges that I have failed. I have, I know it, God knows it. When my son was very young I didn’t know my faith, my husband still doesn’t know his. Ours is not a perfect world of united parents passing on their burning faith, but of a mother who came to know her faith while pregnant with her 11th child and a father who practices a faith, ie Mass attendance, but doesn’t really ‘get’ it.

So no it is not as clear cut as you think it should be and let me tell you it hurts to know that I have failed my child.

You cannot give what you do not have. If you only found faith much later in life, was this young person baptized and raised Catholic? If they were not baptized, they are not bound by the laws of the Church.

Can anyone please give an explanation of why the Church teaches as she does? I get the whole obedience, that’s the way it is, thing but it doesn’t work in a conversation with someone who doesn’t. I need something more tangible

The Church and Pope Benedict would not agree with you.

When your son was baptized, he became a citizen of the Catholic Church. The Church has laws that govern her citizens. The Church also has a responsibility to protect the Sacraments and the souls of her citizens. They take marriage seriously, and have rules in place about how what marriage is and how it takes place.

I’d suggest you get ahold of Fulton Sheen’s “Three To Get Married” and read that book.

If he is baptized, your son is required to marry in the Church OR to get permission from the Bishop to marry outside of it. If he refueses to do these things, he will not be married in the eyes of God and will be committing fornication in a very public way.

You can just show him and explian that Marrying someone who is not a Baptized Christian requires the Bishops dispensation for the Marriage to be valid. They can ask also for his permission to marry in another location other than a church. To not even ask for a dispensation will render the Marriage automatically invalid by law.

Yes he was baptized, we have been Sunday Mass goers for all but about a year when he was in early primary school. We’ve always prayed before meals etc. he was involved in our very Catholic Youth group, albeit slightly reluctantly. When I say I only ‘came’ to my faith later I mean I experienced a real personal conversion then, before that I sort of knew it, but there was much that I didn’t know. Looking back God was whispering in my ear, wafting the scent of real faith past my nose- tap tap tapping on my soul the whole
time, it just took a very long time for me to respond; once I did I couldn’t learn enough quickly enough, but my older children were already in their teens… My eldest went off the tracks big time, but praise God he’s back. This one is different, less dramatic ‘good’ in the eyes of he world, but in fact a lot further from God than my drink driving, binge drinking, room trashing son, ever was!

It’s a prviledge in a strange sort of way, to glimpse, in parenting our teens and young adults, just how much God loves us and feel just a speck of a speck of a speck of a …of the pain He felt for us

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