Should parents have boycotted their son's non-Catholic funeral?

My brother died last November; his illness and death were short, less than four months. My brother was not a practicing Catholic and often had arguments with my parents about the Church. When it came time to plan his funeral, his wife (a non-practicing Protestant) made arrangements through the pastor who married them at a Protestant church. I know this was my brother’s wish.

My parents did not attend and said their priest told them they should not have. I am so upset about this situation and I need to know if what they did was considered okay. I attended along with my family, but my only sister and parents did not. They have not spoken with my sister-in-law since and have cut ties with all of us. I find it hard to believe a priest would have actually told them NOT to attend their own son’s service, even if it wasn’t Catholic. Can you advise?

I am very sorry for your loss and for the choice your parents made, evidently on the counsel of a priest. I do not know why the priest advised them not to attend their own son’s funeral, but I can only say that Catholics are not required not to attend non-Catholic funerals. If the priest advised them in this course, it was his own responsibility, and I am fairly certain that most priests would not have advised boycotting an adult child’s funeral.

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