My niece came out to my family about a year ago, recently bought a house with her girlfriend, and just announced that she is having a commitment ceremony and party next year. I am very torn about attending, because I see attending a “wedding” as a form of support for the couple. I do not support this at all. I keep asking myself what would Jesus do, but I am getting nowhere. What do I do??
I may be facing a similar situation in the not-too-distant future. If that happens, I am staying home to pray the Rosary. I don’t care who’s offended.
If you don’t want to go, don’t. I think that people who expect others to partake in their immorality, need to get over themselves. It’s in no way shape or form, an easy thing. If you want to go…go. I wouldn’t feel badly though if you choose to not go. Just my $.02
Maybe you could go to the party, but not go to the wedding. This could show that you don’t support the “marriage”, but that you do love your niece and you’re not trying to ostacize her, that you want to keep your relationship with her.
Just a thought.
There’s no way on earth I’d go to something like that. Don’t care who is was for.
Would Jesus attend? Most certainly NOT. Jesus may have loved the sinner, but nowhere did he celebrate with them while they sinned.
To go would be to cooperate in the sin. From the Catechism:
1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
by protecting evil-doers.
1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. “Structures of sin” are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."144
Welcome to the forums!
I found this link for you, on the Ask An Apologist subforum, and I think it will really help:
Take care and God bless ~
Almost identical situation in my family as well… DH’s “neice” (now nephew) got “married” several years ago. We chose NOT to attend and it caused a huge family upset… DH’s sister’s family didn’t talk to us for well over a year. Very difficult situation… so I totally sympathize.
Not sure if we made the right choice or not… it was a very painful situation. Painful no matter what, I guess!
Please do not attend. Talk to your niece (live if possible) and tell her that you cannot attend because you do not celebrate this decision at all. Remind her that you love her and that you’ll be praying for her. Continue to make her welcome in your home and during family events, but in no way treat her relationship as something to be happy about.
In my above post I think I was focusing too much on the pain our non-attendance caused…
But after thinking about it… attending would have definitely been a worse choice.
Good luck… I know it’s hard.
There has been some excellent advice given in this thread.
Faithfulness to Christ (and the avoidance of scandal) are far more important than avoiding family discord. Far more important to be happy in the next life than in this one. I pray that the Theotokos may intercede on your behalf and that you and your family can receive the strength to do what will honor God.
I completely agree with this. However, it is a very difficult decision to make and stick to. Making choices like that against family are never easy. But you know what is right.
Sometime you just have to stick to your guns.
If it helps, you don’ t have to give a reason.
A long time ago- about 1958, 1959- if a boy asked a girl out, she could always use the excuse of washing her hair. It was up to the boy to take the hint when the girl was washing her hair every time he asked her out.
As a point of etiquette, one does not have to tell the why of refusing an invitation, only politely refuse it. “I’m sorry, we have other plans” and leave it at that is always good. If you repeat it often enough, your relatives will get sick of hearing it and stop trying to pry out of you the why of your non-attendance.
If people can’t take hint from that, perhaps it would be a good day not to attend the commitment ceremony because you are cleaning the garage, the entire nuclear family, and washing everybody’s hair.
And nobody is obligated to buy anybody anything, BTW, but esp. if one is not attending.
The AAA link it great, and as it says at the bottom, going to a same sex ceremony is not to be recommended. It is very different from even attending a problematic heterosexual marriage.
Now on to my advice - not that you have to do this, but we are called as Christians to witness to the truth. While you COULD decline to attend without telling the real reason, you could be
a-missing an opportunity to witness to the truth
b-giving them a chance to misinterpret/wrongly judge the Church because all they have to go on are their assumptions.
I recommend writing out a letter to your neice. Even if you want to talk to her in person, having something written will allow you to be sure you didn’t miss anything you needed to say, and also give you something to give her to understand. We had to write a letter like this once (not for a gay ceremony, but an invalid hetero marriage) and this is how it went.
-We love you, we want you to be happy, but most of all, we want what is best for you.
-As you know, we are very committed to our faith, and try to do our best to live our lives according to our Church’s teachings…
-The Catholic Church teaches ___ about homosexual activity and ___ about same sex marriage.
-Because of this, we can not attend your ceremony. I hope you can understand that it is impossible for us to go against our Church’s teachings on this when following Church teaching is so important to us.
-We are not judging you. We do wish that you would reconsider your decision. We do love you, but as I’m sure you realize, we also have to follow our consciences.
-God Bless you. Love, ___
Here is a link to the document on homosexual unions cited by the AAA forum from the Vatican’s website: