Background: My sister divorced her husband several years ago. Both cradle Catholics; Catholic wedding; two young sons; married about 12 years. Husband did not want a divorce. We live across the country from each other, so I rarely see her. She telephoned me to say (almost out of the blue) that she had filed for divorce. I was shocked - especially when she refused to consider counseling, separation, Retrouvaille, etc. She said he was a good man and a great father, but she was just “not happy”. It was obvious that she was not happy that I did not just say “whatever you want to do is ok…” and I didn’t hear from her for quite awhile. Any communication we’ve had since has been very short and superficial. There was much I wanted to say, but she can be very spiteful and angry, and I was afraid of hurting our relationship even more by really discussing this with her - especially based on her reaction after that phone call. Our parents and other siblings have also not asked any tough questions for the same reason - they know how she is and want to preserve a relationship with her. Anyway, it wasn’t very long after she moved out that we started hearing references to her new “friend”, and sure enough, about a year later, she called in a very happy voice to say that she was “seeing someone” (the friend, of course). I just said, “Oh” and changed the conversation after a period of silence. Again, she seemed surprised that I was not thrilled for her. It was tugging on my conscience for months that I had a duty to speak to her about her spiritual danger, but again, I knew that it would probably drive her farther away, so I didn’t. Finally, an opening occured, and I sent her a heartfelt letter explaining my concerns, asking if she was pursuing an annulment, and sent some links to Catholic Answers, other Catholic websites, and enclosed some Catholic catalogs and pamphlets. I told her in the letter that I wouldn’t push her to discuss it because I didn’t want to hurt our relationship even more, but that I was willing to discuss it if she wanted. That was about a year ago, and she’s never brought it up in the few conversations we’ve had. Yesterday was the day I received a short email from her saying that they’ve decided to get married sometime in the next two months. They are buying a house and are very happy and excited. She also said the boys are “ok with everything”.
Obviously I’m struggling with this. I know she’s going to do what she wants, and obviously, she’s not concerned about what the Church has to say about it even though, as far as I know, she’s still taking the boys to church when she has them, and they are in CCD.
So what do I say? I can’t say, “I’m glad your happy” because I’m afraid she’s trading earthly happiness for eternal happiness - which I stated in my letter. ( I also said that I was sure he was a wonderful person and that we’d like him if we met him; it’s just that she’s still married in the eyes of the Church.) I can’t say, “I’m glad the boys are ok with it” because they must be terribly confused if they are taught one thing in church, and their mother says another is just fine as long as it makes us happy. She doesn’t seem to indicate that we’ll be invited to the wedding - probably knows we wouldn’t attend. I don’t want to drive her away forever… Anyone been there and done that??