EWTN Catholic Q&A
Attending marriage outside church
Question from Andrew on 11-19-2012:

Dear Mrs Brown: I know this question is outside your forum, however I value your opinion so much I am asking you for advice on this. My daughter who is free to marry in the Catholic Church is going to marry a divorced man not free to marry in the Church. The marriage will be performed by a JP. She has asked me to attend. I don't want to but I have always had a good relationship with her and I am afraid if I don't I will break our relationship to the point that she will never ask me for advice again. I have explained to her what is at stake here for her soul but she says God loves her and will understand. Thank you and God bless for all you do for all of us espically the unborn.

Answer by Judie Brown on 11-20-2012:

Dear Andrew

First of all I think your daughter is deceiving herself in order to validate her decision, even though perhaps in her heart, she knows it is wrong. Below are two ways to handle the situation.

Second, while I understand that you do not want to attend her wedding because you are aware of what she is denying, I think attending would give you a chance to be a witness for truth. But I would explain to her in advance, if this is the course you choose, that like Christ, you are witnessing to his truth and though you are attending because she is your child, you do not approve and will make it clear as often as you have the opportunity to do so that she needs to face the truth and come to Christ on His terms, not hers.

The alternative I might suggest to you is that you NOT attend the ceremony and be obviously absent but only attend the reception afterward.

That way you are in any way giving the appearances of approval.

Judie Brown