EWTN Catholic Q&A
Allowing daughter to participate in invalid wedding
Question from C.F. on 01-21-2013:

My Catholic sister is marrying a Catholic man (who was married in the Church and divorced, but has not obtained an annulment) in October 2013. I will not be attending the wedding but they want my 4-year-old daughter to be the flower girl. Should I allow my daughter to be involved in this wedding? Thank you for your help.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 01-22-2013:


My answer is the same as it was in this Q&A: If you are not attending a wedding for reasons of conscience, that means you should have nothing to do with the wedding. It also means that the basic regard and respect your sister should have for you should indicate that it is entirely inappropriate for her to continue to importune you to provide support for this wedding, knowing as she does that you cannot attend. This extends especially to your immediate, nuclear family.

I'm afraid your sister evidently is so focused on the "romance" of Her Day that she is not cognizant that she has basically asked you to send your small child to a wedding that you cannot recognize as valid. She's looking to fill an empty slot in her wedding party, your daughter falls within the right age range and undoubtedly fills the cuteness requirement, and so your sister has chosen to sow trouble in your family (through potential disappointment for your child and potential disagreement with your spouse) so as to satisfy her "need" for a flower girl.

I can only recommend that you treat this request as the insult it is and tell her "No" in no uncertain terms. In fact, it might do her good to realize that her obliviousness to her responsibilities to her family is causing hurt and offense. Perhaps it might help to awaken her to her obliviousness to her responsibilities to God and to her Church family.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers