EWTN Catholic Q&A
If a person converts you may attend their wedding
Question from Joseph on 01-25-2013:

Recent questions have failed to consider sincere conversion; if a family member has converted a number of years ago. Family members should attend their wedding. This is the custom in my family and I have seen clergy in attendance at other family events. The Catholic Church has many dogmas that sincere people do not believe. Sincere people leave the Church and join another. They should not be punished by other family members.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 01-25-2013:

Joseph--

I understand that this is your opinion, but it is not the teaching of the Church. Under canon law, the Church requires all Catholics, even those who no longer identify as Catholic, to marry according to Catholic canon law. If they do not do so, whether or not they have converted to another religion, then their attempt at marriage is considered presumptively invalid. If a marriage is presumptively invalid, then Catholics must seriously consider if they can give support to such a marriage by witnessing it. This is especially true when a family member has apostatized from his Catholic faith because Catholics have a moral obligation to place fidelity to God as a higher value than familial affection. In fact, I'd say that it is a positive familial duty to demonstrate to family members that their choice to throw away their Catholic faith has dire consequences and can never be condoned or supported.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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