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#413171 09/28/15 02:50 PM
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I don't know if this is the right forum, but it seemed like the most appropriate.

Situation - I have been invited to a wedding between non-Catholics.
Bride - Secular Jew, Previously married, civilly divorced.
Groom - Went to Unitarian church with his Dad on occasion growing up, self-proclaimed atheist for at least a few years. Was previously married, civilly divorced - twice, to two different women.

I am getting mixed answers as to whether I would be contributing to a sinful situation if I attended - not only the wedding, but the reception as well.

Any thoughts?

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AllCatholic:

Christ is in our midst!!

Opinions are like sweat socks--everyone has two (you get my drift).

I have many relatives who are not Catholic and many who are in similar situations. A few questions come up.

Are these people family? Good friends? Are you willing to give up their friendship over this--it may appear to them you are being judgmental rather than supportive as a friend?

The Pope has been talking about mercy and not being judgmental. IMHO, as long as you are not asked to be one of the official witnesses, you are not in a position to be contributing to a sinful situation. First of all, neither is a Catholic and neither believes in the Catholic definition of marriage or what it entails. Secondly, we live in a secular society and we must be good witnesses to a caring, supportive Christ that we serve. That doesn't mean that we support the general principles underlying this upcoming marriage. But it does mean that we are supporting people that we care about.

I was pressured into actually participating in my sister's civil marriage 25 years ago tomorrow. It caused some scandal to my children and I've had to live a very severe penance as a result. But that's a whole different situation. If you're not an official witness, it seems to me you should go, wish the couple well, and be supportive while witnessing to what we believe marriage ought to be.

BTW, Pope Francis has said that there are probably many marriages that could be annulled for one reason or another.

Bob

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Bob,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Yours is the most congruent and sensible response I have seen. Please pray for me and the couple.

God Bless,
Kathleen+

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Dear Kathleen,

Although I am not Catholic, I agree with Bob. These strange couplings are part of the fabric of today's diverse society, and it is what it is...we cannot change it by not attending, nor can we or should we isolate ourselves to only being with our 'own' people, whoever that group might be.

Go, have a nice time, and wish the couple well...

My opinion, for what it is worth!
Alice smile

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AllCatholic:

Christ is in our midst!!

My daughter-in-law asked me about another situation that is parallel. However, it was to be a Wiccan wedding ceremony and she was made to understand that they would be invoking Satan to "bless" (or curse, depending on your POV).

This time I told her NOT to attend and consider distancing herself from this friendship.

Bob

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Originally Posted by theophan
AllCatholic:

Christ is in our midst!!

My daughter-in-law asked me about another situation that is parallel. However, it was to be a Wiccan wedding ceremony and she was made to understand that they would be invoking Satan to "bless" (or curse, depending on your POV).

This time I told her NOT to attend and consider distancing herself from this friendship.

Bob

Oh dear...how sick and frightening! Lord have mercy!

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Originally Posted by theophany
However, it was to be a Wiccan wedding ceremony and she was made to understand that they would be invoking Satan to "bless" (or curse, depending on your POV).


I call baloney. Wiccans are very silly but they aren't Satanists.

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Swan:

Christ is in our midst!!

Sorry, I'm only relating the situation my daughter-in-law asked me about. I have no experience of Wicca or their beliefs or practices.

But I do know that if anyone asks about a ceremony that would invoke Satan, the answer is the one I gave.

Bob

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Well, it's true that Wiccans are not satanists . . .

I have first-hand experience with them as the Ontario government has Wiccan chaplains (believe it or not).

Also, the Unitarian church up here has forged a "union" with the Wiccans and they are now part of them . . .

I guess if one had to call oneself either a "witch" or a "Unitarian," then . . .

Wiccans (from which "wicked" is derived) is a pagan religion very similar to that of the pagan Slavs.

Alex

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It's more like a simulated pagan religion that really bears no resemblance to any historic pagan religions.

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The devil you say!

Alex

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Kathleen,
I'm coming from the stricter point of view, but generally Bob gave you very good advice.

I would just add that if is was my child I would probably not attend the wedding, as I couldn't really recognize it as a marriage in my view. However it would be vital to state this position even before the engagement. However, as a compromise to preserve a relationship, attending the reception may be okay.

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Fortunately, from the way I read this post, neither person is a family member or child.

Family makes it much more difficult and usually means that we either choose Christ or damage our witness to being His disciples.

Bob

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Yes, Bob, you are correct. These are two adult friends, not family members.

Paul, and others, what do you think of this "not going to the wedding but attending the reception idea?" I wonder if that is hypocritical, or if nothing else, confusing to other invitees, and to fellow Catholics, sending one message at one time, and another at another time. After all, the reception is in celebration of vows that were not valid. If we don't attend the wedding, shouldn't we not attend the reception?

Kathleen

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Quote
the reception is in celebration of vows that were not valid

AllCatholic:

Christ is in our midst!!

Forgive me, but "validity" is a Latin Catholic idea and application that does not apply to anyone else. Since these folks are not "in Christ," that is part of the Church, part of the baptized, it has no meaning or application. What the state of the their souls are or how the Lord looks at this is beyond us. So we ought not to judge what the status of their vowed commitment is. It is what it is--a legal construct of the state in which they commit; beyond that we don't know or judge or apply our constructs.

Bob

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