Should I Attend the Wedding?

Dear Father,

Please advise me on the following situation...

My brother-in -law is engaged to be married. This will be his second marriage. He was raised Catholic, but has NOT practiced his faith in years. His first marriage was in a Lutheran church ...they are now divorced.

My dh and I are the only ones on both sides of our family that practice our Faith. If and when we are invited to the second wedding, what should we do?? Are we allowed to go or not? What should we say if we have to decline the invitation? It is sooooo important that we tactfully and charitably represent what the Church teaches in this situation AND stand by it.

Where exactly in Church law (or whatever) does it say that we can't participate in remarriage? Being excluded from a family event will be tough.

Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

-Anne

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Dear Anne,

This is a very common question as you can imagine. I do not know an easy solution to the dilemma. Altho there is no Church law which says you cannot attend the wedding, my usual recommendation is to attend the reception, but not the wedding itself. That would acknowledge the social dimension without directly endorsing the religious action. You have to somehow let them know you are not judging them, but at the same time ask them to respect your beliefs. And you want to do it in a way which does not close the door to a future conversation inviting them to have their marriage blessed in the Catholic Church.

My prayers.

Fr. Phil Bloom

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