Catholic wedding not in church, what to do?
#2
If they are Catholic they must (by present Canon Law, as amended by Pope Benedict in 2009) be married before an official deputed (i.e. delegated) witness, or be granted dispensation from their bishop for this requirement (dispensation from Canonical Form).

This is required for the validity of their marriage. That means, if they do not do this they are not married.

Once a Catholic, always a Catholic, which means that no matter if they do not practice, or if they've left for some other sect or religion, they are bound by that law. They cannot married validly "outside of the Church". That does not mean not in a church building, but a ceremony which is not officially witnessed or permitted by the Catholic Church.

You cannot go to or tolerate attendance at a ceremony you and they know to be invalid. It is no different if they person is going into a second adulterous "marriage" or if they are going into a state of fornication.  Such would be a grave sin of scandal and contrary to Charity (you would be encouraging them in their sin by your attendance).

The only case I could think of where that might be possible is when there is truly no scandal : the person who was possibly baptized when an infant, but never raised as a Catholic, does not know whether they are Catholic, and wants to marry in a civil or other religious ceremony. Because of the doubt, and because we do not have the obligation to investigate this for them, we could possibly attend, since there is no certain sin of scandal.

When that time comes, however, or even before hand, you could casually remind you family members of their duty to see that the necessities for a valid marriage are taken care of. It is possible that with such a gentle reminder, they might see it as, at least, important to you.
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RE: Catholic wedding not in church, what to do? - by MagisterMusicae - 04-08-2018, 04:56 PM



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