marriage in the church question
#1
I have a question about attending a wedding in the church. If it's not ok to post here, I can delete.  

Here is my question and thank you in advance for the feedback. 

My brother is getting married civically in April. Both he and his fiance are catholic.  they ARE getting married in the Church in July following their civil ceremony in April. We are not attending the civil ceremony,  but are wondering if we are permitted to attend their catholic church wedding knowing that they civically were married 3months prior to their church wedding.  We are not in the wedding and would only be attending as guests.  I have read that this makes a difference and as long as we are attendees only, it is permitted but I want to be sure. As far as we know, they are coordinating everything with their priest and making the appropriate required arrangements. This is also the first marriage for both and we are unaware of any other reasons why they should not be married.

Thoughts? Are we permitted to attend their catholic church wedding ?

God bless you!
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#2
(08-18-2018, 10:05 AM)aml51368 Wrote: I have a question about attending a wedding in the church. If it's not ok to post here, I can delete.  

Here is my question and thank you in advance for the feedback. 

My brother is getting married civically in April. Both he and his fiance are catholic.  they ARE getting married in the Church in July following their civil ceremony in April. We are not attending the civil ceremony,  but are wondering if we are permitted to attend their catholic church wedding knowing that they civically were married 3months prior to their church wedding.  We are not in the wedding and would only be attending as guests.  I have read that this makes a difference and as long as we are attendees only, it is permitted but I want to be sure. As far as we know, they are coordinating everything with their priest and making the appropriate required arrangements. This is also the first marriage for both and we are unaware of any other reasons why they should not be married.

Thoughts? Are we permitted to attend their catholic church wedding ?

God bless you!

I can’t see why not, seeing as their Catholic wedding is the only valid one anyway.  Their “marriage” in April is no marriage at all.  They go in as boyfriend and girlfriend, and they walk out the same way.
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#3
In most of Europe it is required by civil law that the couple be civilly married before they can have a Church wedding. I do have to wonder about the Priest who's witnessing their marriage however. They will be fornicating from April to July. Is he going to talk to them about it?
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#4
(08-18-2018, 01:54 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: In most of Europe it is required by civil law that the couple be civilly married before they can have a Church wedding. I do have to wonder about the Priest who's witnessing their marriage however. They will be fornicating from April to July. Is he going to talk to them about it?

Now, you don't know that. Their understanding of things might be a Catholic one. There might be a reason for the civil wedding before the real one.
T h e   D u d e t t e   A b i d e s
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#5
I dont know. they are not living together at this time and I'm not sure about after either. My concern is if I am able to attend based on the prior civil marriage or is it my obligation to question their morals?
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#6
If they don't live together before the Sacramental marriage I see no reason not to attend, but in that case I wonder why they're getting civilly 'married' months before they are actually getting married.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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#7
Actually, Vox is correct. It's entirely possible that for insurance purposes or something like that they need to be civilly married in April. I withdraw my former remarks. I'd say wait and see, but the civil marriage before the Church wedding is definitely not a reason to not attend.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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#8
(08-18-2018, 02:30 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: Actually, Vox is correct. It's entirely possible that for insurance purposes or something like that they need to be civilly married in April. I withdraw my former remarks. I'd say wait and see, but the civil marriage before the Church wedding is definitely not a reason to not attend.

my brothers fiance is american but her whole family still lives in Mexico.  that's why the wedding is in Mexico in July. The April ceremony is for the US family to attend but I don't know if there are other reasons why the civil is so much earlier. That's why I'm so confused about whether I can attend. It could be a multitude of reasons why April but my concerns are whether or not I should be cornered about that since I am not attending and only attending the sacramental one. I'm so confused.
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#9
Well, if that's the case I could see visa problems as the reason for the early civil marriage. Barring anything else, I see no reason not to attend the Church wedding in Mexico. No matter what goes before, they are being Sacramentally married in the eyes of God then.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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#10
There must be a serious reason to separate the ceremony that gives the civil effects (legal status of marriage in the eyes of the State) from the ceremony that gives the true effects (the Sacrament). It may be done, but because this generally involves a serious risk of sin, it is usually not permitted and would generally be considered seriously sinful without those serious reasons.

One purely practical reason among many other reasons : what if in those 3 months the couple decides not to marry. Now they are apparently married according to the State, their family has celebrated their non-marriage and it all falls apart, now with legal consequences and expense in obtaining a divorce decree.

That said, it is not impossible, and there might be subjective seriously reasons. Since the presumption is that a couple going before a civil authority for marriage thinks this marriage, usually this would be done, if necessary, privately.

This is what happens in countries that require a civil ceremony. Usually, the two ceremonies are done the same day, or within days of each other. Show up to the judge in the morning, then go to the Church, or vice versa.

I cannot see how in this situation a public family celebration of a non-marriage in Mexico and a real marriage later in the U.S. is going to be justified.

My guess is the priest who is preparing them, if he is a decent priest, probably knows nothing of this arrangement. From priests I know who have spent many years in Mexico, getting married civilly and then perhaps later trying to do the Church ceremony is common in Mexico, and often times this arrangement is found out when the couple comes to Baptize their child (often 5-10 years after his birth, and multiple times so that the child has several baptismal records in different parishes, and can then marry multiple times since each record will show him free to marry, even if he's already married).

As regards your original question, though, yes, you could attend the real marriage. It is a real marriage, and would seem to be valid.

In the meantime, as much as is prudent (e.g. if you enjoy a close relationship where you could be critical without offending) I it might be reasonable that you ask some serious questions to try to warn them of this plan. Ask what happens if they break up before July. Ask if they will be living together after the civil ceremony or if they will wait for the actual wedding (you're worried they will be putting themselves in a serious occasion of sin). Tell them you want to support their good idea of marriage, but at the same point in time this all sounds very dangerous.

I would worry, for instance, that with a civil ceremony in Mexico in April, that a spouse could use this married status to get into the U.S. and the knowing they are not actually married, wait the prescribed amount of time to get residency in the U.S. then file divorce paperwork. It's not that uncommon a situation, and it's not only fraud, it's a serious crime to do something like that (for both spouses). If the non-American spouse were to do this, both spouses could face years in jail and hundreds of thousands in fines.

So in short, the Church wedding is fine to attend, but this sounds like a terrible situation with serious risk of grave sin all over the place. If prudent and possible, try to help them see that. While you don't know the gory details, so subjectively this could be fine, objective it is a bad situation.
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