marriage in the church question
#11
Thank you for your feedback. She is american :) And so is he. Their reasons for the civil ceremony being early are not immigration ones. I asked them and they said its due to work (not a valid enough reason to have civil so early I know) The church wedding is in July. i'm not sure if they will live together before that. They said they are coordinating with the priest and he is aware that the civil ceremony is happening in april 3months prior. I've emailed my priest for counsel and hope to get clarification.
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#12
MM, I think you've got the sequence backwards. The OP said 'that's why the (Church-JW) wedding is in Mexico in July'. They will be civilly married in the US so there's no question of evading immigration regulations.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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[-] The following 2 users Like jovan66102's post:
  • aml51368, MagisterMusicae
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#13
(08-18-2018, 03:41 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: 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.

Question: does the Church ever dispense from form for Justice of the Peace weddings?
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#14
(08-18-2018, 04:26 PM)FultonFan Wrote:
(08-18-2018, 03:41 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: 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.

Question: does the Church ever dispense from form for Justice of the Peace weddings?

A marriage between two Catholics cannot be validly given dispensation from form. So says the CDF in a private ruling (the text of which, I therefore cannot share, but the details of which I am familiar).

There was a bishop who systematically did this for an independent priest/group and got his hand slapped by the CDF who said that such a dispensation for two Catholics is invalid and cannot be given. The bishop can only dispense from form for a mixed marriage.

So, no. The Church does not dispense two Catholics so they can be married by a justice of the peace.
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#15
(08-18-2018, 03:52 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: MM, I think you've got the sequence backwards. The OP said 'that's why the (Church-JW) wedding is in Mexico in July'. They will be civilly married in the US so there's no question of evading immigration regulations.

Corrected stand I.
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#16
(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!

If they are being married in the Catholic Church then by all means you should go to the Catholic Church wedding. If the Catholic Church is willing to marry them then it is a lot better than if they had a civil ceremony and then just stopped there.
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#17
It is very common for countries like Mexico and other countries to have both a civil ceremony and a Church wedding.
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#18
(08-20-2018, 01:30 AM)Poche Wrote: It is very common for countries like Mexico and other countries to have both a civil ceremony and a Church wedding.

Another case of you not reading the thread. That was pointed out in the second or third post.
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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#19
Thank you for all the replies and feedback! I appreciate it very much! I also received confirmation by my priest that it is acceptable to go. I am relieved.

God bless you all!
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