From a reader…
Father, should Catholic parents even attend the wedding of their Catholic daughter to a non-Baptized man outside the Church? Unitarian, to be exact.
The father is going to walk his daughter down the aisle, and Catholic family members will attend.
Advice, please for this prevalent situation in this day and age . . .
~ A distraught grandmother ~
Alas, I’ve answered this question many times on this blog. It is a widespread problem.
I’ll leave aside the issue of dispensations, etc.
There is no “one size fits all” answer. Every case must be considered according to its own circumstances. Each family has its own set of dynamics.
While I think that it is possible to attend a shower and a reception in most cases, what about the wedding itself? It depends.
Must depends on how parents and grandparents and godparents and extended family have lived their Catholic faith and provided a Catholic environment in which children matured. Did they give their children the Faith? No? And then are they shocked that they are not living the Faith they never got?
Another point. Will staying away from the wedding do more harm than good in the relationship insofar as being able to have future influence is concerned?
Perhaps in some distant decade it was easier to form a more standardized answer. Today, however, I don’t think it is wise or possible.
My advice is, whatever decision you make about attendance, find the best way to keep a strong line of communication open with the couple so that you can still have some influence.
- Be kind, but be clear.
- Always express joy about your Catholic Faith and demonstrate it in your own way of living.
- Be inviting to them about Mass or devotions.
- Never underestimate the power of an invitation.
- Be prepared always to answer all manner of questions, concerning doctrine, practices or controversies.
- Pray for them and offer mortifications for them. Ask their Guardian Angels to guide them.