Can Traditional Catholics Attend Ex-Catholic’s Weddings

First and foremost, I want to say that the Holy Sacrament of Marriage is extremely sacred and the glue that keeps society together.
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2012copenhagentlmwedding_ratificationIt is a covenant till ‘death do us part’.  Jesus clearly spoke of the indissolubility of Marriage:

Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Matthew 19:6

Our three worst enemies, the devil, the world and the flesh, want to break up the Holy bond on Matrimony so that children, families and society can be destroyed and people can have sensual adulterous relationships.  The devil especially enjoys seeing the children destroyed by divorce, bad marriages and living together.  Seldom are these innocent victims get listened to because they are mere children and have no power over their parents divorce and further messing around with many other partners.
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Just recently I have been asked if it is alright for someone to attend a wedding outside of the Catholic Church of a baptized Catholic, who no longer practices the Catholic faith.  It depends.  For a Catholic to be truly married in the Catholic Church, they need to be Catholic.  If they have publicly renounced their Catholic Faith and go to a heretical church, they can get validly get married outside the Catholic Church.  All marriages are valid and lifelong for all none Catholics who get married in a heretical church, court or chapel, as long as neither of the parties had been married before.

All ‘marriages’ of baptized Catholics are valid if:

  1. One is a baptized Catholic,
  2. they are freely getting married,
  3. have a priest or deacon witness it,
  4. have two other witnesses,
  5. did all the paper work required by the diocese,
  6. are married in a Catholic Church.

If any of these elements are absent, it is not a valid marriage and the parties can divorce and get remarried in the Catholic Church.  

In these cases the Church has a process called ‘lack of form’ that proves that a baptized Catholic, married outside the Catholic Church, was not validly married and is free to get married in the Catholic Church, (after having been married outside the Church and divorced).  But this is only so if they are baptized and have never publicly renounced their Catholic faith.  Their marriage outside the Church was not valid and therefore they are free to marry another person in the Catholic Church if he or she is also free to be married, (never been married in the Catholic church before or is a widower/widow).  baptism

So in the case of an unmarried baptized Catholic, who has publicly renounced the Catholic faith and is marrying an other unmarried non-Catholic person, you can attend this wedding because it will be valid.  But I do not know why someone would want to go to a wedding of a Catholic who publicly renounced the faith of Jesus Christ.

Most Catholics wrongly, even conservative ones, go to all marriages, whether the ones who are getting married were married before and are divorced and remarrying again or if it is Catholics getting married in a non Catholic ceremony.  They usually do it because they were invited, they do not want the family to be mad at them, they want to be supportive and because they do not want to be judgmental.  Divorce-Annulment-1024x683

Almost all of my baptized nephews and nieces got married outside the Church in a secular weddings.  I will not and have not ever attend these ‘weddings’.  The ‘Vatican II effect’ has worked well on all my nephews and nieces because they are baptized but do not go the the Catholic Church and very vaguely consider themselves Catholics.

St. John the Baptist lost his head over protecting marriage.  Who are we to approve of marriages that God would not approve of.

We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to know that God wants the marriage bond to be permanent to protect the husband, wife, children and society in general.

6 Replies to “Can Traditional Catholics Attend Ex-Catholic’s Weddings”

  1. Please what about Catholics who are getting married, who went through an annulment process, can one attend those weddings?
    Thank you for a reply and God bless you for your postings

    1. Of course, if they have annulment, the original marriage was invalid, so they were in effect never married in the eyes of the Church and thus are free to marry.

      Sadly annulments are given out perhaps too easily but Pope Francis does have a point when he says that perhaps as many as half of Catholic weddings are not valid anyway. This, in my view, is because very few Catholics even know the basics of what being Catholic is all about. I went through CCD classes, went to Mass at least weekly and was considering the priesthood but honestly, I did not have a Catholic mind and though I new that Catholics were not to get divorced, I never really understood why, what that really meant, what I was promising to in marriage, etc. (This whole Synod thing is not helping matters on the average Catholics understanding of marriage either.)

      1. Most annulments are given for reasons of “psychological immaturity” at the time the wedding took place. Saint Pope John Paul II on at least 2 occasions spoke out against the too lenient use of the meaning of psychological immaturity in granting annulments, stating instead that the maturity need to contract a valid marriage was quite a basic understanding that marriage means a permanent bond between a man and woman and involves participating in the marital act and being open to having children as a result.

  2. I always thought “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” – so in the case of someone who renounces his Catholic Faith – it still seems that a Catholic should not attend such a marriage. Thank you Father for all you do for the promotion of the Good, the True and the Beautiful, namely – Traditional Catholicism.

  3. I think that your information about the validity of marriage is outdated. There was a time during the reign of St. John Paul II when he decided that marriages of those who had renounced their faith were validly married if they married a protestant in other than a Catholic Church, but I think that Pope Benedict changed this back to the old and time honored, pre-vatican ii, ” Once a Catholic always a Catholic” way of deciding who was validly married and all Baptized Catholics had to be married in a Catholic Church , in the prescribed ceremony with a priest and 2 witnesses, and be previously unmarried or annulled and free of impediments; both parties choosing freely to marry. The possible exception might be a person baptized Catholic but raised from early childhood in another Faith which they accepted as true through no fault of their own.
    The Vatican II Documents tell us that anyone who has come to know that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Christ and refuses to enter it or having entered, abandons it cannot be saved, so why would one knowingly attend such weddings if they are seriously practicing their Faith?

  4. When I came back to the Church, I read what the old Baltimore Catechism said about marriage and decided when a Catholic neice got married to a non-Catholic, not to even send a card. Sorry, can’t support something against God’s plan. Sadly, her grandparents would have never considered marrying outside the Church, but that same grandparent attended the wedding now. How our thinking has changed in the last 50 years. How many real Catholics are left?

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