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Brian Carpentier wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question about some friends of mine who are getting married. The man's previous wife has been deceased but the woman he is marrying was married in the Catholic Church. She has two kids and is divorced. She has since left the Church and does not want to pursue getting an annulment.

Unfortunately, they are getting married outside the Catholic Church. The man has been a practicing Catholic but is going along with the marriage. My question is:

  • What is the state of there souls in the eyes of the Church and should I go to their wedding?

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God bless,


  { What is the state of their souls in the eyes of the Church and should I go to their wedding? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi Brian,

The state of their souls is between them and God however we know that marriage outside the Church results in them not being able to receive Holy Communion. Obviously that doesn't mean much to her at this point but it might to him.

Your going to the marriage is another judgment call. It depends on what message your absence or presence means.

  • If your going sends a message that everything is great and their Catholic faith doesn't matter, don't go.
  • If your absence means you are sending a harsh message such that it will drive them further from reconciling with the Church, then go.
  • If it doesn't matter either way, don't go. They are actively turning their back on the Church and you would be a part of their indifference.

    So the bottom line is, it depends.

Fr. Jonathan

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