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Teresa wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Can a Catholic priest officiate a wedding between two non-Catholics?

Neither my fiancé nor I are Christians but both our families are Catholic and we know they would like to see us married by a priest.

  • Would a priest (be allowed to)/(be comfortable with) doing this or perhaps just doing a simple blessing for us, knowing that we are not Christians but to give our families some peace of mind?

Teresa

  { Can a Catholic priest officiate a non-religious, civil wedding or blessing of two non-Catholics? }

Bob replied:

Teresa,

It sounds like you want a Catholic priest to act as a Justice of the Peace without any religious significance.

You don't want a Catholic wedding. You aren't looking for the sacrament of Marriage but only a civil wedding so the presence of a Catholic priest is irrelevant. A priest is not supposed to officiate at this because it is not his ministry's purpose however that doesn't mean some rogue priest wouldn't do it.

Be honest with your family and do your own thing. If you want to sincerely pursue the Catholic faith, then do that, but don't feign a religious marriage when that is not what it is. You wouldn't want religious people to act hypocritically so extend the same respect.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Teresa,

A Catholic priest would have no competence to do that.

Fr. Jonathan

Teresa replied:

Thank you for your responses.

I meant no disrespect.

I am just trying to please my family and knew the presence of a priest would make them more comfortable but was not sure if priests could perform non-religious civil weddings or blessings.

I would not want anyone to do something they were uncomfortable with so thank you for your responses.

Best regards,

Teresa

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