“Should I Attend that Non-Valid Catholic Wedding?” (Special Podcast Highlight)

Ever been stuck wondering if you should attend a wedding of a fallen-away Catholic? There can be anger, tension, and hurt in the family if you don’t go, and it’s tempting to want to keep the peace! What should you do? Patrick Madrid dives into this tricky situation! Here’s some advice that can help you! 


Listener Letter: Maggie and Bill write in, grappling with attending a wedding of Catholics who’ve drifted from the Church and are getting married outside of it. They present objections from fellow Catholics challenging Patrick’s stance against attending such weddings.


Patrick’s Key Points:


Catholic Marriage Validity: A marriage involving at least one Catholic must take place in a Catholic Church before a bishop, priest, or deacon to be valid. Otherwise, it’s not recognized by the Church.


Natural Marriages: Marriages between non-Catholics, like Protestants or non-Christians, are considered valid by the Church. Catholics can attend these ceremonies without issues.


Scandal and Conscience: Attending an invalid Catholic marriage can cause scandal and gives the impression of endorsing it. This is a matter of conscience, not just a public stance.


St. John the Baptist Analogy: Patrick uses St. John the Baptist’s refusal to endorse Herod’s invalid marriage to show the moral duty to uphold Church teachings, even when it’s tough.


Objections and Patrick’s Responses:


“John the Baptist was a political figure.”


Response: John wasn’t a political figure; his actions had political implications. The moral duty to stand by your conscience applies to everyone, regardless of prominence.


“No one else cares if I attend.”


Response: God cares. It’s about your conscience and integrity. Even if no one else knows, compromising your beliefs for convenience isn’t right.


“Isn’t it better for them to be civilly married?”


Response: For Catholics, a civil marriage without following Church law is just cohabitation. The state’s recognition doesn’t make it valid in the Church’s eyes.


“Lying during Pre-Cana is worse.”


Response: Both lying and entering an invalid marriage are wrong. The right path is to avoid both and adhere to Church teachings.


“Is there a benefit to attending and showing quiet disapproval?”


Response: Attending might imply endorsement, causing more harm than good. Upholding your beliefs and setting an example is more beneficial.


Family Dynamics: Patrick totally understands how difficult it can be to take a stand for truth, but he reminds you that we always need to do God’s will, even when others are against us. Ask Jesus for the courage to follow Him no matter what.

Patrick Madrid is an acclaimed public speaker and has authored or edited 26 books, which have sold over a million copies worldwide, including foreign-language editions. He hosts The Patrick Madrid Show daily on Relevant Radio.