To attend a Catholic grandson's nonCatholic wedding or not

I have a grandson, Baptized Catholic, but never raised in the Church. His father my son stopped going to Mass and practicing his faith well before he started living with our grandson’s mother. I’m not even sure she’s Baptized.

Now some 24 years later our grandson is marrying a sweet, young woman, an RN, and apparently in the same spiritual situation as our grandson. I know her grandparents attend Sunday Mass regularly, but not the potential bride’s parents.

I told my grandson he needs to marry in the Church to get his marriage off to a good start. He wasn’t rude, but he flatly disagreed with me.

So now comes the wedding in July. I feel I should not attend since this marriage will not be blessed. A great percentage of these marriages end up in divorce. I know the hatbinred that will come from my refusal to be there in July. Noone will understand or agree.

Do I force this issue, especially at this late date to save my own soul, or RSVP my regrets. I’m not sure how far my husband will cooperate in this decision. He is a Catholic convert , but our six sons all said he converted to “shut me up.” And I have to agree with them. His faith is shallow and unconvincing to our eight children.

We were blessed with two daughters after those six sons and they have always been very close to me and followed my lead in practicing our Catholic faith. But they adore their father and aren’t much help in encouraging him in his faith walk. Ie: They will never criticize their father.

Can you please guide me in my dilemma? I am a strong Catholic and am ready to go to my “death” to honor my God. I really feel it will be a grave sin if I show approval of this non-Catholic wedding performmed under some trees somewhere, maybe even on our retired dairy farm.

Is this a sacrifice I need to make to save my own soul? If yes can you offer me some affirming scriptures so I can defend my position when I have to refuse to be at their wedding. AND I will NOT attend if it jeopardizes my relationship with my Savior.

Unfortunately I believe in this world we have too many cowardly Catholics refusing to take a stand for Christ at the risk of losing their own soul and scandalizing the young couple and umpteen dozens of relatives on both sides of the families.

Maybe I’ve waited too long. By now all of the venues are set, invitations ready to be mailed out, etc. I really did wait too long to put my foot down with this ultimatum. Or did I? God wants me to take a stand for Him, doesn’t He?

I sincerely thank you for reading my letter, and I am anxiously awaiting your response.

Yours truly in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
Judith (Judy)

“I really feel it will be a grave sin if I show approval of this”: one of the Epistles (sorry, I don’t know which one) says that if your conscience tells you that something is a sin, you should follow your conscience, even if the thing might not be seen as a sin by others. My search of the Catholic Catechism online didn’t turn up an answer, and otherwise I found numerous opinions. It seemed clear that Catholics should not attend invalid weddings (for example, between two people of the same sex, or when one of the partners is divorced) but are not forbidden to do so.

You see it as your grandson abandoning the Catholic faith (that’s my understanding), but there may be circumstances you don’t know about, such as clergy abuse of a friend or relative. I’ve heard some horrific stories and been astounded that some people nevertheless stayed in the Catholic Church, but I can understand that people have been driven away. It may not be anything so dreadful in your grandson’s case.

If the couple are going to be validly married, maybe you could say no more about it. It seems that you’ve already made your point to them. Being kind and gracious toward them might have more positive effect. You could still skip the wedding as a matter of conscience but maybe not make it a permanent bone of contention. Just my feeling about it.

Hi Judy,

You might find these articles on Catholic Answers edifying.

God Bless : )