Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Mark Alcott wrote:

Hi, guys —

After asking a few priests and getting opposite answers, I would like to know if there is a written word in the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church that states the rule that Catholics should not attend the weddings of Catholics who are not getting married in the Catholic Church. My niece and her fiancé are both baptized Catholics and are not getting married in the Church.

  • Can I attend?
  • Am I being a witness to an invalid marriage?

When I've heard that I should not attend in the past, I've never been given source documents. It would be very helpful to have Bible verses (and/or) paragraphs I can cite in the Catechism.

  • Can you help?

Mark Alcott

  { Are there sources stating Catholics shouldn't attend weddings of Catholics not wed in the Church? }

Eric replied:


Not everything you shouldn't do is outlined in the Bible or the Catechism . . . or, for that matter, in Canon law, which also governs what Catholics may and may not do. We're not Fundamentalists in the sense that everything we believe must be written down to be justified.

Canon law does say that it is forbidden to officially witness an invalid marriage (that would be the best man or maid of honor), but I cannot now find the [exact] reference. The principle that in general you should not attend the wedding of an invalid marriage flows from general moral principles and not from positive law. (Because the marriage is not valid, and the purpose of attending a wedding is to bear witness to the marriage and to celebrate the marriage.) It is contradictory to attend a wedding that you know is invalid because you're bearing false witness to it. You are attesting that it is a marriage when in fact it is not a marriage and you are encouraging the two parties in their sin.

But, in general, this is a judgment call. There may be some circumstances under which the lesser evil is to go to the marriage. (For example, if it is the marriage of a son or daughter and not going would so disrupt your relationship with others that it would prove to be an impediment to the faith of the parties getting married.)

As in many things, the issue is not black and white, and your conscience must be your guide.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.