Friday, March 10, 2017

Pagan Weddings

A priest I knew years ago referred to non-Catholic weddings as "pagan weddings".  I remember the phrase caught my attention and I found his perspective on the matter quite refreshing.  When I was younger I attended wedding ceremonies that were performed outside the Church.  I also attended my uncle's wedding ceremony even though he had given up his Catholic faith for the relationship.  Going to "weddings" is really the easy part - it's not going that can be very difficult.

The first wedding I intentionally skipped was my closest aunt's.  She was protestant when she married my uncle but after they divorced we were still very close.  She went on to convert to Catholicism which made it difficult when she decided to marry again, but outside of the Church.  Since the ceremony was to be at the reception hall I did not go or send a gift.  She didn't question me why and so I didn't tell her.

Next was a close friend who was raised Catholic but had joined a fundamentalist protestant religion.  This was very painful because he had actually been in my wedding a few years earlier.  His bride-to-be was a non-religious former Catholic who desired her homosexual friend to be in the wedding too of course.  He knew I wasn't going to be comfortable with the wedding but he was stunned I did not even want to attend.  I offered to be there for him at the reception but it was rebuked.  The friendship ended.

Now my brother-in-law who is not Catholic wants to marry a divorced fallen-away Catholic in an outdoor wedding/reception ceremony and expects not only his sister to attend but her husband and children - oblivious to the moral conflicts that exist.  For me if it's not a Catholic wedding it's a pagan wedding ceremony.  Catholic teaching is very clear about what constitutes a valid wedding for baptized Catholics.  Perhaps if more people understood Catholic teaching on marriage?  Explaining it hasn't helped yet.

No comments: