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October 18, 2011
Marriage of a non-practicing Catholic outside of the Church
By Father Rocky Hoffman *

By Father Rocky Hoffman *

My nephew is marrying outside the church; although baptized, he hasn't been to church in years.  Should his Catholic relatives attend?  Of course it would cause bad feelings if we don't.

Your nephew should get married in the Church and you should tell him that. 

If all of his Catholic relatives protest and refuse to attend his wedding, unless he gets married in the Catholic Church after having received adequate preparation, I’ll bet THAT will get his attention.  More likely, his Catholic relatives are split on the issue, and so the confusion just continues.

If your nephew wants to improve his chances for a successful and durable marriage, let him know that Church goers have more stable marriages, and that those who follow the teachings of the Church with respect to natural family planning, have both better and stronger marriages.
 
It sounds to me that you have an opportunity to speak with him and engage him in conversation and give witness to the benefits of marriage in the Church.  As John Paul II said, “Do not be afraid!”

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, JCD (Fr. Rocky) is Executive Director of Relevant Radio.  Ordained as a priest for Opus Dei in 1992 by Blessed John Paul II, he holds a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a BA in History from Northwestern University.  His Question and Answer column appears in several Catholic newspapers and magazines across the country.

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