Expert Answer Forum

Divorce QUESTION from Sue May 17, 1999 I have a friend getting married this summer. They are both Lutherans. She has been divorced once and her guy friend has been married twice. I was wondering what the churches teaching are on attending this wedding. Would it be a grave sin to attend such a ceremony? I want to do the right thing!
God's Blessing ! ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 19, 1999 Dear Miss Sue:
Thank you for your question. This is a question that a lot of people wonder about. People want to be sure they do the right thing, which is laudable.
From what you are saying your friends are BOTH Lutheran and are getting married in a Lutheran Church.
That being the case, the couple are NOT bound by the marriage laws of the Catholic Church, nor are they culpable for moral truth of which they are invincibly ignorant.
God will judge them, as He does us all, according to what we know and does not hold against us what we do not know.
This truth of invincible ignorance is why Protestants can still be saved yet not be a card-carrying member of the Catholic Church. It is dogma that one MUST be in the Church to be saved. But those, who through no fault of their own have not yet been convinced of their need to be in communion with the Catholic Church, are not culpable and may be saved by God's mercy.
But I digress.
Since your friends are getting married according the marriage laws of their own Church, there is no scandal for you to attend their marriage ceremony as their friend. You cannot expect them, as Lutherans, to believe in what we believe about marriage.
I assume that the couple believes that they are getting married with genuine and honest intent and are, as best as they know, honoring God.
Thus, I don't believe there is any problem with your attendence.
God Bless.
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