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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Marriage

by Catherine Frakas 03 May 2001

Marriage QUESTION from Shirley August 31, 2001 May God be Praised Forever!
Dear Bro. Ignatius:
I am deeply concerned about the effects that the marriage of my granddaughter's Mother might have on her (generational sin?)
My granddaughter is 4 1/2 years old. Her Mother is getting married (on Sept. 8 of all days!) to a male friend of the family in a legion hall by a minister. Both parties are Catholic and this man was married before but has not received his annulment as yet. He told his Mother (who is absolutely brokenhearted about the whole mess) that he would have his marriage blessed at a later date. (I think that this whole thing is utter hogwash!)
They even gave my son an invitation to their wedding (my son is the father of the little girl I'm speaking about)and the little girl is going to be in the wedding (so I've been told). This man is her Godfather (to boot!!!)
I have been praying for them all as I, too, am extremely devasted about this whole thing. I have known this young man for many many years; as a matter of fact, he used to be my son's best friend.
I'm afraid that what they're doing will bring down some terrible kind of suffering on the little one. I hesitate to say anything to them as I am also afraid that they will perceive it as coming from my son. My husband told me to keep my mouth shut.
I have tried (as best as I know how) to concecrate myself and my granddaughter to the Blessed Mother and am trying to trust in Her that She will watch over her.
I just don't know what else to do.
Can you help?
In Christ Shirley
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on August 29, 2001 Dear Mrs. Shirley:
Your granddaughter's mother is committing a grave sin to get married outside the Church to a man who, in the eyes of God is still married.
For the man to say they will get the marriage blessed later reveals a real cowardice and spiritual bankruptcy. What this couple is really saying is: God we are going to spit on you, thumb our nose at you, commit sin against you and say that it is okay to do because we intend on repenting later and making it all right. What a dangerous attitude. And what a terrible way to begin a marriage.
Nevertheless, there is nothing you can do about it other than to express a loving concern that what they are doing is wrong.
Your granddaughter is not necessarily going to be in any suffering more than any other child in this day and age where the majority of people haven't the slightest idea what marriage is about -- unfortunately.
For example, the chances of this couple getting a divorce later is VERY HIGH. That will negatively affect the child of course.
In general the, I want what I want when I want it selfishness that is being modelled by her mother and new husband will have an effect on the child.
But children has survived much worse.
Your position on this, I believe, is:
to encourage the couple to get right with God (if they are not going to wait for annulment now, then encourage them to get it done later.... they will probably procrastinate... keep gently and lovingly encouraging them to go through with the annulment process so they can be married in the Church).

Also to gently remind them that they need to go to Mass with the child, but they CANNOT take communion until they get right with God and the Church.

Be a good role model yourself for the child.

Pray for the child and the mother and husband with all perseverance.

And, in my opinion, I would not attend the wedding. To attend would be to approve this sinful wedding. But that is just my opinion.

And in like manner, I would not treat the couple as married. For example, if they were to stay overnight at my house, they would have to sleep in separate beds. They need to know that what they have done is sin and there are consequences to sin. And I would not call the woman, Mrs. so-and-so. She does not deserve that title until the marriage is properly performed. This can be done in loving way. Although it sounds harsh, the implementation of this does not necessarily have to be harsh.(all this must be done WITHOUT involving the child, of course.)
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