Fiance's brother refusing to come to wedding because i'm not catholic

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Coastiewife:  I think his brother sounds like a pompous ass. 

Nevertheless, its his choice not to celebrate with you and your choice how to react to it. 

Dont take this as a personal rejection – it’s not. He doesn’t care what you believe or what your morals are – he cares that you are not a member of “the one true church.” If he has said his peace and can now put a sock in it forevermore, then try to move past it. If, however, he tries to make it an issue again in the future, your FI needs to shut it down. 

The brother’s extreme position may mean they can’t be close. That’s sad, but not your fault.

Post # 3
7292 posts
Busy Beekeeper


Coastiewife:  You have differences in beliefs. You do not have to condone his beliefs but you should respect his right to them since his beliefs are not breaking any laws.

You want him to be respectful of your beliefs well you also need to be respectful of his. ANd for what you have written he is being very respectful of your beliefs and not excluding you but is choosing not to attend your ceremony in order to be true to his faith. He is not saying you shouldn’t or can’t get married, he is just saying that his beliefs will not allow him to take part.

Post # 4
210 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Coastiewife:  I find religion in general to be over the top. So please dont take anything I say personally, and I certainly DO NOT mean to offend anyone in anything I say here. 

But I think FI brother is acting a bit snobbish. I mean, Im no catholic faith expert, but isnt being humble and kind something that the faith would uphold(?). Isn’t family a big part of the faith too? Also, does this mean he also wont celebrate birthdays, his nephews/nieces births, or holidays with you? Where is the line drawn? Does this also mean he will only ever attend “catholic people” parties? With ONLY catholic people there?

I dont know, I personally wouldnt worry about it. I personally don’t think that him attending the wedding could possibly taint his religious slate as such. I dont know(?) Have never really understood religion in general.

Post # 5
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Coastiewife:  I’m so sorry that you are going through this! I think his brother is being a complete fool and is going to miss out on a very special day in your fi’s life. As a catholic, I will say my step dad has the same thought process. I don’t think he would miss out on a wedding of one of his siblings or children because of it though. That is completely extreme. My recommendation to you: vent all you want here and to your friends, but don’t give the brother a reaction. You don’t want to be the reason for a bigger familu rift. 

Post # 6
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I am also a non-Catholic Christian married to a Catholic.

Whilst the catechism does state that Catholics should marry Catholics, it does permit the marriage of Catholics to non-Catholic Christians (or, indeed, non-Christians) provided the correct dispensations are acquired. I presume you will be following canonical form during your ceremony, in which case he really has no grounds to object. His only grounds for objection would be if you are not following canonical form, in which case he may follow the Catholic church’s belief that you would be living in sin, as no marriage would have taken place.

Now technically, if he is super-Catholic and you are not following canonical form, he would be right not to attend, as the Catholic church would view the marriage as fraudulent. That said, only the hardest of hard-core Catholics would do this.

Either way, I just recommend that you live your life as you see fit. If he doesn’t want to come, he doesn’t have to. I’m sure he isn’t deliberately being a ****. He just wants to follow what he sees as church teachings. Perhaps you could suggest that he skips the ceremony and comes to the reception? If not, his loss.

Of course… if you are following canonical form, I suggest you get a Catholic priest to have a chat to him ASAP and change his mind!

Post # 7
3653 posts
Sugar bee

Even if if he would slightly bend, I don’t think you’d want someone like that there to celebrate the most important day of your life. He’d be miserable and make you miserable, too. This country was founded on freedom of religion; unfortunately, your FH is related to two people who seem to ignore this fundamental fact. I’m a non-practising Protestant and still go to Catholic masses, even though the incense and candles provoke my asthma. I’ve been to other religious services, too, like mitzvahs, weddings and many funerals. I’ve always lived by Mathew 7:1 – “judge not!” It’s a shame your FBIL is allowing his narrow-minded view of Catholicism to take over the true meaning of Christianity. Good luck!

Post # 8
214 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

Coastiewife:  Well, I am Catholic and my husband is Lutheran. We had our wedding in a Catholic church and included a full mass and everyone was very supportive including my Catholic family and his Christian family. No, I cannot understand his unwillingness to attend your wedding. It seems a little harsh to not attend the wedding of his brother and FSIL but, I wonder if something else is going on? I mean do you think he could be offended by something else? Maybe a comment your fiance or yourself made that didn’t seem like a big deal? It just puzzles me that he would be so open and welcoming one minute and then refuse to be your fiances best man?

Perhaps you could arrange a pre-marital counseling session with your fiance’s priest and invite FBIL along? Maybe if he sees that you are not trying to push away his faith but rather accept it as part of your fiance and hears from a preist that this marriage is supported by the Catholic Church that it would change his mind.

If not, it’s his issue not yours, good luck!! 

Post # 9
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Coastiewife:  what a crappy situation! Yes, your future brother in law has the right to do what he is comfortable with, but I disagree with the bees that say you have to respect it. He clearly is not respecting your faith and is not supportive of the marriage, and in your place, from now on I would distance myself from him – be civil/polite of course, but I don’t see how a real sibling relationship is possible. Marriage is hard enough and you should surround yourself with people who want to hold you up and support you. 

Post # 10
20 posts

@j_jaye: That’s really well said!

I agree with PP to maybe have a chat with FBIL yourself to directly get to the bottom of this, rather than going of what your FH relayed to you. Religion is such a personal thing, IMO, that the best way to deal with it is to get it from the source. It might turn out to be easily resolved! Good luck!

Post # 11
759 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Coastiewife:  Some people, when faced with something that they see as a contradiction to religious law (even though I’m pretty sure there is not one word in the Bible forbidding Catholics to marry outside their faith – especially to another Christian) really lose all interest in anyone’s thoughts or feelings on the matter. He doesn’t support your marrige – end of story. Period. Not up for discussion.

I had a very good friend growing up who is a fundamentalist Christian and whose mother is incredibly overzealous. She was a very sweet lady and I’m sure she had the best of intentions, but telling me my (Catholic) religion was “stupid” and telling our Muslim friend that her entire family is/was going to hell for not believing in God wasn’t really the way to go about converting us. She used to find covert ways of taking us to her church without our parents knowing. We could argue until we were blue in the face, but nothing we or our parents could say would abate her. She just wasn’t interested in anything besides her religious beliefs. Like your fiance’s brother.

I understand you’re trying to keep this bridge from burning because you’re marrying into his family, but really, if he’s estranged from his father for the same reason, do you really want someone in your lives who you know actively opposes your marriage? What kind of family is that? I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can’t imagine how difficult it is. But it sounds like you’re trying to be a good, charitable (Christian) person. If he changes his mind, it sounds like you would be the bigger person and forgive him. That’s wonderful. Until then, just focus on making your marrige to the only man from that family who really matters the best it can be.

FWIW I’m Catholic, from a very religious family, marrying a Christian from a different denomination and my family is as excited as they could be. So no, not all Catholics (certainly not good Catholics) are like this.

Post # 12
759 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

j_jaye:   It’s not against canon law for a Catholic to marry a Christian of a different denomination. And to quote the OP:

“He has sited verses from the bible and the catholic church that “say” that a catholic should not marry someone who is not catholic. “<br /><br />

He IS saying they shouldn’t get married. 


Post # 13
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

WB4Me:  I’m sorry, but I think this would be a very bad idea and the OP confronting her FBIL would not go well.

This is between the brothers.  Moreso, if his beliefs are that Catholics MUST marry only Catholics and raise any children Catholic – and the OP has no intention or desire to convert or have/raise any kids Catholic, there will be no resolution. It would likely only make the matter much worse and that much more contentious. 

It sounds like the FBIL is going to have a LOT of opinions about how they live our lives. Hopefully, he will keep these opinions to himself but if not, the FI is going to have to handle it. 

Post # 14
376 posts
Helper bee

Idont’ know about the Catholic rules, but JESUS hung out with drunks and prosititues and regularly attended events outside his own religion. He preached acceptance and non-judgement of others. If OPs future BIL wants to cite religion (and not only Catholic doctrine) maybe he should look to the source.

Post # 15
2819 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Coastiewife:  Oh man, that sucks. I feel so bad for you and your FI! 

My dad is the most hardcore Catholic I know – like seriously, he is fasting every day for Lent this year, he prays for hours every day, he is totally bananas about Catholicism – and he had zero problems with my brother marrying my SIL, who is a non-Catholic Christian…. or my Catholic cousin marrying his Lutheran wife in a Lutheran church. 

Are you guys getting married in a Catholic church? Do you think it might help to offer to have your priest talk to FBIL about the situation? I mean, I don’t think it’s your responsibility to cater to FBIL here, but maybe your priest could change FBIL’s feelings about it?

Regardless… what a shitty situation. I’m sorry. 

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