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“Ask a Priest: Could I Join in My Daughter’s Same-Sex ‘Wedding’?”
Q: My 30-year-old daughter realized in high school that she is attracted to women sexually. She recently proposed to the woman she has been dating for the past 11 years and living with for the past seven. This woman is a wonderful person whose influence has made my daughter a better person. My daughter used to be very difficult, selfish, lazy, and had friends who stole and got her involved in witchcraft. The woman she is living with is a very kind and considerate person, has a strong work ethic, and a strong sense of right and wrong. She has made my daughter a better person with her values. I know my daughter truly loves this other woman, because I see her sacrificing her selfishness for the happiness of this other person. I love my Catholic faith. It provides me with so much peace and joy. My daughter would like my blessing for her marriage. My husband and I have been very welcoming to my daughter’s friend in our lives, as we believe in loving and accepting everyone. I am having a difficult time knowing what my position and participation in the wedding should be, to support my Catholic faith and beliefs. My daughter asked me if I would like part of the ceremony to be religious with a priest. I was confused by her question because in my mind that is not even possible. She told me about an Episcopal priest who could marry them. My daughter was raised Catholic. I would appreciate any advice on how I should handle her marriage as Jesus would want me to. Thank you. – D.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s good at least that your daughter seems to have broken with the stealing and the witchcraft.
That is a start. Perhaps God has allowed this other person in your daughter’s life to help bring her out of the muck of the occult.
But while their relationship might be healthy at one level, it falters when it moves into the realm of sexual activity. God’s plan for sex is that it be unitive and procreative, and thus only between a husband and wife.
It seems as though you already recognize both the good and bad elements of this relationship. The key thing now is how to accentuate the positive without promoting the negative.
Your attendance and possible active participation in the “wedding” would signal that you are OK with the sexual part of their relationship – and that seems to be the last thing you as a practicing Catholic want to do.
Perhaps your welcoming of your daughter’s friend over the years was interpreted as tacit approval of their homosexual relationship. This might explain why your daughter was confident enough to ask you to participate in her “wedding.”
Should you decide to opt out of the ceremony, you might want to do is explain to them your reasons for not attending. You would want to do this in a loving and serene way. It might be better to approach your daughter first.
Don’t be surprised if there is pushback. Jesus did warn us: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household’” (Matthew 10:34-36).
In any case, try to keep the lines of communication open with your daughter. Pray that she discovers God’s beautiful plan for the right use of her sexuality.
Remind her of your love for her and your desire to see her with you in heaven someday. To that end, it would be good to intensify your prayers and sacrifices for her.
For your own benefit, you might consider joining an EnCourage group. If there isn’t one in your area, you might be able to connect through Zoom or Skype. Count on my prayers.
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Hello to the person who asked if she should participate in a union of two of the same gender. To ‘those of the natural world’ they believe such is marriage, those of FAITH IN GOD understand that marriage is a union of LOVE… and LOVE taught at the earliest age is GOD. God is a SPIRIT, and the marriage of a man and a woman is to bring the two souls to be as ONE SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST. (and yes, in that miracle union of God bringing OPPOSITES ‘together’ (opposites: a physical man and a physical woman) the MIRACLE of a new SOUL in Christ comes to be, working with THE CREATOR of life. Humanity providing the body (resembling a part of each in some way) and GOD providing THE SOUL. (the soul being the Spirit of God’s ONLY Divine Son–a spiritual image of GOD, Father . . . pure LOVE for sake of unity ‘eternally.’
Let’s BE REAL: THE FIRST PERSON we give all HONOR AND RESPECT to is GOD and His word. God did not intend for two of the same gender to ‘water down the Sacrament of Unity of a man and a woman and God,. . to appease those who believe ‘sex is love.’ The ‘love of two persons’ IN GOD is called friendship. As with the
‘soul’ purpose of man and woman marriage… the GO(O)D purpose is to WILL THE GO(O)D grow in the
man and woman marital relationship or the relationship of two FRIENDS. To ‘will the GO(O)D’ grows by
our human connections as we journey on this earth. To WILL THE GO(O)D is the purpose of a parent child relationship. Grandparent Grandchild relationship. Neighbor to Neighbor relations… ALL is to WILL THE
GO(O)D prevails. (SEX is not an indication of LOVE… SEX in proper relation of man and woman marriage,
is the intimacy that God permits to be, that NEW SOULS come to be in the SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE)
Sounds to me like your daughter was always A ‘TESTER’ of YOUR FAITH in CHRIST, from when she was selfish, lazy, difficult to speak with, and hung around with thieves. She’s STILL ‘testing’ you, who are devoted to your faith in Christ and HIS HOLY BODY (the church).
As ‘respectful’ as you have tried to be with your daughter’s new friend, I can bet your daughter and her friend will TURN ON YOU and dad FAST, when you say “We are Catholic Christians, I honor Marriage as a Sacrament of ‘3’ … man, woman, and Christ the Lord. You won’t even get to explain what living the FAITH IN GOD, Father and Son and Holy Spirit means… because I can ‘bet’ your daughter and ‘friend’ will pout, stomp feet, SCREAM, accuse her mom and dad of ‘hating her’ and being ‘hypocrites.’ Tell her ‘you too have RIGHT to beliefs…and that you are not going to agree to disagree just to appease and please her. Point her to the door and tell her she and friend will be in your prayers at daily Mass. DO NOT BE PULLED DOWN by the emotionalism of a ‘child’ who used same tantrum tactics whenever SHE WANTED WHAT SHE WANTED.
Time to begin THE FIRMNESS of LOVE (GOD) who said NO, when NO was meant. GOD is love, Love says NO… and if possible explain why. The faithful never get to the explaining, because THEY ‘in the world’ will not listen. PART COMPANY and PRAY AND OFFER UP… busy yourself with … other children? nieces? nephews? teach Sunday School kids. Show IN ACTION you mean what you say and say what you mean: YOU LOVE GOD FIRST . . . from which flows many GO(O)D relationships. (non sexual relationships)
PS: I just came to why it is so many are ‘so accepting’ . . . of any actions. It has to do with HALF LISTENING, to the words of their Savior on the cross: ‘FORGIVE THEM FATHER, THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.’
The interpretation is that ‘if we who are faithful’ FORGIVE then ‘relations can be again’ . . . but THAT’S NOT so. The LORD GOD ‘forgave ‘the know nots’ IN HEART so as NOT to be ‘as His persecutors’ . . . He prayed FOR THEM for reason of retaining the relationship of HE AND HIS FATHER. Then, be was buried in a tomb, ROSE (Resurrected) from the tomb after 3 days, and after 50 days of still teaching those who could ‘see’ Him (the coming to the Upper Room, of Mary, Apostles, a host of other faithful . . . teaching ‘how to continue on WITH HIM by reason of the ADVOCATE OF TRUTH, the Holy Spirit, who would come upon them (after 50 days when He would ascend back to His Father, and THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH would come to those who profess faith IN HE) THE ONE, HOLY, APOSTOLIC ‘CHURCH’ (BODY) of Christ was born…
SIMPLY FORGIVING KNOW NOTS still holding to their own ways, does not bring about restored relations.
or AUTHENTIC LOVE which is God.
Jesus forgiving on that cross … did not restore relationship with Him and His Father. The RELATIONSHIP is restored when the SOUL realizes what SIN DID to THE ONE HOLY HUMAN AND DIVINE BODY OF GOD. The relationship is restored when GOD see’s OBEDIENCE to ‘THE WAY’ Christ established to bring unity of spirit. BE BAPTIZED, TAKE AND EAT dutifully ‘giving up’ our weaknesses to sin or our sins forgiven when asked for such, TO HE that He provide us HIS STRENGTH. iT’S ONE THING TO ASK FORGIVENESS it is efficacious to SHOW WE MEAN OUR HOLY SORROW FOR SIN by being PENITENT CHRISTIANS… attending to the UNITY OF THE BODY… via ‘OFFERING UP’ AS ONE BODY for specific intentions (for self and others) Coming ‘out of the ways’ of THE WORLD… This OBEDIENCE to ‘THE WAY’ established brings such persons GRACE, and STRONGER FAITH, as well as BLESSINGS.
Cowering to those who want the faithful TO DENY our Savior, simply for the misguided understanding that our forgiveness of such will make them change? NO-00000. There is no UNITY and Authentic Love when some want ‘the ways’ to rule. Don’t DENY your Savior!
Jesus forgiving on that cross … did not restore human relationships outright with Him and His Father. The RELATIONSHIP is restored, when SOUL (intellect) realizes what SIN DID TOTHE ONE HOLY HUMAN AND DIVINE BODY OF GOD. (just to clarify that sentence, in next to the last paragraph above)
Where two or three are gathered IN HIS NAME… there is unity of ONE SPIRIT and PEACE.
Thank you Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC for your answer is full of much care and understanding of the situation, as well with clarity of the truth and duty of our Christian faith for each of us to choose to follow for the love of God our Creator and Savior.