May Catholics Attend a “Gay Wedding” for Pastoral Reasons?

This was a real email I got tonight.  My response also follows verbatim.

Hi, Fr. DN,
I asked three local pastors in the area I live in in NJ about what Catholics should do if they are invited to same sex marriages. They all said that if it is a close relative that you should attend so as not to lose the relationship or bond with that relative. Does the Catholic Church have any dogma on this? Thank you, Karen


Dear Karen,

Those priests are wrong. You would be committing grave mortal sin in participating in the attempted “marriage” of same-sex people by going to their “wedding.” Your sin would be what the Catholic Church calls “being an accessory to another’s sin” and it comes in 9 ways. In your case, you would be committing sins number 3 and 5 and 7 and 8 below in dogmatic Catholic moral theology:

1. By counsel
2. By command
3. By consent
4. By provocation
5. By praise or flattery
6. By concealment
7. By partaking
8. By silence
9. By defense of the ill done

I know you don’t want to break relationships with your loved ones, but one can never offend God so as to maintain a human relationship, even to win them back to God. It’s a bit of a show-stopper, but simply attending a same-sex “marriage” would require you to participate in the very sin of sodomy by the above numbers 3,5,7, and 8…namely: by consent to same-sex sins by your presence at what will be assumedly “consummated” in filth that night, by praise (as all weddings praise the couples) and by partaking in such a false-union. Also, unless you are going to yell at the vows, “You are in danger of hell!” then number eight would also be on your soul, namely, silence in the face of such an abomination.

Look, I am very compassionate in the confessional to those who deal with same-sex attraction, and I am often brought to tears at their plight. I try to love them in the confessional with the love of Jesus Christ, but the reality is that straight people publicly helping them in sin is never the way of Jesus Christ, and in fact, it would forfeit your salvation along with theirs. Without repentance, those priests telling you to go to such an abomination are forfeiting their own souls by number one, namely, counsel. To your loved ones dealing with same sex-attraction, be compassionate, but love them back into the truth through a heroic witness of placing the First Great Commandment before the Second Great Commandment. An inversion of those has probably never won anyone back to Christ and His Church.

In Christ,
Fr. DN