Catholics/Family Situation


My sister has been dating a divorced protestant off and on for some time.  She is Catholic and he is not.  I have discussed with her in the the past the Church still considers him to be married until he would have an annulment and that she shouldn't be dating him.  From the way I understand it, technically it is adultery.  My sister and family think that it is me being overly traditional, but I think that this is the correct view of the Church.  From what I know of him he would never be interested in pursuing an annulment at anytime.  Am I right in my understanding of the Church and dating divorced persons?  Or is she free to date him.  

I try to respect her and her freedom to make her own decisions.  But I try not to give any sort of appearance that what I think they are doing is ok.  They can do what they want but I don't want to sin by encouraging their bad behavior.   At Thanksgiving time they had recently gotten back together and she invited him to come to my house.  I had my reservations about him coming #1 because of their situation and I don't want to appear as if I condone it and #2 he treats her badly and I wouldn't like him dating her even if he was free to date.  I told her he could come but he refused because he said he knows I don't like him.  I have never been unkind to him, I have simply have made it clear where I stand about their relationship and his treatment of her.  I feel that he was being very manipulative by not coming.  Well now this week my family basically tried to invite Christmas from being celebrated at my house because my sister wants to have it at her house because he refuses to come to mine.  I have mainly been the coordinator and/or hostess of Christmas for a long time because of my parents divorce.  My sister has never hosted any holiday and only wants to do so because of his wishes.  They don't seem to understand why I would even be upset and seem to think that I should just have let my sister host without question one week before Christmas.

Am I totally out of line here?  What is my Catholic responsibility here?  I feel like I am trying to be manipulated into accepting something that wrong.  Any advice.  If there is a way I could handle this better and in a more Christian matter please let me know.

You seem to have thought this through very carefully.  Your logic seems impeccable.  You are in a very common situation in dealing with family members for whom God and morality make no difference, and thus they cannot understand why you would want to respect the laws of God and morality.

All you can do is to follow the example that Christ set on the Via Crucis:  persist to the end and take consolation from the fact that you remain faithful to Him while many do not.  As Christ said of the faithful, "Your reward is very great in Heaven."  Even on this earth, it is very likely that the situation you describe will end badly for the parties involved.


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Fr. Michael


A traditional Catholic priest, who provides forthright answers to questions FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TRADITIONAL CATHOLICISM (not the New Order) on topics pertaining to TRADITIONAL Roman Catholicism, including theology, the Bible, Church history, the Latin language, liturgy (especially the Traditional Latin Mass), and music (especially Gregorian chant), and current events in the Catholic Church.

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