Question: My brother is marrying a girl who was raised Ukrainian Orthodox, he was raised Catholic but hasn’t been practicing for several years. It is my understanding that a Catholic must be married in the Catholic Church in order for it to be a valid marriage. I assume this would still be the case even if the person doesn’t consider themselves Catholic anymore?… What is the bare minimum they need to do to be considered validly married in the eyes of the Church?…
Answer from: Fr. Mihajlo Planchak
It is not clear to me whether your brother is Roman Catholic or Eastern Catholic. The Catholic Church recognizes the sacrament of marriage of the Orthodox Church as a valid sacrament. There is little difference in who gives the sacrament of marriage. The Roman Catholic church says that newlyweds give the sacrament to each other, but Eastern churches believe that the Church gives the sacrament through a priest. In Eastern rites, the wedding is usually not included in the Divine Liturgy (Mass).
In the Eastern Churches, the wedding vows in not the most important part of the wedding. The most important part of the wedding is the blessing of the church (priest).
You should support your brother in his choice by your presence at the wedding. They should be loved because the love of God corrects everything. You should pray a lot for him and his future wife so that they understand that they are not doing this for someone but for themselves that God would be with them.
May God bless your brother, his chosen one and you. I will pray for you.