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  #1  
Old Aug 1, '11, 11:50 am
SurfN4Him SurfN4Him is offline
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Smile Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Dear Friend's in Christ,

I have been faced with a situation that is growing heavy on my heart. I am looking for updated information/advice on a Roman Catholic marrying a Christian.

I have been dating my girlfriend (Mary) for little over two years now and we have greatly fallen in love with eachother. We have recently been trying to grow our relationship stronger by putting Christ first in everything we do in our relationship. One major issue though we still come back to is I am a practicing Roman Catholic and she is a non-denominational Christian. I have spoken to Mary many times about my church and what it means to me and she respects everything I do and stand for in my Catholic faith. She has no interest at this time in converting but wants to find a non-denominational church we can both attend on Sundays. I told her that I would be open to the idea of finding a church with her to go to on Sundays together but I would still up hold my obligation to the Catholic church and attend my own church too on Sundays. I have been a Catholic all my life and went to Catholic school and high school. I am twenty-six now and currently looking to propose to my girlfriend very soon.

So my question(s) is, what type of procedures with the Catholic church do I have to go through to make sure my marriage if official with the Roman Catholic church? Also, I have read other places that I must promise to raise my children in the Catholic church. Is this true? My girlfriend has no intentions of raising our children in the Catholic church but still wants them to grow in Christian values.

I know of many marriages that have worked with one being a Catholic and one a non-Catholic but it is not easy. I feel that God is calling me to marry my girlfriend and I pray maybe one day she will open her eyes to the true church but I will not try and pressure her into converting.

Any advice or teachings would be greatly appreciated.

God bless!

-Patrick
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  #2  
Old Aug 1, '11, 12:09 pm
Catholic1954 Catholic1954 is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

If you are thinking about marriage, you need to make an appointment with a priest ASAP. While your girlfriend is not required to convert, your children should be raised Catholic. Your girlfriend might benefit from RCIA. She will learn more about the Church and where you are coming from and there is no pressure to convert.
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  #3  
Old Aug 1, '11, 12:23 pm
DSJJ DSJJ is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

First, If your Catholic your a christian. Second if you marry her you must marry in the Catholic church. If you marry in another manner you must get a dispensation from your bishop or the Catholic church does not recognize your marriage. Third you must promise to raise your children Catholic before the church will marry you. Your future spouse will be informed that you promised to do this but she herself dosen't have to promise to raise them Catholic. Even though it can be done, the church cautions against it because of the problems that can come up. I'm proof that it can be done, but the difference is my wife agreed that she would help me rise them Catholic even though she wasn't. After many, many years she then became Catholic. The problem occurs when one parent is training them one way and then the other parent says "We'll that's not exactly true, here's the way it really is". I wish you the best and you are in my prayers...
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  #4  
Old Aug 1, '11, 12:25 pm
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

I think there is still a lot of difficult topics you two need to discuss before your propose. I think the thing that jumps out at me in your OP is that your girlfriend has no intentions of raising any children you have in the Catholic faith. People have differing opinions upon what it means when you take the vow to raise any children as Catholic. At the bare minimum, you as a Catholic has to promise you will do your best to raise them Catholic and your girlfriend would have to at least be a party to all their instructions in receiving their sacraments at the appropriate time.

Have you discussed having children, how many? Birth control? Is she opposed to you taking the children to mass? Will your families accept this interfaith marriage? Will they cause difficulties or will they support you?

What Church will you be married in? You have to get a dispensation from your bishop if you marry in her church.

There is much more you have to consider. I think there is more serious conversations in your future.
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  #5  
Old Aug 1, '11, 12:28 pm
DSJJ DSJJ is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

The previous post asked alot of great questions. Have you discussed this with your fiance? Expecially all the Catholic teachings. Conraception, The Catholic church is the one true church.Etc. etc...
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  #6  
Old Aug 1, '11, 12:53 pm
ibo ibo is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfN4Him View Post
Dear Friend's in Christ,

I have been faced with a situation that is growing heavy on my heart. I am looking for updated information/advice on a Roman Catholic marrying a Christian.

I have been dating my girlfriend (Mary) for little over two years now and we have greatly fallen in love with eachother. We have recently been trying to grow our relationship stronger by putting Christ first in everything we do in our relationship. One major issue though we still come back to is I am a practicing Roman Catholic and she is a non-denominational Christian. I have spoken to Mary many times about my church and what it means to me and she respects everything I do and stand for in my Catholic faith. She has no interest at this time in converting but wants to find a non-denominational church we can both attend on Sundays. I told her that I would be open to the idea of finding a church with her to go to on Sundays together but I would still up hold my obligation to the Catholic church and attend my own church too on Sundays. I have been a Catholic all my life and went to Catholic school and high school. I am twenty-six now and currently looking to propose to my girlfriend very soon.

So my question(s) is, what type of procedures with the Catholic church do I have to go through to make sure my marriage if official with the Roman Catholic church? Also, I have read other places that I must promise to raise my children in the Catholic church. Is this true? My girlfriend has no intentions of raising our children in the Catholic church but still wants them to grow in Christian values.

I know of many marriages that have worked with one being a Catholic and one a non-Catholic but it is not easy. I feel that God is calling me to marry my girlfriend and I pray maybe one day she will open her eyes to the true church but I will not try and pressure her into converting.

Any advice or teachings would be greatly appreciated.

God bless!

-Patrick


I am saying things, no matter they are good or not.
It is up to you to profit from them or throw them away.

If your girlfriend wants to find a common denominator, and as she proposes none, why does not she come to the Catholic Church (CC) with you? Unless she hates the CC, she could come and it would save time for everyone. And, thinking well, she will find in the Catholic Church what she may find in another Church, maybe the sermon is not so long, maybe you do not sing so much, but otherwise, it is the same.

As for raising the children, of course it is not up to her to raise the children catholicatllly but up to you.

My marriage suffered some of your problems though we were both catholic. I would say that you must be very patient, see that she feels comfortable inside the Mass, please her and do all her wills regarding timetable or if she prefers that or this catholic priest, this or that catholic mass, and you must solve theoretically all her problems.

When she gets used to go the Catholic Mass, it will be easier. I would say do not force her to do anything, just please her when she does what you want.

Step by step and do not foresee much further in the future.

My Personal Opinion
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  #7  
Old Aug 1, '11, 1:05 pm
Monicad Monicad is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Dear SurfN4Him,

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story with us! I am happy that you found a wonderful woman that you are in love with. It is also even more wonderful that you are asking such serious questions! Many people dive into marriage without asking these kinds of questions...certainly your faith must be very dear to you or you wouldn't ask such questions, good for you!

Your love for your girlfriend does not seem to be a problem, but what you need to examine is your love for the Catholic church and how important that relationship is to you.

How deep is your relationship with the church? How important is going to confession? It is important for you that your future children learn the rosary? That they receive their First Holy Communion? That they are Confirmed?

Certainly you can hope and pray that your girlfriend converts...but what if she never does...that is what you have to base your decision on. Are you prepared to live your life with a woman who is not Catholic and does not support your future children being Catholic? This is not an easy question to answer. Certainly you will probably not find the answer from strangers on the internet. What I can encourage you to do is dig deep and find out exactly what your relationship is with the church and what your hopes are for your future children. God bless you.
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  #8  
Old Aug 1, '11, 1:16 pm
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Chatter163 Chatter163 is offline
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Thumbs down Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfN4Him View Post
She has no interest at this time in converting but wants to find a non-denominational church we can both attend on Sundays.

My girlfriend has no intentions of raising our children in the Catholic church but still wants them to grow in Christian values.
Warning! These are red flags! Turn around and go back!
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  #9  
Old Aug 1, '11, 1:18 pm
Syri Syri is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

I have just reccently finished going through pre-cana (my husband belongs to the Church of the Nazarene) and it went swimmingly. The only thing is, my dear, the fact that she doesn't want to raise the kids Catholic. Now there's sticky wording to this. You are obligated to swear to do EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER to raise your kids Catholic. Theoretically speaking this can be done paaasivly by your girlfriend/potential spouse, but you need to speak openly wiht her. My John never had any issues with our kids being Catholic.
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  #10  
Old Aug 1, '11, 2:02 pm
coachkfan1 coachkfan1 is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Speaking only from my experience, if you are as serious about your Catholic faith as you say that you are, then my advice plain and simple is DON'T DO IT. Marraige is hard enough, and the problems that arise in a mixed marraige are real and substantial. I'm not saying that it is impossible, but it can becaome something that creates distance and regrets. But hey, it's just my opinion. I wish you the best, however, and I am gonig to say a prayer for you both right now.
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  #11  
Old Aug 1, '11, 2:35 pm
ChrisRedfield47 ChrisRedfield47 is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Well in my opinion your risking your relationship either with this girl or with the CC. This may hurt but its how it is:

If you cant get her to raise your kids with the catholic faith I would STRONGLY suggest you to not marry her.

This is why im trying to look for a catholic girl to marry some day. Not that the church doesnt allow for a catholic to marry a non-catholic, but strongly suggests to not do so. Problems happen a lot when faith topics arise.


Im praying for you right now so that somehow it works out nonetheless.
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  #12  
Old Aug 1, '11, 4:12 pm
SurfN4Him SurfN4Him is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

I appreciate all the advice and prayers. I'm continuing to pray on the subject and I'm going to sit down with my girlfriend and seriously discuss the issues at hand. I'm also going to talk to my priest at my home church about the subject.

I truly believe God has brought my girlfriend into my life for a reason (whether it be marriage or not) but, I don't want to commit to her forever if I'm already seeing signs of doubt.

Again, thank you all for your prayers and responses.

-Patrick
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  #13  
Old Aug 1, '11, 10:16 pm
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SecretGarden SecretGarden is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

If you and your girlfriend are planning on having a Christ centered relationship, this is where you two need to come together in prayer and ask the Holy spirit for guidance. You might want to fast and/or pray one of the novenas together. Answers may not come right away so you will need to be patient. God might tell you to wait a bit, so you will have to wait. It might be a good idea for you to attend RCIA together that way she won't be alone and it will be a couple thing. I know three couples who did that this past year before they got married. If you want to read a book together, a simple book, "Why Do Catholics Genuflect?: And Answers to Other Puzzling Questions About the Catholic Church" by Al Kresta

It basically takes the entire Catholic faith and divides it into a bunch of questions with fairly short and concise answers that are fairly easy to understand.

You could even see if you can audit a Catholic premarriage preparation course. If you decide to propose make sure that you both take it because it will help prepare you for marriage. Others have also given some good advice to whom you should discuss and the proper channels to go through.

Whatever way you decide to expose her to the Catholic church, make sure she isn't alone. By doing stuff together, it might bring her closer to the church as well as closer as a couple.
You have alot to discuss but you can do it. Whatever happens, things will work out somehow.
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  #14  
Old Aug 1, '11, 10:41 pm
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Vico Vico is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

Also, you must agree to remove dangers of defection from the faith, and the non-Catholic must receive training.


Canon 1125.1 the catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power in order that all the children be baptised and brought up in the catholic Church;
Canon 1125.2 the other party is to be informed in good time of these promises to be made by the catholic party, so that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and of the obligation of the catholic party.
Canon 1125.3 both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which are not to be excluded by either contractant.
Canon 1126 It is for the Episcopal Conference to prescribe the manner in which these declarations and promises, which are always required, are to be made, and to determine how they are to be established in the external forum, and how the non-catholic party is to be informed of them.
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  #15  
Old Aug 2, '11, 9:48 am
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lutherlic lutherlic is offline
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Default Re: Roman Catholic marrying a Non-Catholic

There are some serious red flags here as has been pointed out.

I agree with Catholic1954 (early in the thread) that you should ask your GF to attend RCIA simply so that she understands your faith (and address any misconceptions she might have). Your faith is very important to you and she can not really know you in isolation of it. This is not asking too much.

You seem willing to make sacrifices in compromise (going additionally with her to her service, non-denominational church TBD).

Your GF's suggestion of finding a "church we can both attend" is a good start, but not really understanding.

Overall pray and listen. Your GF may or may not be the person for you to marry for life. You are wise to be concerned and asking questions. Too many people just assume it will all work out, ending in disaster.
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