Adventist-Catholic Marriage


#1

A good Catholic friend of mine is deciding if and/or when he will propose his Adventist girlfriend. He’s asked my advice on what challenges he might expect in that type of inter-faith relationship, but my advice can only go so far, given the fact that I’ve not been in that situation.

I realize, however, that there are a few people in Adventist-Catholic marriages on this very forum (I’ve met a few of you, but can’t remember all the names). If so, could you share your thoughts?

What kind of challenges do you face?
What compromises have you made?
What compromises do you refuse to make?
What has been the reaction of family?
In which faith do you raise children?
Would you recommend that he pursue marriage, given the challenges?
Do you have any other insights, or words of advice?

Thanks a million,
Hugo


#2

I am a Catholic married to an Adventist. I thought it would be more difficult in many ways than it has been. I guess maybe because my husband is probably more of the Progressive Adventist type and his family are not adventists.

What kind of challenges do you face?

The biggest challenge is having a husband who will not pray with me. I miss not having the entire family attend mass together. But then I look around the church and realize I am by far not the only person attending mass without a spouse. It is a silly complaint.

What compromises have you made?

My husband decided to have a vasectomy against my wishes. This was very hurtful to me. I have not been as involved in the church as I otherwise might be if I had a Catholic spouse.

What compromises do you refuse to make?

We had a full Catholic Mass for the wedding. All the children have been baptized and raised Catholic. We have religious education in the home even though my husband refuses to participate. Mass attendance by myself and the children is mandatory. We have rosaries, and religious objects in the home. We have Catholic bibles and I have bible study with the children and others from our church. The kids went to Catholic school when available.

I refused to use artificial birth control.

I refuse to go to the Seventh Day Adventist Church because when I attended they bashed the beliefs of others and I felt their church was based on conflict with other Christians rather than a love of Christ.

What has been the reaction of family?

My family has adopted my husband as one of their own despite religious differences. His family are Protestants but not SDA. Some of them kind of ignor the kids and myself. However, one of my husband’s brothers once said to me, " I don’t know what you are doing with your kids, but whatever it is keep it up because you have great kids"

In which faith do you raise children?

Catholic - all the way.

Would you recommend that he pursue marriage, given the challenges?

Yes - provided he is very strong in his faith and sets forth a head of time the things he will and will not compromise. Dispite all my husband is my best friend. My husband is very respectful of my faith and does not try to change me even though those at his church have told him he must not be living right if I will not convert. Fight it out ahead of time and then stick to it.

Do you have any other insights, or words of advice?

Take your time in courtship. Lay down what is important to you and what you will or will not compromise. Always stick to those things. Let the other know that God is first in your life and will always be. If the partner cannot accept that about you then they are also rejecting you. Use the Sacraments - especially confession and the Eucharist. They will keep you close to Christ.

Been married 24 years this month.

Annette


#3

Congratulations! Happy Anniversary! :clapping:
That is great that your husband is willing to comprimise.


#4

Some interfaith marriages work well…some don’t…those with extreme religions such as adventists or Jehovah’s Witnesses are EXTREMELY difficult. Good luck to your friend…Happy 24th Amills.


#5

First, as an Orthodox I have to say I believe firmly in the Church’s stand in the negative on marrying Christians and non-Christians. I have to say this is one of the issues that really pushed me to Orthodoxy when I started attending RCIA. The Church for it’s entire history has forbidden Christians to marry with non-Christians (St. Paul expressed it as refusing to be unequally yoked, or asking what communion light and darkness have).
As for the specific issue, I tend to doubt that a marriage in which the adventist spouse believes the Catholic spouse belongs to the church of the devil (as adventists have repeated over and over again) is going to be a productive one. Interfaith marriages work when one or both parties involved is nominal in their religion. The downfall to that approach is that many people go through nominal periods only to become more committed later in life. If that occurs it could easily become a source of constant conflict in the marriage. For example, a Catholic friend of mine married a girl who was from a Reform Jewish tradition. She wasn’t very interested in the practice of Judaism when they got married and had no problem then agreeing to raise the kids Catholic. However, when they actually started having kids she had become more interested in her religion and naturally she wanted her kids to share in that Jewish tradition. For quite awhile it was a big source on contention for them, and frankly Reform Judaism is a lot more sane than Adventism. Needless to say it would be more than a little confusing for a kid to go on Saturday to listen to who is father is a member of satan’s church and going straight to hell and then non-existence to turn around for mass on Sunday mornings.


#6

First, please realize that Adventist are in fact Christian their baptism is accepted by the Catholic Church.

Interfaith marriages can also work when both are involved. But I will give you that the personalities involved must be exceptional. The priest we had for pre-cana instructions told me he did not expect my marriage to last. We have been married 24 years - he is no longer a priest…

My husband is a deacon in the Adventist Church. My children and I are Catholic and involved in many areas of our Church. My children are not confused - they have been raised Catholic and do not go to church with their father.

It can be confusing for kids to go to school and listen to all the Mormons and Baptist tell them they belong to the wrong church. The world can be confusing. The major thing that unconfuses them is to see faith and love work.


#7

Why? The rules are pretty much the same for both Orthodox and Catholics with regard to marrying outside of the faith, as far as I can tell. :confused:


#8

The only thing I can offer (and it’s little, since I have no experience in this area) is the statistics that suggest it is the Father who has a bigger, longer lasting impact on the children’s faith than the Mother. I think the statistics (and you know what they say about statistics… :wink: ) went like this:

If both parents attend Mass= 70% chance the child will continue to do so in adulthood
If only the Father does= 40% chance
If only the Mother does= 30% chance

Of course, Amills, our resident expert on this thread paints a different picture (which goes to show how much you can trust statistics)


#9

The statistics are probably correct. One of the things that I have done is to expose the children to other Catholic families where both parents attend mass. We meet once a week with another family for Catechism - in this manner the children have been exposed to a male role who does attend Church. And yes - you need to do things to overcome the odds.


#10

It may depend on the particular Orthodox Church. I know of an Orthodox that shopped around to get married in the Orthodox Church to a non-Orthodox.

In fact, she is really hot to trot and left the Orthodox Church because the very Church that married them, refused to do the funeral for him when he died nearly two years ago now.

She is very angry and bitter about that.


#11

Amills gave some very good advice. I would also recommend your friend start discussing whether his girlfriend is willing to be married in the Catholic Church, and to raise the children Catholic. It is better to discuss these things early.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


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