Baptist + Catholic= possible?


Hello my friend and his girlfriend of 8 years are planning on getting married. He is Catholic and she is a Baptist. What is the Church’s stance on marriages of this nature? What would make it possible and what would NOT make it possible. Thanks


Just curious. Are they both very devout in their faiths??


He is very knowledgeable about the Church and she is pretty devout too in her Baptist Church. (Not Southern Baptist)


If they are both baptized their marriage will be sacramental. My concern is for future children. That is what prompted my initial question. Usually the children are raised in the faith of the stronger spouse. In this scenerio, one will have to give in. That’s problematic and should be resolved prior to the wedding. There can be some serious regrets for the spouse who gives in. Anyway, that’s my two cents. Not very uplifting but true…God Bless your friend…:slight_smile:


the Catholic party needs to seek a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic, due to a defect called disparity of cult. Their marriage prep should focus on the problems that will be inevitable in a mixed marriage, and the reasons why it is frowned upon. The Catholic party must promise to raise children Catholic, and the non-Catholic party must be informed of his obligation. Also the prep should cover thoroughly Catholic teaching on marriage, including openness to life, prohibition on ABC etc.

If they want further concessions, such as marrying in her church, that is possible for good reason, but also requires a dispensation. These things take time so they should beging their marriage prep in good time, no less than 6 months before their planned date. If they are both baptized their marriage will be both valid and sacramental (if all requirements of the Catholic Church are observed and they are properly disposed and of course otherwise free to marry).


The above post narrows down to concession. Very problematic, for lack of a better term…teachccd


the Church discourages mixed marriages, and yes the proper word is dispensation, I was trying to cover a lot of ground in one word. The marriage prep must be thorough to insure both parties understand what is being promised, to assure a valid marriage, and the reason for the dispensations properly explained. They are embarking on a course that poses a real threat for the faith of the Catholic, and is probably also viewed negatively by the other religion’s authorities.


You did a great job. Your last sentence really sums things up. A lot of prayers at this point…teachccd:gopray2:


Yes it can work!

My father was Baptist and my mother is Catholic. He converted 10 yrs after their wedding.
My fiance is Baptist and I am Catholic. We are getting married, in the Church, he knows understands respects my obligations and expects me to uphold him. He has said he will stand by me and help me raise our children Catholic. :smiley:


Exception, not the norm…Your parents could have had a confused eight year old in ten years of mixed marriage. Usually if both are very devout there are problems…God Bless you and my congrats to you both…:slight_smile:


Could have, but didn’t.
We attended my grandmother’s church when we would visit her (until an unfortunate incident about a baptism, then my family and I never went back, and my grandmother and aunt stopped attending that church). My parents always made sure to tell me about what would be different, why it was different, why Baptists believed this that and the other.

But yes, it can work, it just takes time, love and patience.


Thanks for all he input guys. Are all of those requirements?
the only thing that might cause conflict for them is the kids thing.


Great virtues that not all married couples possess. I’m not being negative, just realistic. My wife works in the Religious Education office at our Church. She experiences the spousal disputes many a time. In divorced situations the kids come to class every other week because the one parent with visitation won’t bring them.

Yes, anything can work but why go through the test? And one parent MUST concede to the other. There is no other way. God Bless …teachccd:shrug:


The “only thing”?? That’s the biggest problem that a marriage might contain…teachccd:)


PatienceAndLove…Cool username, by the way!:slight_smile:


The virtues I took on when I was an intent to Acceptance With Joy household at Fran U. I seem to have forgotten how to do either, so I am taking them up again. Having to type them in multiple times a day reminds me.


My last relationship fell apart because of that little thing.

The obligation to raise children Catholic can’t be removed, err… waitasec. Get the real canon instead of my babble:

Can. 1125 The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:
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 so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;
2/ the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;
3/ both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.


There’s no discount for being non-Catholic. Purposes and properties of marriage still bind. For that, start looking from canon 1055 on. Namely, 1055 para 1 and 1056. Here.

Also, while they could marry in a Baptist church with the Catholic bishop’s dispensation, there can be no co-officiating. One of my exes was bent on the idea of having two ceremonies, one in each church and was sad I would put canon law above her when I told her how things were. That’s something your Catholic friend can face but hopefully won’t.

Eight years is pretty long… It surely isn’t another stranger or even friend. It shouldn’t be thrown away for minor issues. But the nature, properties and purposes of marriage are not a minor issue, nor is how to raise children. Whoever reads this, please mind my warning and think twice and twice again about starting anything with a non-Catholic. And even more so before casting your net in such environments (it’s of course different when it just pops up). I’ve been there, done that, resolved to keep praying for a Catholic in good standing and reasonably devout, am still healing.


Yes, going through the sacramental preparation in the Catholic Church is a requirement. A dispensation to marry a non-Catholic is a requirement. They must be married in the Catholic Church, unless he receives a dispensation from the Bishop to marry in hers. He must promise to raise the children Catholic.

This is a very naive approach. It is a very big thing. Additionally there will be the issue of the spouses going to different churches every week. There will be the issue of teaching the children the faith in the home-- ie, if she’s not Catholic will she be OK with having an Advent wreath, a family rosary, fish on Fridays, saying Catholic prayers? I doubt it.

There are all sorts of things that will be difficulty theologically. Baptists reject infant baptism. Baptists reject the Sacraments. Baptists do not believe it is immoral to use contraception. Baptists do think it’s immoral to drink or dance.

Honestly, marrying a martian would be just about as logical as marrying a Baptist


It is possible to have one spouse Baptist and the other Catholic.

I “was” Baptist, and my husband is Catholic. We got married in his church, attended his church on Sundays, and sent all of our children to a Catholic school.

We’ve done all this from the start. It took seven years for me to finally convert.

They just need to agree on how their children will be raised, before they get married. If she is against allowing infant Baptism, or raising the children as Catholics, then they may have serious issues.



Yep…and that’s the real klinker.

** Baptist + Catholic= possible?**

Been there done that. Loved my dh to pieces and miss him since he died so much. But if I had it to do over again…I would not marry a Baptist or anyone of another faith. 41 years was a long time and a good marriage to be sure. We loved one another and went through thick and thin. But in the end…Faith is a very important part of a marriage. ONE faith…not two. It is way too confusing for the children. In-Laws can really do a number on a marriage, when they constantly have to interfere, as my dh’s family did. :frowning: It would have been worse of course if my family had been as interferring as his were. Thank heavens they were not.

Marriage is hard work, and differences in faith make it VERY hard work.

Of course no one could have told me that and made me listen way back then. Young love is not always very good at thinking things out.

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