Big dilema - are my parents right?


#1

Im from India and here the usual custom is for parents to find mates for their children. 2 years back my elder brother fell in love with a hindu girl and married her against my parent’s wishes. They conducted the wedding as it is the norm here but were not very happy about it. Then itself i got a lecture from my mom that it is a sin to fall in love as obedience is the greatest virtue. Parents have the right to fix their kid’s wedding and so children should meekly obey what their parents choose. I argued that the Bible talks highly of love and they retorted that the bible only talks about the love within family and not “some stranger”. The entire thing was too late for me as i had already fallen in love with an incredible person. It is a long distance relationship and still we have managed to sustain it because of the love we have for each other. We meet each other only for one day in every 5 or 6 months. We have not crossed the limits we have set and i can proudly say that it is a very pure relationship. We have been in love for 4 years now. My parents were unaware about this until recently. They started looking for prospective grooms for me and i told them about my love. All hell broke loose and i was also beaten up. My parents are forcing me to break up with him and marry the guy of their choice. They are quoting from the bible again about obedience and so on. Im not able to give him up. I also cant marry another person with him in my heart. Now what am i supposed to do? All my relatives are also looking at me as though i am the family traitor. They contend that as my brother had married a girl of his choice atleast i should appease my parent’s wishes. Im torn apart by everything. But i know for sure that i cant marry anyone else.
Now the second issue is that he is a syro malabar catholic while i am a latin rite catholic. Our languages are also different. Now is this a serious issue? are there any problems in marrying someone from outside the rite? Syro malabar is an eastern catholic church in full communion with the roman catholic church.


#2

Are you parents also Catholic? Are they planning a Catholic wedding? If so, you should speak to the priest. I don't know if there is a rule in the Church against arranged marriages but to marry against your will would not make a valid marriage.


#3

I will pray for you Corki and your family.

God bless

jesus g


#4

[quote="linu_nidhi, post:1, topic:242049"]
Im from India and here the usual custom is for parents to find mates for their children. 2 years back my elder brother fell in love with a hindu girl and married her against my parent's wishes. They conducted the wedding as it is the norm here but were not very happy about it. Then itself i got a lecture from my mom that it is a sin to fall in love as obedience is the greatest virtue. Parents have the right to fix their kid's wedding and so children should meekly obey what their parents choose. I argued that the Bible talks highly of love and they retorted that the bible only talks about the love within family and not "some stranger". The entire thing was too late for me as i had already fallen in love with an incredible person. It is a long distance relationship and still we have managed to sustain it because of the love we have for each other. We meet each other only for one day in every 5 or 6 months. We have not crossed the limits we have set and i can proudly say that it is a very pure relationship. We have been in love for 4 years now. My parents were unaware about this until recently. They started looking for prospective grooms for me and i told them about my love. All hell broke loose and i was also beaten up. My parents are forcing me to break up with him and marry the guy of their choice. They are quoting from the bible again about obedience and so on. Im not able to give him up. I also cant marry another person with him in my heart. Now what am i supposed to do? All my relatives are also looking at me as though i am the family traitor. They contend that as my brother had married a girl of his choice atleast i should appease my parent's wishes. Im torn apart by everything. But i know for sure that i cant marry anyone else.
Now the second issue is that he is a syro malabar catholic while i am a latin rite catholic. Our languages are also different. Now is this a serious issue? are there any problems in marrying someone from outside the rite? Syro malabar is an eastern catholic church in full communion with the roman catholic church.

[/quote]

Dear sister.
Full consent is needed for a valid wedding. if your parents force you to marry a person under threats and beatings etc, the marriage will not be valid.
I am surprised your parents are Catholic yet don't understand that they cannot make you marry whom they want you to marry.
I have indian friends who are married. The womans parents also wanted to arrange the marriage but they listened to my friend when she told them she loves this man. Everything was proper, and now they are married and happy.
In my country we have quite a few Muslims. Sometimes they force their girls to marry people in their home countries, and the girls don't want to, so they run away from their parents and marry the man of their choice. The whole society is on the side of these ladies.
Choosing your own spouse seems like something of a human right, especially Christians should be aware of that.
Parents can help and guide, but not be tyrants.


#5

[quote="linu_nidhi, post:1, topic:242049"]
Im from India and here the usual custom is for parents to find mates for their children. 2 years back my elder brother fell in love with a hindu girl and married her against my parent's wishes. They conducted the wedding as it is the norm here but were not very happy about it. Then itself i got a lecture from my mom that it is a sin to fall in love as obedience is the greatest virtue. Parents have the right to fix their kid's wedding and so children should meekly obey what their parents choose. I argued that the Bible talks highly of love and they retorted that the bible only talks about the love within family and not "some stranger". The entire thing was too late for me as i had already fallen in love with an incredible person. It is a long distance relationship and still we have managed to sustain it because of the love we have for each other. We meet each other only for one day in every 5 or 6 months. We have not crossed the limits we have set and i can proudly say that it is a very pure relationship. We have been in love for 4 years now. My parents were unaware about this until recently. They started looking for prospective grooms for me and i told them about my love. All hell broke loose and i was also beaten up. My parents are forcing me to break up with him and marry the guy of their choice. They are quoting from the bible again about obedience and so on. Im not able to give him up. I also cant marry another person with him in my heart. Now what am i supposed to do? All my relatives are also looking at me as though i am the family traitor. They contend that as my brother had married a girl of his choice atleast i should appease my parent's wishes. Im torn apart by everything. But i know for sure that i cant marry anyone else.
Now the second issue is that he is a syro malabar catholic while i am a latin rite catholic. Our languages are also different. Now is this a serious issue? are there any problems in marrying someone from outside the rite? Syro malabar is an eastern catholic church in full communion with the roman catholic church.

[/quote]

I am so sorry for what you are going through. Your parents appear to be confused about our religion. It is wrong and unChristian of them to force you to marry against your wishes and to beat you up. Am I right that they want you to marry within your own community only? As Christians, caste, race and region should not be of any importance. Perhaps you could ask your brother and your parish priest to speak to them.

I remember a friend of mine, a priest talking about Syrian Catholic s. I see no issue but it is best if you speak to your priest. Both of you can learn each other's language.
Will pray for you two. God bless.


#6

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c3a7.htm

scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

III. MATRIMONIAL CONSENT

1625 The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman, free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent; "to be free" means:

  • not being under constraint;

  • not impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law.

1626 The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that "makes the marriage."127 If consent is lacking there is no marriage.

1627 The consent consists in a "human act by which the partners mutually give themselves to each other": "I take you to be my wife" - "I take you to be my husband."128 This consent that binds the spouses to each other finds its fulfillment in the two "becoming one flesh."129

1628 The consent must be an act of the will of each of the contracting parties, free of coercion or grave external fear.130 No human power can substitute for this consent.131 If this freedom is lacking the marriage is invalid.

1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed.132 In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.133

1630 The priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church. The presence of the Church's minister (and also of the witnesses) visibly expresses the fact that marriage is an ecclesial reality.

1631 This is the reason why the Church normally requires that the faithful contract marriage according to the ecclesiastical form. Several reasons converge to explain this requirement:134

  • Sacramental marriage is a liturgical act. It is therefore appropriate that it should be celebrated in the public liturgy of the Church;

  • Marriage introduces one into an ecclesial order, and creates rights and duties in the Church between the spouses and towards their children;

  • Since marriage is a state of life in the Church, certainty about it is necessary (hence the obligation to have witnesses);

  • The public character of the consent protects the "I do" once given and helps the spouses remain faithful to it.

1632 So that the "I do" of the spouses may be a free and responsible act and so that the marriage covenant may have solid and lasting human and Christian foundations, preparation for marriage is of prime importance.

The example and teaching given by parents and families remain the special form of this preparation.

The role of pastors and of the Christian community as the "family of God" is indispensable for the transmission of the human and Christian values of marriage and family,135 and much more so in our era when many young people experience broken homes which no longer sufficiently assure this initiation:

It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married love, its role and its exercise, so that, having learned the value of chastity, they will be able at a suitable age to engage in honorable courtship and enter upon a marriage of their own.136


#7

Dear Linu Nidhi,

if you click the links I provided in my post above, you can read the whole chapter about Marriage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and educate yourself.

When you, a Roman Catholic woman, marry a Syro-Malabar Catholic man, your family will come under the jurisdiction of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. It is not a problem at all that you are from different rites within the Catholic Church.

Since you have been dating each other for 4 years now, I imagine that you have been talking to each other in a common language that both of you speak, possibly English language. I know a couple where he is from Spain, and she is from Poland - the man didn't speak Polish, and the woman didn't speak Spanish, and thus they initially communicated in English. Later on they learned each other's languages. It can be done.

God Bless!

P.S. Talk to your parish priest, and let the priest explain to your parents that it is contrary to the Sacrament of Marriage for them to force you to marry someone you don't want to marry.


#8

As children or under our parents' protection, we have to obey them except if they want us to sin; however, in adult matters, like decisiins regarding our vocation in life, they are not supposed to interfere. Several saints had to "disobey" their parents in order to obey their Higher Authority, God.

So, here you are not doing the wrong thing. We must honor our parents, which in some areas means to obey, but in others does not.

I agree with the poster who suggested going to your priest. He will probably be much more familiar with the cultural aspects and hopefully be able to help you deal with all this in a Catholic and charitable way.


#9

linu nidhi

So far all the answers are based on the presumption that you are living in the USA - but are you ?

I fully agree that you should talk to your priest about this - BUT I do know that customs elsewhere are not always the same as in the USA .


#10

This may be the cultural custom in India, but this goes against what the Catholic Church teaches.

From the Catechism:

2230 When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life. They should assume their new responsibilities within a trusting relationship with their parents, willingly asking and receiving their advice and counsel. Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse. This necessary restraint does not prevent them - quite the contrary from giving their children judicious advice, particularly when they are planning to start a family.

I suggest you go have a talk with your priest about the issue, and ask him to talk to your parents. Perhaps they will listen to an authority in the Church.

Regardless of whether your parents become convinced of their proper role, you need to stay strong. A forced marriage is not a valid marriage.

Ignore these people putting pressure on you. I know it is difficult, but you need to resist the idea you must marry someone to please your parents. This is a false idea.

No, this is not a problem at all.


#11

I didn’t assume she is living in the USA, in fact she said “Here” the custom is…

OP, your parents are acting culturally Hindu or Indian, not Catholic. It’s as if they want to be Catholic while still having all the cultural customs of India. I don’t know if that is normal in India, I suspect it is common. Things like this happen in other countries as they practice things like Voo-doo while still going to Mass! :eek:

The cultural expectations are going to be difficult to work through. Your parents still expect to be in control of whom you marry but you are independent enough not to want to accept that. The first generation to break away from the cultural norms will have to go through a lot of pain and suffering, because the parents/grandparents will not be happy and will not understand. You will have to pay the price, and that might even extend to being cut off from your parents, if they cannot accept your cultural changes.

:shrug:

On your side, you are doing nothing wrong. From their POV, you are being rebellious and are wrong. Of course as Americans, we are totally focused on independence in every aspect of our lives and cannot imagine an arranged marriage. But if it’s the cultural norm, breaking away will be difficult and painful.

God bless you and your intended! I will add your parents to my prayers and I am sure others will pray for them too.

:hug1::signofcross:


#12

[quote="The_Idiot, post:9, topic:242049"]
linu nidhi

So far all the answers are based on the presumption that you are living in the USA - but are you ?

I fully agree that you should talk to your priest about this - BUT I do know that customs elsewhere are not always the same as in the USA .

[/quote]

There is no assumption that the OP is living in the US. It does not matter in what country they live. The Church is clear in its teaching. Cultural customs such as arranged/forced marriages can violate the free consent necessary for a valid marriage.


#13

Prayers for you first of all.

You are an adult, and do have the freedom to marry the person of your choice and to not be forced into a marriage. Not all people recognize that fact these days unfortunately.


#14

#15

Actually, I did not make that assumption and I do not think the others did.
While many Indians may still practise the custom of arranged marriages, the consent of both parties would still be required under Church law and Indian law. Customs aside, the Catholic priests in India are are like priests anywhere in the world and would advise her parents as to what is right. The beating of a woman to force her to marry someone has nothing to do with any Indian custom.


#16

Your parents are wrong. you want to marry a catholic boy, that's a good thing. I too suggest you to take help of a priest to make your parents understand the will of God. However children can make mistakes when they choose a spouse. My sister fell in love with a hindu guy long ago but that guy was not good. My parents beat her. somehow the situation came under control. if she would have married that person her life would be miserable today. Now she realises the fact. but your situation is not worse. you must pray hard to make things right. don't blow away with your emotions and feelings. pray and pray. you will surely get the solution. I pray for you.


#17

#18

According to CCC 2230, your parents are wrong, wrong, wrong:

"Parents should be careful not to exert pressure on their children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse".

edit: I saw that 1ke posted the entire CCC 2230.


#19

I understand that village people are very strict in their customs, while there's a generation shift happening towards more acceptance of so-called "love marriages". One suggestion would be to find an independent Catholic priest or counsellor to mediate the difficulties.

It is not unheard of for parents to commit suicide over children marrying against their wishes, or for families to shun, so the issue can be serious for some people. As for others simply saying that parents ought to follow what the Church teaches, in an ancient non-Christian society such as India, I've read that there are Catholic parishes which allow for separate Communion lines for so-called untouchable Dalits and non-Dalits, but even this is becoming rarer to see. You are in my prayers.


#20

While you may be well meaning, using violence is never right. It gives the impression that India is a barbaric country not the world’s largest democracy that it is.


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