Child Out of Wedlock


#1

I have a friend who just found out his girlfriend (not married) is pregnant with his child.

They both wish to marry but my friend is Catholic and his girlfriend is a non-denominational Christian who refuses to marry in the Catholic Church.

What is the right thing for him to do?


#2

[quote="Gabriel3152, post:1, topic:251534"]
I have a friend who just found out his girlfriend (not married) is pregnant with his child.

They both wish to marry but my friend is Catholic and his girlfriend is a non-denominational Christian who refuses to marry in the Catholic Church.

What is the right thing for him to do?

[/quote]


I believe your friend -- can request a dispensation from the bishop of his diocese -- to marry outside the Church.


#3

It would be good to start discussing what they each believe and find what they have in common. Then if there is hurdles to the Catholic church they can study that together. Here is a great link to look up subjects she might be objecting to.

scripturecatholic.com/


#4

I read the CCC about Matrimony and I didn’t see anything against it. Get the, dispensation, though, just in case.


#5

[quote="Gabriel3152, post:1, topic:251534"]
I have a friend who just found out his girlfriend (not married) is pregnant with his child.

They both wish to marry but my friend is Catholic and his girlfriend is a non-denominational Christian who refuses to marry in the Catholic Church.

What is the right thing for him to do?

[/quote]

I don't know enough about this couple to make an absolutely correct suggestion, but I do believe they both need to discuss the religion matter, even if he gets a dispensation to marry in her church at her request.

What kind of relationship will they have if she is against the Catholic faith? Are they able to communicate about this most important matter in a calm way? The Catholic person does have certain obligations about bringing up the child in the faith. Will this be opposed?

Being on the same page and having mutual respect is so important for a marriage to work well.


#6

That at the moment doesn't bode well, for future decisions, for instance of raising the child Catholic

usccb.org/laity/marriage/marriagefaqs.shtml

  1. If a Catholic wants to marry a non-Catholic, how can they assure that the marriage is recognized by the Church?

    In addition to meeting the criteria for a valid Catholic marriage (see question #3), the Catholic must seek permission from the local bishop to marry a non-Catholic. If the person is a non-Catholic Christian, this permission is called a "permission to enter into a mixed marriage." If the person is a non-Christian, the permission is called a "dispensation from disparity of cult." Those helping to prepare the couple for marriage can assist with the permission process.

  2. Why does a Catholic wedding have to take place in a church?

    For Catholics, marriage is not just a social or family event, but a church event. For this reason, the Church prefers that marriages between Catholics, or between Catholics and other Christians, be celebrated in the parish church of one of the spouses. Only the local bishop can permit a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.

  3. If a Catholic wishes to marry in a place outside the Catholic church, how can he or she be sure that the marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church as valid?

    The local bishop can permit a wedding in another church, or in another suitable place, for a sufficient reason. For example, a Catholic seeks to marry a Baptist whose father is the pastor of the local Baptist church. The father wants to officiate at the wedding. In these circumstances, the bishop could permit the couple to marry in the Baptist church. The permission in these instances is called a "dispensation from canonical form."

foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/interfaith-marriages/


#7

Canon Law talks about it...

I believe (not an expert by any means) that this would be considered a mixed marriage. And if that is the case, than a permission is required and there are some conditions that would need to be met before that can happen, such as:

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.

But from my understanding the canonical form must still be observed unless there are "grave difficulties."

More importantly, I think there would need to be a deep discussion on the differences in beliefs.


#8

To further clarify...

The woman respects the Catholic faith, but wishes to raise her children according to certain Protestant doctrines (i.e. Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, etc.)

They both have discussions of faith frequently, and do not have overwhelming conflict or resentment with each other.

My friend has told me that he wishes to marry her outside the faith and raise children according to the mother's beliefs in order to keep peace for the child and provide a loving and nurturing environment for the child to grow up in.

He does, however, wish to remain Catholic because it is what he believes. He is torn as to what is the right thing to do for the child.

Would this warrant a dispensation?


#9

Hi!

Well I don't know too much about this topic but my mom (catholic) married my dad (protestant) in the Catholic Church. All the children were raised Catholic. :) My sister similarly married a protestant in the Catholic Church. A person can marry someone of another religion--and be very happy. :) However, I think they have to agree to raise the children Catholic and they have to marry in the Catholic Church if they wish to marry someone who is not Catholic. I know this can be a problem at times--Protestants are not always eager to follow these rules.....:(

My parents have been married for a long time and they belong together---but religion has been an issue for them. But that doesn't mean two people of different religions should not marry--I don't believe that. My dad has since changed religions and is not protestant or Catholic--when a person gets married they make vows to be together no matter what--even if one of them were to totally change religions. :) In other words, there is no guarentee that even if two Catholics were to marry--that one couldn't decide to change religions at some point. They have to basically have the same values--my parents do have the same values even though they are different religions. :) They have to have the same basic values so they can teach them to their children.


#10

[quote="Gabriel3152, post:1, topic:251534"]
I

What is the right thing for him to do?

[/quote]

the first thing for them both to do is start making decisions to protect the welfare of the child, now, and after it is born. (sermon deleted)
If they had no intention of marrying then obviously the romantic relationship has to be broken off. If they were planning to marry the should visit the priest and discuss that. He will very likely counsel delaying a wedding until after the birth of the child so there is no element of force involved (which could invalidate the marriage). The delay will also help them mature, learn to live chastely and prepare for the spiritual and practical demands of marriage and family.


#11

All I can offer is opinion, but I would say no - but he needs to seek the local priest to see what he can and should do.

There is obviously some degree of conflict regarding faith if they are not on the same page - especially regarding the child.

They’re in our prayers!


#12

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