Could you raise your family Catholic and JW?


#1

I have been dating this woman for a little over a year, and she is wonderful. I converted to Catholicism 10 years ago, and my love for God and faith in the teachings of the Catholic Church are strong. I had heard of Jehovah Witnesses before but I really did not know what they believe compared to other religions. Some online investigating of the JW faith has left me feeling uneasy about their teachings.

We began discussing the idea of having a family and how we would raise the kids, and of course she would want to share her faith with her kids and teach them what she believes, along with taking them to the Kingdom Hall. I of course want to raise them Catholic and bring them to Church with me, so she is comfortable with the idea of raising them in both faiths.

To me this is very distressing; exposing the kids to these teachings that I just don't personally believe are true. In some religions there are very similar beliefs, like between Catholics and Lutheran; at least you have a solid common foundation. I am not expecting any of you to tell me what to do, but merely looking for people in common situations and overall opinions.

-George


#2

To begin with,,,JW's are not even Christian as they do NOT believe in the Holy Trinity.

Investigate the JW's doctrines of faith and compare them to our Catholic Christian doctrines and the differences should jump out at you at once.

Now fast forward and think of children being reared in two totally DIFFERENT faiths and you can imagine the confusion this will cause. Add to this the fact that you will most likely not worship as a Whole family.

As a practicing Catholic, you are obligated to rear children in the True Faith and bring them up Catholic, she on her part most likely has the same obligation(correct me if I am wrong on this), so the big question is.....Who will yield to the others faith? Are you willing to leave your Catholic faith or will she be willing to leave her JW faith?

HUGE red flags are popping up with this. Pray long and hard on this one and may God lead you in the correct direction.


#3

I would highly advise against it..
JW are not Christians, their baptisms are not valid.
Even if this girl would be okay with your children being baptized Catholic(which I doubt she will be), I'm almost certain there are people at the JW kingdom hall that would try to convert your children.
They also don't celebrate holidays like Christmas, or Easter.
I just think it would end up being a big mess


#4

Here is a previous thread on this subject that should answer your question. If not let us know.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=633861

God bless!!!


#5

[quote="George80, post:1, topic:279657"]
I have been dating this woman for a little over a year, and she is wonderful. I converted to Catholicism 10 years ago, and my love for God and faith in the teachings of the Catholic Church are strong. I had heard of Jehovah Witnesses before but I really did not know what they believe compared to other religions. Some online investigating of the JW faith has left me feeling uneasy about their teachings.

We began discussing the idea of having a family and how we would raise the kids, and of course she would want to share her faith with her kids and teach them what she believes, along with taking them to the Kingdom Hall. I of course want to raise them Catholic and bring them to Church with me, so she is comfortable with the idea of raising them in both faiths.

To me this is very distressing; exposing the kids to these teachings that I just don't personally believe are true. In some religions there are very similar beliefs, like between Catholics and Lutheran; at least you have a solid common foundation. I am not expecting any of you to tell me what to do, but merely looking for people in common situations and overall opinions.
-George

[/quote]

Hello George, welcome to the forums.

I'm afraid what you understandably hope for isn't realistic, or even fair for any children you might have. It's not possible to be a fully committed Catholic while being a fully committed member to another religion, and it doesn't make sense to be a half-hearted, quasi-member of both.

Interfaith marriages generally struggle over religion once they've kids (unless both parents are non-religious), and their children sometimes experience confusion or reject both religions.

Moreover, Witnesses generally believe that the Catholic Church fell in apostasy and is little better than paganism. Some Witnesses will express that belief more nicely than others, but there's a strong tendency towards self-righteousness in the Witness community. Not only is Catholicism irreconcilable with their religion, but many Witnesses won't hesitate to use deceptive and disrespectful means to win a convert. Bringing young Catholic children to a Kingdom Hall service, and even something as innocent as bible study leaves them fair game to proselytism in my experience. (There was even an issue at our parish a few years ago when Witnesses were interrupting kids as they were walking to Mass, and evangelised them without their parents' permission.)

My :twocents:

A blessed Holy Thursday to you.


#6

The kids will be expected to proselytize for the JWs, even when very young, and to do a lot of hard work.

The JW leadership will pressure your wife and kids to either convert you or leave you behind. They will always be nosing into your family business, much worse than even groups like LDS/Mormon leadership.

The kids will be made to feel guilty for celebrating their own birthdays, much less any Christian holidays.


#7

I would not raise my child Catholic and ANYTHING ELSE. I would only raise my child Catholic period... which is why I've made the decision not to date outside my faith.

I would strongly suggest you reconsider this relationship. The JW faith is VERY different from the Catholic faith.

If your girlfriend takes her faith seriously she honestly wouldn't be dating you in the first place... and if she starts taking her faith more seriously later you are in for TROUBLE, with a capital T. R.O.U.B.L.E.

Are you aware that they practice shunning?

My aunt and her husband are both JWs. Their son left the faith and they have shunned him so completely that when his father ended up in hospital with a heart attack they REFUSED to let him see his father...

Do you really want your children being raised anywhere near a faith like that?


#8

I married my husband, who is Catholic, while I was still a Mormon. In order for our marriage to be valid, I had to agree that WE would raise them Catholic. If she is a faithful JW, she would have a very difficult time doing that. Thankfully, I was not a great Mormon and while studying what it was I had agreed to, admiring my husband's faith, and obviously the HS working on me... I am now celebrating almost 13 years as a Catholic.

It doesn't work for most, but for me it did.

Steph


#9

... and also in marrying a Catholic, I lost contact with my entire family for almost 15 years. They are starting to come around, but that is absolutely a possibility.
Steph


#10

no you can not. Or let me put it this way, not without a TON of problems!

Christians should not be yoked with unbelievers.
(notice I did not say Catholics should not be yoked with unbelievers. Christians of any denomination need to be yoked to other CHRISTIANS.


#11

[quote="KateKimmer, post:10, topic:279657"]
no you can not. Or let me put it this way, not without a TON of problems!

Christians should not be yoked with unbelievers.
(notice I did not say Catholics should not be yoked with unbelievers. Christians of any denomination need to be yoked to other CHRISTIANS.

[/quote]

The verse says not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. There is one of him and one of her. That's as equal as it gets, so the verse in no way applies.

Don't get me wrong. I don't see this issue being problem free myself. I just hate it when people try to apply that verse to marriage when it most definitely does not.


#12

I agree with many of the other posts here when they say that this senario is a recipe for disaster. The Jehovah's Witness faith is diametrically opposed to many of the things that we, as Catholics hold sacred. To begin with, they believe neither in the Holy Trinity nor in the divinity of Jesus, and that's just for starters.:eek: I'm afraid that trying to practice two faiths which are directly opposed to one another is a near-certain recipe for marital discord in the long run. That is, unless one spouse (hopefully your wife) converts to the faith of the other. Your children will be confused at best, and, more than likely, will be actively targeted along with you for conversion by the Jehovah's witnesses. Lastly, as others have said your wife would likely be shunned by her family for marrying a Catholic. :gopray:


#13

[quote="George80, post:1, topic:279657"]
I have been dating this woman for a little over a year, and she is wonderful. I converted to Catholicism 10 years ago, and my love for God and faith in the teachings of the Catholic Church are strong. I had heard of Jehovah Witnesses before but I really did not know what they believe compared to other religions. Some online investigating of the JW faith has left me feeling uneasy about their teachings.

We began discussing the idea of having a family and how we would raise the kids, and of course she would want to share her faith with her kids and teach them what she believes, along with taking them to the Kingdom Hall. I of course want to raise them Catholic and bring them to Church with me, so she is comfortable with the idea of raising them in both faiths.

To me this is very distressing; exposing the kids to these teachings that I just don't personally believe are true. In some religions there are very similar beliefs, like between Catholics and Lutheran; at least you have a solid common foundation. I am not expecting any of you to tell me what to do, but merely looking for people in common situations and overall opinions.

-George

[/quote]

No.


#14

Both Catholic AND JW? Certainly not. First of all, they have their own Bible, theology, teachings, etc, different from any other religion. They cannot be called Christian like others have said, and I know of some members of JW who are very, very cult like. I know not all of them a cultish, but I do know some who can't look at me without handing me a Watchtower.


#15

If the faiths were more similar then you could perhaps make it work. But since the JWs actively preach the OPPOSITE of what the cc teaches then it would be extremely difficult. If you were adding in special traditions ok but not opposite teachings.

I grew up in a house with one protestant parent and on Catholic and that was hard enough. We were always being pulled one way or the other and with contradicting ideologies. Im sure you can imagine if these differences were extreme like with Catholic and JW.

Also may be pretty awkward when the JWs tell your children that Catholics are the Whore of Babylon :(

I know you are in love, but this could be the beginning of the battle of your life and I'm not sure if I was in the same boat as you I could deal.


#16

Allowing your kids to be raised in the JW faith is absolutely unacceptable. The JW organization is a cult that uses cult tactics to keep their followers obedient. Studies have shown that mental illness, suicides, and stress is much higher among JWs than other religions. I'd have absolutely no tolerance for that faith to be anywhere near my children and would not date or marry anybody devout in the JW faith.

It may sound like i'm being harsh, but raising your kids anywhere near this faith is going to damage their mental well being in some shape or form and could cause them pain that they have to deal with for the rest of their lives. I was raised in this cult and struggle to this day with being raised the way the JWs teach. Further, if one parent is JW and the other isn't it often leads to divorce.

Like most cults, the JW organization seeks to isolate their followers from their "worldly" family and friends. They even teach that your children are not to have any unnecessary association outside the JW community of believers. If you end of up leaving or getting disfellowshipped, these same "brothers and sisters" will shun you like you never even existed.

Keep your kids away from this faith for their sake and for your own. If that is not something your partner can understand, then you need to think about moving on. It really is that serious. Now, if your partner was Methodist or even Baptist, it would still be difficult, but a totally different story.

*This is assuming if you had kids or plan on having kids


#17

MANDATORY for you to Read Jason Everts' book "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses". Also read Ray Franz book (Google title - anyone remember it?) - he was their leader Fred Franz' nephew & relates in his book how they had meetings at the very top of the WTBTS & came up with stuff.

I've been in dialogue with a JW co-worker for 8 years, attained quite a library of their heresy, though I have a beautiful pen & ink drawing of our Lord on the Cross from one of their early books. They deny the cross & came up with a "stake". Their history is loaded with problematic theology. THEY DO NOT BEND. PERIOD. They PERFECTLY fit the Biblical definition of a FALSE PROPHET with their "rolling end of the world" scenarios( as per Jason Evert?); of course there's always an "explanation" why their prophecies have nose-dived from 1914 especially to 1975.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR & PURSUE A CATHOLIC. There is nothing but a very steep upward climb & potential heartache ahead for a Catholic who marries a non-Christian especially a JW = SPIRITUALLY UNYOKED!!! If you marry a RC gal eligible for a sacramental marriage, your yoke is much sweeter & lighter when raising kids.

JW's don't believe Jesus is God = big trouble
JW's don't believe God is 3 persons = big trouble
Practice Shunning? = big trouble

JW's CONSTANTLY mention the faults of "CHRISTENDOM", especially RCC in their literature. Pick several copies up & search for yourself. Almost in every single issue, enough to stop you in your tracks = results in theology outside the Christian realm no matter how they twist scripture & try to convince you otherwise. DO YOUR HOMEWORK and at least know what you'd be up against if you pursued this woman! :cool:


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