Dating a Lutheran


#1

Hi all!

I have read many posts regarding dating/marrying a non-Catholic, and it does seem that is a lot of work. Most say to not pursue it, and just find someone that shares your faith. I would hope that there are stories out there of couples who did make it work!

I am a cradle Catholic, I attend mass every week. I love my church and am comfortable in my faith. At the same time, I respect all people and their beliefs. My boyfriend is Lutheran, but is not as involved in his church. He is a good man, he believes in God, he treats me well, and I know he would make a great husband and father.

We are still in the early stages in our relationship, but the religion discussion recently came up and we are faced with our first real conflict. He is totally against Catholicism for him and our future children. He says that there have been several incidents in the past involving his family and their significant others (who are Catholic) that caused problems. He would be more comfortable in raising them in a different Christian (but Protestant) faith, if not Lutheran or Catholic. I personally think that he has been somewhat brainwashed into being anti-Catholic. :/ He keeps saying how his mother has told him stories and what not. I suggested to him that he should be open-minded and not shut out Catholicism as an option, just as I am being open to learning about his Lutheran faith.

I know that as a Catholic, it is my obligation to raise my children Catholic. Is it possible to raise children sharing two different faiths? I see no problem in them being exposed to both Lutheran and Catholic, but my boyfriend just does not want anything to do with Catholic church. I wish there was something I could do to make him see that all these horrible stories he's heard about the Church is not all it has to offer. It's not like I'm forcing him to be Catholic either, I just want him to accept that I would want our future children to be baptized and attend mass with me in the Catholic church.

Besides the conflict on religion, we get along really well and agree on pretty much everything else. He's a great guy, and I certainly want it to work out. I just really want for him to meet me halfway.

Do any of you feel that there is a compromise that could be work out in this situation? Is it possible for families of two different faiths come together and not have one faith dominate the other?

Thank you in advance for the insight!


#2

Since he is against Catholicism and against raising future Children Catholic - it is time to break the relationship off.

CCC " 1634 Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ.
But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome.
The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties.
Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise."

Catholics are required to raise their children Catholic.


#3

If you will carefully and thoughtfully reread your own post, you will have your answer.

Marrying someone from a different faith is one thing, but marrying an anti-Catholic would be setting yourself up for a great deal of grief not to mention danger of eternal damnation. The Lord will guide you if you are open to Him. Go to frequent Mass, receive the sacraments and spend some time in Adoration. Truly ask Jesus to guide you through this time of temptation. He will do it.

I will pray for you, my sister in Christ.:signofcross:


#4

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]
and it does seem that is a lot of work. Most say to not pursue it, and just find someone that shares your faith.

[/quote]

I love my church

My boyfriend is Lutheran, but is not as involved in his church.

We are still in the early stages in our relationship,

He is totally against Catholicism for him and our future children.

I personally think that he has been somewhat brainwashed into being anti-Catholic.

my boyfriend just does not want anything to do with Catholic church.

:rolleyes:

So let me get this straight.

Your new boyfriend with whom you already have arguments with is anti-Catholic, doesn't practise his faith anyway and can't respect your beliefs?

I'm sorry to be blunt but.. do you really love your faith?

Replace the words "Catholic" with "my family" in the posts above. Imagine he said these things about your family. Would you still be dating him? Would you still want to bring children into the world with this guy?

You are Catholic above all else.

I'm sure this guy is very nice, but he's not for you. I've seen these threads over and over and over and over again. You will start defending him, making excuses for him, tell us that you're making progress, and in 6 months you'll come back here and tell us it didn't work out :o

Save the heartbreak, you deserve a man who is strong in his faith who will bring you closer to Christ and His Church.


#5

I don’t think this has to be such a big problem.
Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus, and does he too? (I mean not just going to Church out of tradition and performing rituals and then feeling like you did your obligations, but actually praying and reading Scripture on your own.)
If Jesus is the centre of your lives then thats a huge thing to have in common. The geatest one actually.
An on-fire Catholic might meet a cafeteria Catholic or two Catholics who have totally different spiritualities (eg. charismatic and tridentine) might meet and have even bigger issues.

What bothers me then, is not that he is Lutheran, but that he seems uninterested in learning about your faith. That makes me wonder how much you really mean to him. Does he love you and respect you and find you intelligent?
If he does, why does he give you such simple answers which seem to indicate “his way or the high way” … thats not the thinking or action of a man in love.

I say this as a former Lutheran from a family of Lutherans. Some in my family are open to my faith, speak well of the Pope, read with interest and pleasure the books I recommend, and others are uninterested or wish to stay in their prejudices.


#6

I do have to agree with the other posters here. I married a non-Catholic Christian, but he was always willing to listen to my point of view, and often agreed with me, or changed his mind after I explained things my way. I was not too concerned about his non-Catholicism when we married, because he went through Catholic premarital counselling, was interviewed by our Priest and understood exactly what to expect in a marriage to a Catholic woman. He agreed to abide by the requirements of the Church, and I knew him well enough to know that he was a man of his word, and did not make this promise lightly.

Now, there are a few things he is a bit uncertain about, but he has told me that he will become Catholic very soon (as soon as we can get some instruction organised for him).

If my husband had not been so accepting of my religion, I would have been a fool to marry him. I was probably fool enough marrying him, because things may not have turned out so well for me - how could I have known then that he would eventually accept the faith?

If your boyfriend was willing to engage in objective debate (not heated, and in the interests of finding an answer, not of winning), then maybe there would be some hope for the future, but don't enter into a marriage if he is still unwilling to accept Catholicism, especially if you want your kids to remain faithful when they grow up. I heard a talk on Catholic radio the other day (can't remember who was speaking) about the number of children who continue to go to Mass as adults if their father was a regular Mass-goer. It was something like 30%. For those whose father didn't regularly go, it fell to 2%. I'll be pushing my husband a bit harder after hearing this, I think;)


#7

What are his specific objections to the Faith? Perhaps we could help answer them?


#8

In order to marry a non-Catholic, you have to get permission from your bishop. The bishop is supposed to only grant permission for a mixed marriage if there is a serious reason and a good hope that you will convert him rather than the other way around and you promise to raise the kids Catholic.

You should work on helping him convert and then worry about marriage. If you care about him, you should want to save his soul regardless of whether you two get married. But you also need to be able to see eye to eye on things after you get married and religion is a huge part of that. I would not consider marrying someone who was not a traditional Catholic, God is what really matters and it would be a huge problem raising the children without sharing the same philosophy of life.


#9

Please quote a source for these statements.
The Catholic spouse must be free to raise children in the faith, and the non-Catholic spouse must accept this, yes, but these other critieria that you mention like “serious reason and good hope of conversion”, I wonder where did you read that, because I study this stuff, but have nowhere noticed these criteria for permissions.

:confused:


#10

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]
I would hope that there are stories out there of couples who did make it work!

[/quote]

Define "make it work." The stories on here of people who "make it work" are either Catholics with a non-practicing spouse who were OK with them raising the children Catholic with no qualms, or Catholics who aren't really practicing their faith who have married protestants that are now raising the children as protestants.

How much of yourself are you willing to compromise.

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]
I am a cradle Catholic, I attend mass every week. I love my church and am comfortable in my faith. At the same time, I respect all people and their beliefs. My boyfriend is Lutheran, but is not as involved in his church. He is a good man, he believes in God, he treats me well, and I know he would make a great husband and father.

[/quote]

What sort of example and father for your children will a man who "believes in God" but doesn't go to church or practice his faith really be? Being a Christian is much more than being a "good person." Being a "good person" is not nearly enough.

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]
We are still in the early stages in our relationship, but the religion discussion recently came up and we are faced with our first real conflict. He is totally against Catholicism for him and our future children.

[/quote]

Well there you go. End of story. A Catholic must make a sincere promise to do all in their power to raise their children Catholic, A mixed marriage is always a serious undertaking and a precarious one. You already know he has deep and abiding prejudice and dislike of the Catholic faith. He's already stated that he is "totally against Catholicism".

What more do you need to hear?

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]

I know that as a Catholic, it is my obligation to raise my children Catholic. Is it possible to raise children sharing two different faiths?

[/quote]

No

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]

I see no problem in them being exposed to both Lutheran and Catholic, but my boyfriend just does not want anything to do with Catholic church.

[/quote]

You should rethink that. Trying to "raise" them in two religions will only cause confusion and will teach them relativism and indiffferentism. The two religions are not the same. A Catholic cannot participate in Lutheran communion and vice versa. The beliefs are different. The theology is different.

The fact that your boyfriend doesn't want anything to do with the Catholic church is simply evidence this is not the man you are meant to marry.

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]

I wish there was something I could do to make him see that all these horrible stories he's heard about the Church is not all it has to offer. It's not like I'm forcing him to be Catholic either, I just want him to accept that I would want our future children to be baptized and attend mass with me in the Catholic church.

[/quote]

Square peg, round hole. You cannot do anything to make him see anything. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. It may happen one day, and it may not. But, you cannot base a marriage pinned on hopes that someone will someday change.

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]

Besides the conflict on religion, we get along really well and agree on pretty much everything else. He's a great guy, and I certainly want it to work out. I just really want for him to meet me halfway.

[/quote]

Don't try to rationalize away this very real problem with a "but" statement. "But" he's really great in other ways. This is a show stopper if you are in any way serious about your religion and your future children.

[quote="clairejuliet, post:1, topic:237637"]

Do any of you feel that there is a compromise that could be work out in this situation? Is it possible for families of two different faiths come together and not have one faith dominate the other?

[/quote]

No.


#11

A non-practicing or dissenting Catholic is also not marriage material.


#12

[quote="GraceDK, post:9, topic:237637"]
Please quote a source for these statements.

[/quote]

Canon 1124 - requires permission of the bishop for a mixed marriage

Canon 1125 - lays out the requirements necessary for the bishop to give the persmission which includes the Catholic being free of any impediment of worship, removing any danger of defecting from the faith, and making the promise to raise the children Catholic.


#13

In many ways thats so true… however, lets be honest with ourselves here. There aren’t as many good Catholic men as there are good Catholic women. People will inevitably sometimes marry a non-Catholic.
I think there is a world of difference between a Protestant Christian who is serious about Jesus, and a Catholic who is only goes to church out of obligation. There is a huge difference between marrying a non-Christian and a Muslim or Hindu.

The Lutheran boyfriend might therefore be very good marriage material in my view… provided he had the interest and humility to learn about the differences between Lutheranism and Catholicism. His love for the OP ought to spur him on…


#14

[quote="1ke, post:12, topic:237637"]
Canon 1124 - requires permission of the bishop for a mixed marriage

Canon 1125 - lays out the requirements necessary for the bishop to give the persmission which includes the Catholic being free of any impediment of worship, removing any danger of defecting from the faith, and making the promise to raise the children Catholic.

[/quote]

Yet the interpretation we just saw was somehow streched a bit far. As far as I can see, there is no talk about hope of converting the other spouse as a criteria for permission to marry a non-Catholic.
Let's just agree to be precise when we quote the formal rules of the Church, alright?


#15

Or not marry. You present things as though there are only two choices. Pleasing God is should always be our first priority, and if that means not marrying then so be it.

And yet, both are problematic when it comes to marriage.

I would say the types of issues are different, but not less problematic in any unequally yoked relationship.

No way.


#16

The title of your thread made me want to jump in and say “Go for it!” But unfortunately, you’re not dating a LUTHERAN, you’re dating an ANTI-CATHOLIC.

Should a Jewish person date an anti-Semitic? Should a black person date a racist? While I do believe it’s possible for a relationship between a Lutheran and a Catholic to work out, I do not think it’s wise to date someone who is opposed to a fundamental part of who you are.


#17

I’m a Lutheran married to a Catholic and we do make it work. However it is an added stress to our marriage as we constantly sort out the religous aspect of the marriage.

There is one thing about your post that troubles me…that your boyfriend is anti-Catholic. I do not think my husband and I’s marriage would work if either one of us was Anti the other’s denomination. We both respect and honor the others denomination and focus on the fact that in the Grand Scheme of things the LCMS and RCC are pretty close in their doctrine.

If you can get your boyfriend to at least sort out what issues he has with the RCC that are actual real doctrinal differences and what are misconceptions, you might have a chance, but if he cannot get over that…I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to persue marriage with him.

What denomination of Lutheran is he? Also is he willing to pursue premarital counseling with you…that is a HUGE thing for interdenominational couples. Also you would need to work out a plan for attending church and how the kids are going to be raised.


#18

If he were open to children being raised in the Catholic Church then go for it - but since he is adamantly opposed better to cut it off now. It may show him either how important it is to you and cause him to start listening and behaving like an adult or it will save everyone much heartache.


#19

Thank you all for your responses. As much as I would like for this relationship to work, it might be best to confront him about his anti-Catholicism now rather than later. And if he is indeed unrelenting and unwilling to be open-minded and respect me and my faith, then I would have to end things with him.

I appreciate all your input, as hard as it was to read. Deep down, I knew that once I learned that about him, it probably wasn’t going to work out. But of course, I tried to justify things because everything else is ok. Truth of the matter is, if two people don;t share the same faith, it’s just really hard. Much more if one party is very narrow-minded about the issue.

I will try to find out more on what his reasons are for being anti-Catholic, and pray for him to be enlightened. Regardless if we don’t end up together, I still would want him to not have the hostility toward the Catholic faith.


#20

Even when a relationship is not meant to be, it is painful to see it end. I'll be praying for you as you discern your next step.


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