Engaged to a non-Catholic


#1

I just recently got engaged to a non-Catholic (Protestant) and we have come to an obstacle as to where we are going to get married. My family assumed it would be in a Catholic Church…however, we had decided that we wanted to marry in a non-Catholic church before we were engaged. Now, I’m being torn apart with my family. I was raised Catholic and my family are devout Catholics. What do I do? He doesn’t want to marry in the Catholic church because I would have to agree that our children would be raised Catholic and he doesnt’ want that. We both want a family that believes the same things and practices Christianity together. I know that there is a solution…any advice or thoughts?? Thank you


#2

[quote=beachieca]I just recently got engaged to a non-Catholic (Protestant) and we have come to an obstacle as to where we are going to get married. My family assumed it would be in a Catholic Church…however, we had decided that we wanted to marry in a non-Catholic church before we were engaged. Now, I’m being torn apart with my family. I was raised Catholic and my family are devout Catholics. What do I do? He doesn’t want to marry in the Catholic church because I would have to agree that our children would be raised Catholic and he doesnt’ want that. We both want a family that believes the same things and practices Christianity together. I know that there is a solution…any advice or thoughts?? Thank you
[/quote]

If you truly believed that as a Catholic you were following the whole truth, why would you be willing to compromise that for anyone? Jesus didn’t say it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.


#3

I would be willing to compromise because I am not sure about the Catholic faith anymore. My fiance has pointed out things that when he explains it makes perfect sense to me. To me, Christianity and Catholicism DO have their differences, but not so much that it should keep me from marrying someone I love. I don’t feel like I would be turning my back on God or that I would be missing out on anything. I know that that may sound wrong, but it’s how I feel. I know that the Catholic Church now recognizes Protestant marriages as valid or “real” marriages. I just wouldn’t be able to re-marry in the Catholic Church. For any future children, I would want them to have a strong background, belief and morals in Jesus Christ, know that he died for our sins, and obey the ten commandments. Of course, that isn’t all it entails, but for a beginning. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that not being a Catholic is reason to not get into heaven. Christians are saved just as Catholics are, correct?


#4

Hmm. Your last post tells more about you than you are probably aware of… I’m guessing you didn’t learn a lot about the Catholic faith when you were young? It’s just that you seem to have a lot of misconceptions about very general things.


#5

You mentioned that your parents are devout Catholics…and you? How important to you is your faith? You don’t have to answer these, they’re rhetorical, just something to think about.

I was the non-Catholic that my husband married and, trust me, if your faith is important to you at all, you do not want to circumvent it by marrying without the Church’s blessing. That’s what we did because I, at the time, couldn’t see the point of worrying what the Catholic church thought about our getting married. He gave in to me. We have had years of trying to get all the mess we created, straightened out.

Now in our case, I eventually converted but that may never be the case in your marriage. You guys need to sit down and really be honest about what is important to each of you religion wise. It may all be easy to overlook right now without children but believe me, when you do finally have children, that’s when the fireworks will begin. Also, just so you’ll know, it’s your job as a Catholic to raise your children Catholic regardless of where you “tie the knot.” Your husband, however, would not be required to “pledge” to do so.

My advice…if your fiance is willing…go discuss this with a priest before you make final decisions. At least that way you will both know your options. I wish with all my heart that I had done that. You can try selling this to your fiance as “it doesn’t hurt to listen.” If he cares about you at all, he will at least be willing to see how this will affect you and your beliefs.

My prayers are with you both. What you are taking on is a really big deal and will definitely have an impact on your future marriage.

Lisa


#6

When we care deeply for another person we become very vulnerable. Your fiance is causing you to doubt your faith and that is very sad. Satan works in strange ways. I will pray for you.


#7

[quote=beachieca]I would be willing to compromise because I am not sure about the Catholic faith anymore. My fiance has pointed out things that when he explains it makes perfect sense to me.
[/quote]

Okay, you’ve listened to your fiance, which is a good thing. Now, in all fairness, don’t you think you should listen to what the Church has to say? Whatever your issues with Catholicism are, why don’t you start a thread about each one and let us help you understand the Church’s position?


#8

Lisa-
Thank you for your input. This weekend we are going to talk to a Catholic Priest as well as a Pastor. Hopefully this will help things. He has been great about this whole thing…he’s open to talk about both religions, read scripture from the Bible, go and talk to a Priest…he’s great. I honestly do not have a problem getting married in a Christian church…nor raising any future children in the Christian church. I know people that have done it and were successful at raising a healthy family. A family friend of ours was Catholic and married a Protestant and things went great. I believe that the situation would be different if he were Muslim or Mormon, but that is not the case. Our faiths have many things in common…not everything, but the basics. I’m willing to do this beacuse I love him and I don’t think that we would have gotten this far if we weren’t supposed to be together. Maybe that sounds dumb…but it’s how I feel. Like I think I said earlier…I am not turning my back on God or anything like that. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I was doing something to that extreme.


#9

[quote=beachieca]I just recently got engaged to a non-Catholic (Protestant) and we have come to an obstacle as to where we are going to get married. My family assumed it would be in a Catholic Church…however, we had decided that we wanted to marry in a non-Catholic church before we were engaged. Now, I’m being torn apart with my family. I was raised Catholic and my family are devout Catholics. What do I do? He doesn’t want to marry in the Catholic church because I would have to agree that our children would be raised Catholic and he doesnt’ want that. We both want a family that believes the same things and practices Christianity together. I know that there is a solution…any advice or thoughts?? Thank you
[/quote]

It would not be worth getting married outside the Catholic Church. We are to always put Christ first even before loved ones on issues where there should no compromise. We should not compromise the graces that are to be received in a Catholic wedding ceremony nor should we ever compromise the way we raise our children. It is not always easy to do the right thing but that does not change what we must do. As a future parent you ot would appear to me that your would have a moral obligation to raise your children in the Catholic Church no matter where you got married for the good of their souls. My advice would be to discuss this matter further with a GOOD spiritual director in your diocese before making a final decision. The spiritual director could clear up anything that I may not have time to explain completely.The marriage should be in a Catholic Church unless a proper dispensation is granted by the bishop. You will be in our prayers.

God bless,

Larry B


#10

You will not be happy if you marry this person and leave the Catholic faith. It may seem fine for a while but eventually you will have an emptiness in your life.


#11

[quote=Kay Cee]Okay, you’ve listened to your fiance, which is a good thing. Now, in all fairness, don’t you think you should listen to what the Church has to say? Whatever your issues with Catholicism are, why don’t you start a thread about each one and let us help you understand the Church’s position?
[/quote]

I have listened the the Church…I know that I have to be fair on all sides of this issue. Together we have read scriptures that are meant to support things such as purgatory, papal infallibility and Mary the Mother of God. But the more I read it and think about it the more I see that it may not have been meant to be interpeted the way the Catholic church does.


#12

[quote=shannin]You will not be happy if you marry this person and leave the Catholic faith. It may seem fine for a while but eventually you will have an emptiness in your life.
[/quote]

That is a possiblity…but I don’t think that is going to be the case. Have you had experience? Why do you think that?


#13

I would be willing to compromise because I am not sure about the Catholic faith anymore. My fiance has pointed out things that when he explains it makes perfect sense to me. To me, Christianity and Catholicism DO have their differences, but not so much that it should keep me from marrying someone I love. I don’t feel like I would be turning my back on God or that I would be missing out on anything. I know that that may sound wrong, but it’s how I feel. I know that the Catholic Church now recognizes Protestant marriages as valid or “real” marriages. I just wouldn’t be able to re-marry in the Catholic Church. For any future children, I would want them to have a strong background, belief and morals in Jesus Christ, know that he died for our sins, and obey the ten commandments. Of course, that isn’t all it entails, but for a beginning. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that not being a Catholic is reason to not get into heaven. Christians are saved just as Catholics are, correct?

Sorry, I missed the second post. I was busy writing. This answers a lot.

My advice for you is about the same…you should go to a priest and ask him these questions so you will know for sure what you are about to do. You have certain responsibilites simply because you are Catholic. And frankly, what you are willing to give away due to lack of understanding is the pearl of great price.

I’m not saying Protestants are bad by any means or that they are devoid of God. I love the Baptist church that I grew up in and gave me such a good grounding in my faith (35 years of it). I’m concerned that you don’t fully understand what you’re walking away from. Your fiance can not explain the Catholic church for you; he has very little knowledge of what it is. Catholicism is grossly distorted in Protestant circles (not out of malice though). If this issue is worrying you enough to ask questions here, I would say that the Holy Spirit is “speaking” to you and it’s time to stop and listen. Learn about what you have (the Church and your faith from Catholics) before you toss it all away…be sure you’re making the right decision, don’t guess.

In genuine love and concern,
Lisa


#14

[quote=shannin]When we care deeply for another person we become very vulnerable. Your fiance is causing you to doubt your faith and that is very sad. Satan works in strange ways. I will pray for you.
[/quote]

I don’t see it as Satan working. I see it as I may not believe what the Catholic Church. I am NOT denying Christ as my savior and in my heart I know what I stand for in my relationship with Christ. My fiance may be the reason why I have quesitons…but there is nothing wrong with questions. Am I wrong? If I were changing my faith in a more dramatic/drastic way then I would be more concerned about myself. But that isn’t the case.


#15

[quote=beachieca]I would be willing to compromise because I am not sure about the Catholic faith anymore. My fiance has pointed out things that when he explains it makes perfect sense to me. To me, Christianity and Catholicism DO have their differences, but not so much that it should keep me from marrying someone I love.
[/quote]

I don’t want to start out our first discussion by having to disagree with you, but I must–for your sake and the sake of any children you may have.

First of all, there is no difference between “Christianity and Catholicism.” They are one and the same thing. Catholics are Christians–the first Christians who belong to the Church founded by Jesus himself. What your fiancé is doing is wrong. He isn’t allowing you to understand your own Church’s teachings as it teaches them but is substituting what he thinks are the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why would you trust him more than the Church or not even take the time and trouble to find out what the Church actually teaches?

As to marrying someone you love. If your fiancé really loved you he wouldn’t want to do anything to damage your faith, but would be more than willing to understand what your Church teaches before asking you to abandon it for a Protestant one.

I don’t feel like I would be turning my back on God or that I would be missing out on anything. I know that that may sound wrong, but it’s how I feel.

Our feelings are the last thing in the world we should trust when trying to seek out what is true. The whole of the truth in matters of faith and morals subsists within the Church Christ founded–the Catholic Church and no other–the fullness that is. Every Protestant church contains some of the truth and a good deal that isn’t true, but none of them have the fullness of the truth.

As to not missing anything–how about the Holy Eucharist, which is the real body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ himself? Would you really want to abandon Jesus’ ultimate gift to you–his very self–just so you can marry a man who would rob you of the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament out of ignorance and bias? Don’t you know that Christ himself gave himself to us under the appearance of bread and wine? What could be more important than that?

I know that the Catholic Church now recognizes Protestant marriages as valid or “real” marriages. I just wouldn’t be able to re-marry in the Catholic Church.

I’m sorry but your marriage wouldn’t be a Protestant one between two Protestants. It would be a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant with no dispensation from your bishop to marry outside the Catholic Church, and so it would not be recognized as a marriage by the Catholic Church.

For any future children, I would want them to have a strong background, belief and morals in Jesus Christ, know that he died for our sins, and obey the ten commandments. Of course, that isn’t all it entails, but for a beginning. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that not being a Catholic is reason to not get into heaven. Christians are saved just as Catholics are, correct?

If you leave the Church for a Protestant denomination you will be telling Jesus that the Church he founded isn’t good enough for you and your children. Is that really what you want to do? If you don’t find out what your own Church teaches from a reliable Catholic or Catholic source, you will be abandoning what you don’t even understand. The Catholic Church is Christ’s one, true Church. Take it from someone who wandered through various forms of Protestantism and found them all hollow compared to the incomparable riches of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.


#16

Did you know that Catholics are Christians too?

[quote=beachieca]Our faiths have many things in common…not everything, but the basics.
[/quote]

Does his church believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Unless your husband is Orthodox, you will be unable to receive the true Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.


#17

This may be a little off topic, but if you have some doubts about your Catholic faith (as I did at one point), I would recommend reading a booklet by Paul Whitcomb called ‘Confession of a Roman Catholic’.

Paul was a craddle Protestant and was very Anti-Catholic. His conversion to Catholicism was a very powerful influence on me, especially in some basic doubts that I had about fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith.

It’s a small investment too (two dollars for the book and only 55 pages long; it is a booklet, with pages about the size of the palm of your hand).

It may not help you with your marriage question, but it may help you with some of your questions about the faith.

Perhaps you and your fiance could meet with a Catholic priest and discuss some of the issues that he and maybe even you have about the faith.

Peace… :slight_smile:


#18

[quote=beachieca]I have listened the the Church…I know that I have to be fair on all sides of this issue. Together we have read scriptures that are meant to support things such as purgatory, papal infallibility and Mary the Mother of God. But the more I read it and think about it the more I see that it may not have been meant to be interpeted the way the Catholic church does.
[/quote]

I am sorry you have left our Faith-Ill be praying for you.


#19

[quote=Larry B]It would not be worth getting married outside the Catholic Church. We are to always put Christ first even before loved ones on issues where there should no compromise. We should not compromise the graces that are to be received in a Catholic wedding ceremony nor should we ever compromise the way we raise our children. It is not always easy to do the right thing but that does not change what we must do. As a future parent you ot would appear to me that your would have a moral obligation to raise your children in the Catholic Church no matter where you got married for the good of their souls. My advice would be to discuss this matter further with a GOOD spiritual director in your diocese before making a final decision. The spiritual director could clear up anything that I may not have time to explain completely.The marriage should be in a Catholic Church unless a proper dispensation is granted by the bishop. You will be in our prayers.

God bless,

Larry B
[/quote]

I don’t see why a compromise in inappropriate. Marriage is full of compromises…I understand where you’re coming from but I just don’t see it that way. question…what do you mean when you say that " unless a proper dispensation is granted by the bishop?"


#20

[quote=beachieca]I don’t see it as Satan working. I see it as I may not believe what the Catholic Church. I am NOT denying Christ as my savior and in my heart I know what I stand for in my relationship with Christ. My fiance may be the reason why I have quesitons…but there is nothing wrong with questions. Am I wrong? If I were changing my faith in a more dramatic/drastic way then I would be more concerned about myself. But that isn’t the case.
[/quote]

But you are changing you Faith in a drastic way. You are leaving the One True Church, the Church founded by Jesus Christ himself for a faith that is but a pale shadow of what you are leaving.


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