He's Hindu...

I posted about this a while ago, but I was not sure it was in the correct forum, and so I thought I’d re-post about it, as well as give a bit of an update.

About five months ago, I befriended a guy from India. Mind you, he lives in India, so our contact has been limited to countless hours of talking/IMing/Skyping. Initially, I do not think either of us considered anything other than a platonic relationship; however, things changed drastically. I could see it leading in this direction, and he eventually revealed to me that he loves me. Thing is, I think I am feeling the same way; he is everything I could ever hope for in a guy. ONLY problem? He’s Hindu.

His family is extremely tolerant of the Catholic faith, and they would not have a problem with him marrying a Catholic girl and raising his children in the Church. Lately, he’s even been asking me to educate him on Catholicism, and so I have been doing that to the best of my ability. The plan is that we will meet in person in about a year.

Could a relationship work under these circumstances? What is the Church’s stance on something like this? I do not want to do anything wrong, nor would I ever even consider leaving my faith for any man. I am just curious as to whether this could potentially work.

Thank you for your time. Please keep me in your prayers…I truly do not know what to do.

God bless

You have stated that his family is “extremely tolerant” of the Catholic faith and would not have a problem if he married a Catholic girl and raised the children Catholic. That sounds very promising. Do you think he would be willing to convert to Catholicism after being educated by you? If so, I don’t see any obstacles; if not, there might be, but I’m certainly no authority on the matter.

One other thing apart from religion: although he sounds wonderful to you online, you haven’t actually met him in person yet. Wait and see if you like each other as much after you meet and interact face-to-face. Also, how does your own family feel about this?

Read the Bible, and specifically the epistles of Paul. Such marriages are not allowed–you and your prospective husband would be “unequally yoked”–unless, of course, he converts. Merely being tolerant of Catholicism (and receiving Catholic education) do not change this.

Also, although this is irrelevant to what you are asking, remember that you do not even know him in person. He may turn out to be quite different from how you know him now.

As far as I’m concerned, I think the Church doesn’t allow the Matrimony with people of other religions, for the sake that the purpose for which people marry each other in the matrimonial context, which is basically turning two into one flesh, fulfilling their call to holiness by uniting with each other and have kids that will know the Gospel as well, and all that jazz. That’s far more of a problem when there’s one that doesn’t really agree with you on what marriage is all about.

This is a bit hurting to know for many people. I remember a documentary from East Timor of a Muslim woman who gave up the family and religion to be able to marry who she loved, and when she was asked why she converted, she simply smiled and said “because I love him!”. Wheter the “him” is directed towards the Lord or his husband can be a bit debatable. :rolleyes:

I really wish best of luck on this situation. I’m not the guy that falls much in love anymore, so I can’t really tell emotionally how it must feel to be in love with someone you just know by the Internet, and expecting so much to know him in person. But I can tell you one thing: I’ll be praying for you! :signofcross:

If your friend crossed the Tiber and joined us, it’d be super great, but until that happens (if that happens), I wish you the best of luck on dealing with this. God bless! :thumbsup:

I think some people can make it work, but it’s very difficult.

If you aren’t even going to be able to meet in person for another year, though, I’d caution you against making things too serious. Be open to meeting other men. You’re not really dating this guy; you’ve never actually met him.

He may think he loves you, but after 5 months of only internet communication I honestly don’t think that it’s possible for either of you to love the other. I don’t mean to be a downer, but I’d hate to see someone put their life on hold for an entire year for someone they’ve never even met.

Totally agree.

It’s not immoral or a sin to date/marry someone of another faith. But there are certain rules and dispensations that are going to need to be followed/taken. The kids would have to be raised Catholic to the best of the ability of the Catholic parent. The wedding would not be Sacramental, as he hasn’t been baptized, and so there’s a disparity of cult.

Plus there’s just the very differences in the faiths that may be an issue.

With Hinduism- it’s a polytheistic faith. According to some Hindu traditions Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed may all be incarnations of Vishnu. Other religions are often tolerated as they can be seen as aspects of Hinduism. This can be quite confusing for kids, and for some adults as well.

Actually, the Church does allow marriages between people of other religions, but there are certain requirements and caveats, like you mention. I’ll quote the relevant parts of the Catechism here:

In many countries, the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a baptized Catholic and a baptized non-catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of the couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

** Differences 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 a mixed marriage 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 the difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially in regards to the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise. ***

According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of the ecclesiastical authority. **In case of Disparity of Cult, an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage. ** This permission or dispensation presupposes that both parties know and do not exclude the essential ends and properties of marriage; and furthermore, that the Catholic party confirms the obligation, which have been made known to the non Catholic party, of preserving his or her own faith and ensuring the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church.

In marriages of disparity of cult, the Catholic spouse has a particular task: “For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband” (1 Cor 7:14) It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith. ***Sincere married love, the humble and patient practice of the family virtues, and perseverance in prayer can prepare the non-believing spouse to accept the grace of conversion.***(CCC 1633-1637)

So OP, the Church doesn’t forbid marriages between nonbaptized persons and Catholics, but it does require a dispensation. She is also very cautious and realistic, because differences in faith will make the marriage more difficult than it already is. But she also recognizes that God sometimes uses the baptized spouse as an instrument in the conversion of the other spouse.

Hope that helps a little.

Lorelei12 said:

“You’re not really dating this guy; you’ve never actually met him.”

Right. The clock starts once you meet in person and not a minute earlier.

I also think dating can be started online / long distance. It happens a lot now-a-days (though it is difficult). I met my boyfriend online, we’ve only been able to meet in person a few times, but we’re in contact every day.

Why go to the trouble of long distance dating a non-Catholic? I understand why an LDR might make sense if you live in a small US town and are holding out for a solid Catholic, but why do an LDR with somebody you haven’t met yet in person who isn’t that?

It can work and the Church will permit it if he promises to allow your children to be brought up Catholic and not interfere with your practice of your faith. The bigger issue is that you have not met him in person and you need to really know a person before considering marrying him.

But you have met him. That’s dating. Like Xantippe said, the clock starts when you actually meet the person.

Until you see someone in person, you don’t know whether what he or she is telling you is true. If you think he’s a nice guy, when you’re in person you can observe how he treats others- is he polite to waitstaff, did he hold the door open for that elderly gentleman, does he respect your personal space or try to make a move too soon, etc.

Before you meet, all you know is what he tells you. Could be true or not. To an extent this is true with dating too- many people end up finding out they’ve been misled. But it’s easier to discern what kind of person someone is in person.

OP, I know your question is about marrying someone who is Hindu. But I think you’re putting the cart before the horse. If you can’t meet him anytime soon, I’d remain friends and talk when you can, but don’t treat it as a relationship. If you’re too emotionally invested in it, and some great guy comes along and you’re too wrapped up in someone you’ve never met to the point you’re telling each other you’re in love and considering marriage- well, that could be a shame. If you’re still in touch and single later on when you can meet, fine, but it’s always wise to act in a way that is appropriate to the stage of a relationship.

Lorelei12 said:

“If you can’t meet him anytime soon, I’d remain friends and talk when you can, but don’t treat it as a relationship. If you’re too emotionally invested in it, and some great guy comes along and you’re too wrapped up in someone you’ve never met to the point you’re telling each other you’re in love and considering marriage- well, that could be a shame. If you’re still in touch and single later on when you can meet, fine, but it’s always wise to act in a way that is appropriate to the stage of a relationship.”

Yes!

I have known Hindus who have married Catholics. 1 was Hindu man who married a Catholic woman and another is a Catholic man who married a Hindu woman. Also know a Jewish man who married a Hindu woman. Having asked Christians about this, 1 told me that it’s not recommended for Christians to marry those of other faiths (Hindus, Jews) because those of the other faith will try to take you away from your faith.

But, that if a Christian married a Hindu, then the Christian must take care of the Hindu, kids that they have. Would like to know that with children born in a Christian-Hindu marriage, how would a priest regard children of this mixed marriage as it deals with baptism and so on? They are both different faiths which are not similar with Hindus having multiople gods, reincarnation and so on. Atleast with a Christian marrying a person who is Jewish, Muslim, they all worship the same God-yes Christians believe in Trinity, but Muslims say that they worship same God who they call Allah.

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