Inter-Faith Couples Club


#1

For those in interfaith relationships, whether now or formerly [one of you has converted], so that we can talk and hang out. For advice on how to deal with conflicting views, for support from others who know what it’s like. Generally for those that believe it can work out and want a place to talk to others who are in the same boat. :slight_smile:


#2

I like this idea. My boyfriend is Catholic, I’m non-religious. However, the more I’m with him and his Catholic friends, the more I think of converting. We do have disagreements, but usually they’re not so much about religion as about duties toward friends and family. He has much higher expectations about helping others even if it makes life difficult for yourself - like lending your last $50 to a friend. I admire him for his beliefs, but it’s hard to live like that.


#3

I love this idea! I am currently dating a Lutheran man, the issue of faith has not come up too much, although we are in the beginning stages our relationship. I am excited because I am in charge of planning the Awakenings retreat at my university. He is coming even though he has transferred to another school and I cannot be on Awakenings with him. (anybody who has been on this retreat will know what the deal is.) I’m trying so hard not to spill the beans, I can’t wait til next month when we have the retreat!


#4

Great Idea! I was baptised Catholic as a baby but never confirmed. When I first met my wife religion was not important to me and we rarely talked about it. I finally came home last Easter and God is the center of my life now but my wife is agnostic although she was baptised Lutheran. We have a great relationship and respect each others beliefs. I pray for her conversion and have told her that is my goal. I do not preach to her but hopefully by my witness she will come around. It may be working she asked if she could go with me to Christmas Eve Mass and I was delighted.
It would be great to talk to others about this.


#5

Glad everyone likes the idea! I saw how many posts there are about this subject and how it would be a benefit to talk amongst ourselves.

Inter-Faith relationships seem to be an issue- perhaps not a hot topic, but it’s certainly interesting. The Church allows it, but it’s discouraged… some people will look down on it, advise otherwise, and some will cheer it. It can be pretty confusing, honestly. There will be moments when you’re stuck between the ideas of the Church and the wish to side with your significant other. And on the flip side, there’s the wish to do what you think could be right or fine, which your religious s/o doesn’t agree with.

First of all, the basic facts are as such.
-These kinds of relationships are allowed in the Church. They are not encouraged, but neither is the Catholic sinning. *
-Two baptized persons can have a Sacramental marriage, if one party isn’t baptized it’s a natural and valid marriage. One needs a dispensation for either from the Bishop.
-It isn’t easy. To have two things so dear to you, the Church and the person you consider your significant other / other half / spouse conflicting on certain things is tough. But I do believe that it can be done. It has been done, for that matter, and no doubt it’ll work in the future more than once as well.

As for my personal story, my boyfriend and I have been together almost a year and a half. I’m the Catholic and he’s generally not religious, somewhat of a deist. Both of us like debates, and conflicting views spark discussions often-- but it isn’t an attempt to convert the other [not technically…:p] it’s just a chat. We’ve gotten it to work, figured out the rules, compromised what can be compromised and lived with that can’t be.

I think for these kinds of things to work, most importantly there has to be a level of empathy and a respect. And of course love. The Catholic has to realize that the other may have grown up learning there is no God, or Catholics are evil, or… many other beliefs, some Christian, some as different as Wicca. And the non-Catholic has to realize that the Catholic has a set of rules that they have to live by, whether or not some of them seem outdated or illogical.

I can’t speak for couples of two religions in which neither is Catholic, but I think the general idea is the same. Respect, love… things that you need in every relationship, but to some degree need more of it when religious views don’t agree.

^^;; Heh, rather long post, but I wanted to be able to say all that and give my view. Feel free to comment, agree or disagree.*


#6

Marrying a Baptist soon. However the church she goes to seems to have a lot in common with the CC. Only real difference, theology wise, I can see is authority.

Sticky situation with the ceremony though.

Plan A Catholic ceremony in CC, THEN Protestant one at PC
Plan B Ceremony in a “neutral” place such as this beautiful country club…but of course need that piece of paper saying it will be valid if I get married there.

Anyway just wanted to keep this thread alive.

Peace all!


#7

Good stuff! I like it! I’m married to a wonderful, most beautiful evangelical who truley loves the Lord and gives herself to Him daily. We were on the same page of faith [non-denom Protestants] untill a few months ago when my heart was made aware of the true Church’s teachings. [Praise God!] Now I’m pretty much Catholic in my heart and mind, just not yet official. I’m patiently waiting for God’s timing on this one. My wifes heart is not ready for my conversion at this point. Daily prayer of our openess to His will [no matter what it is] and His Guidence is getting us through it. Not easy but making it.

Jamie


#8

Hi

Yep, good idea. Don’t really have much to say on the subject at this moment in time, but will keep an eye on this thread.

Andy


#9

Bump?

And I also wanted to make a comment here. I’ve noticed a few more people in interfaith relationships on the board- either asking for advice or, in a few places, posting that they’ve broken up.

How is everyone? New people want to post here?

I just went to a Catholic weekend conference over at a nearby college. It was fun- good to be in a group of devout Catholics. Slightly does make one sad that your s/o isn’t Catholic, but not personally enough to end anything- Pray? Oh, very much so. But prayer is a positive while the other’s a negative.

One person asked in another thread, why those in interfaith relationships would advise others to not be in them, while sticking with their spouse or boy/girlfriend.

In answer? I don’t advise against it purely because of religion- but it is an experience that requires an amount of faith in God that you’ll stick with your religion, and a great amount of love [and possible debating skills] to be with your love.

Again, half a Bump and half just thoughts meant to perhaps start a discussion. New members are welcome ^^


#10

**The only reason I don’t think interfaith marriages are a good idea is for the sake of the future children.

Sure two adults who love and respect each other can have a very beautiful marriage even if they are of different faiths… but enter the children and things can** get hairy. Someone always has to end up explaining why mommy or daddy’s church is not right and the Catholic parent will have a very hard time with the “one true faith” aspect if equal time is spent on two different religions.

When my hubby and I married I was pretty much non-religious and he was just coming back to the Catholic faith after some time away (that whole young adult thing:shrug:). Thanks be to God that the Holy Spirit showed me the path God had layed out for me and I converted 6 years into our marriage. THEN we had our daughter. I know things would have been tough if we had not been on the same religious page.

So, having been in both types of relationship (with the same person!) I can honestly and truly say that sharing a faith with a spouse is such a blessing and a gift. I know that there are many interfaith marriages that “work” so I will not condemn them, but from my own experience I will definitely be sharing with my daughter (and any future children) why marrying a person of the same faith is important:thumbsup:


#11

to the OP

Great idea. In order to find out something or believe horror stories, we must talk about it.

My parents were married in 1956 in the Catholic Church. My mother is Baptist. We were raised Catholic and on occasion we went to the Baptist Church. My parents were married almost 50 yrs before my dad died. Yes, it can work. As for the children…myself and siblings…we are all doing fine. We were never confused.


#12

Update on my relationship: well, we’re still in it, and still planning to get married. There are a whole bunch of issues to deal with first, mostly to do with his kids from his previous marriage and international immigration laws, that are going to make it at least two years, I figure, until we can get married. In the meantime, I’ve been learning about Catholicism and investigating whether it’s something I can commit to and raise my kids in. (I’m the non-Catholic one, by the way - raised with no religion.) Since I’m going to be a step-mom as soon as we get married, the time to figure it out is now.

I was just chatting about this the other night with my friend, a Hindu who just got engaged to a Catholic woman (although neither of them is practicing). Neither of them has done any research into the other’s religion or beliefs. “What’s the point?” my friend asked. “We’re not practicing. I’m sure it’ll be fine if I take our kids to Temple on special occasions. She won’t mind.” I pointed out that both of them have an obligation to their religion to raise their children in their faith, so they’d better at least find out what the other may be teaching and make sure they don’t have a problem with it. You never know who’s going to have a reversion of faith once little Junior comes along.

For me, I came on CAF to figure out what it is that our future kids will be learning in Catholic schools and from my boyfriend. I realized pretty early on that I have no problem with what they’ll be learning - in fact, the rules make a lot of sense to guide people in a happy life. That kind of leads me to wonder why it would be okay for my children but not for me, which is why I’m investigating becoming Catholic.


#13

Hi

Nope, sorry … i’m no longer in an inter-faith relationship. Couldn’t do it, i got really annoyed everytime people on here went on about ‘if you loved her, you would abide by her beliefs’ … Surely by that logic if she loved me, she’d follow my ways then ??. It just seemed unfair, i was the one that felt like i was making sacrifices while she continued as normal.

Andy


#14

There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your spouse of many years go off alone to her new church - unless it’s sitting next to her in yours knowing she has rejected the fullness of the truth and is there only to support family unity with the children.

In my opinion, a mixed marriage is extremely difficult if both people are serious about their religion. Even if both are Christian. I can’t even imagine the problems with outside faiths.

If one member is ambivilient, then it might work ok. If both are true-believers, though, the strain is so immense that it can crush your soul.


#15

Great thread idea. I’ll add my story later, but I have been in an interfaith marriage for 18 years now. It can work, but not easy.


#16

Oh good thread idea. I’m married to a man who is not a Christian. He is a fantastic husband and father. But the PP who said it’s hard when it comes to the kids is right. We have a 1 month old baby. I’m fortunate my DH has no problems with me baptizing our baby and taking him to church with me, but it is tough knowing that I’m totally responsible for teaching him the faith and there will be conflicting viewpoints from Dad. Still if I had the chance to do it over again I would not have married a different man. (It was me who changed beliefs- DH has believed the same thing since we started dating 5 years ago, but I used to be a lapsed Anglican and now I’m planning to convert)


#17

Noticed a few more interfaith/religion threads showing up. Thought I’d bump this up.

:slight_smile:


#18

Hi,

I"m in an interfaith relationship right now and have been for the past year or so. My boyfriend is Christian, holds to an armianism type theological viewpoint. We have many many things we agree on, but also the obvious disagreements as well. He doesn’t believe in birth control (huge plus) and believes there is a real presence in the holy communion, but thinks one can get it in any church. I’m actually struggling right now, with whether this will work in the long run or not. I know it can between the two of us, but if we get married and children are involved, how will this work out? Can it? I love him dearly and can’t imagine not being with him, but there is a certain loneliness in it as well, having that certain amount of division there. We go to eachother’s churches, I go with him to an evangelical church and he goes to Catholic Mass with me. He loves the Lord very very much and is now considering going to seminary as he wants to get a PH D eventually and teach. What are some others views on this. Would you struggle if your s/o wanted to go to seminary and become more and more grounded in their evangelical faith? I think I can look at it in a positive way, But sometimes I’m not sure.

It’s nice to have others to talk to about this.

Thanks


#19

I’ll bump this too.

I’m married to a Catholic Man, whom I love very much. We struggle with religon, but are working through it. We so need a interfaith marriage club :slight_smile:

Also, might I request that if your only purpose is to say Interfaith marrige is bad or hard stay off. Only helpful stuff please.


#20

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.