Inter-faith marriage - raising children of faith

I have been married for 9 years to my Baptist wife. We were married in the church and she had attended RCIA but decided not to convert just before the Easter vigil. When were were dating and after we were married she did not show a strong inclination to go to church with me or to the Baptist church. We moved to a new city and she went through a phase where she was a connoisseur of churches in the area, ultimately not attending any of them. We have three children, all baptized in the Catholic church. I take them to Mass with me and have the older two enrolled in RE classes. We moved again to the city where she was raised and she has shown an interest in going to church again.

Now she insists on taking the kids to church with her and enrolling them in Sunday school. She insists that she has no problem with me raising the kids Catholic, but it would have to be after her church service. To add to the situation, my oldest son has Asbergers and is defiant about going to church with me. My younger children have picked up on this and will also refuse and be difficult on Sunday mornings. My wife now tells them they dont have to go to church with me if they dont want to. She now has talked to our son about baptism in the Baptist church and is pushing him in that direction. This is taking a huge toll on our marriage, any advice would be appreciated.

This is such a sad situation. I have known several families with similar stories and it is very, very hard.

Here is my advice, but not from personal experience.

First of course, pray about this. Devout your daily rosary/prayers to this situation and the salvation of all your family.

Second, talk to your wife lovingly and charitably. Tell her that you are pleased that she is going to church again, but remind her that you have a responsibility to raise your children as Catholics. Your wife may be feeling pressure from family or old friends to be active in church and everyone would naturally expect her to bring her children. Be sensitive to this pressure, but also ensure that you can continue to teach your children the truth of the Faith. Especially since one or more of your children may be preparing for First Holy Communion.

Third, speak to your priest and ask for his advice, support, and prayers. He has also seen this before and may have some very helpful suggestions. Find out what possibilities there are for CCD. Your parish may have weeknight classes or a homeschool option that might work better for you.

Finally, figure out Mass times and create a new routine for your children. I know that people with Aspergers do better with routine and predictability. I highly recommend that you couple Mass with a fun “Sunday special” activity. So something like the traditional Mass and then a stop for doughnuts, or depending on your children’s ages and personalities a stop at the park or store, home for a special pancake meal, etc.

If timing works out you could plan to meet your wife for brunch after you both attend church. And don’t be completely opposed to everything done at the Baptist church. They shouldn’t regularly be attending services and Sunday school there, but something like watching a nativity play or lessons and carols service would be OK.

I am sorry but either you continue like this or tell your wife that as a Catholic you are obligated to bring up your children in the Catholic Church. I think the best thing to do is discuss this in more detail with a priest that can be done over the internet.
I want to add and this is not against you but for anyone reading this. There are several times people come on CAF with questions about dating and marring someone from another faith, or don’t even believe in anything. What the OP is talking about here is WHY
you should NOT marry someone outside of your faith. No matter what promises are made to you in the beginning about what you can practice or even accepting you bringing children up as Catholics. Things can change like OP’s wife and then you have a holy war on hand with confusion with your children on whose church or even no church they will attend in and believe.

Your wife made a promise not to interfere with you raising your children in the Catholic faith. She is definitely breaking that promise. Remind her that she gave her word that she would allow your children to be raised in our faith. This would be a deal-breaker for me, because my children deserve to have a strong belief in God, and to receive the sacraments. If she church-hops, they will end up with nothing.

This would be as intense for me as adultery. A promise broken is a promise broken. Very sad for you.

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