Interfaith marriage?


I was invited to a wedding at a Catholic Church in Las Vegas which supposedly marries people between two religions. They are known to perform these “interfaith” ceremonies. Is this something that the Roman Catholic Church accepts? I’m not sure if I should attend because of these circumstances.


If you are referring to an interfaith marriage between a Catholic and a person of another faith then sure, it happens quite often. If you are referring to a marriage between two people, neither of whom is Catholic, then I would question whether this is a “Catholic” church in communion with Rome. I seriously doubt that is allowed under current Canon law (I am sure someone will check and let us know).

About 40% of the marriages that occur in our diocese every year are interfaith marriages; but one of the two being married in the church must be a Catholic.


The Catholic Church allows Catholics to marry non-Catholics, with permission from the bishop (this is called dispensation from disparity of cult). If the ceremonies will take place in a Catholic parish, they should not be “interfaith ceremonies” but a Catholic wedding. The bishop can also, for sufficient reasons, allow a Catholic to marry in a Protestant church (dispensation from canonical form), but I think this is more unusual.

For more info, see this page from the USCCB.


Well, based on what I heard they will be a christian minister and a catholic priest performing the ceremony. Is this still within the Catholic Cannon Law?


If this is taking place at a Catholic parish, I would presume they have the appropriate dispensations.


I’m not sure if I should attend because of these circumstances.

Glad my family and friends didn’t feel this way when my Protestant husband and I (Catholic) married many years ago.


Cathy Caridi, J.C.L. gives the following opinion:

Canon law forbids that both a non-Catholic minister and a Catholic priest officiate together at the same wedding, so no compromise of that sort is possible. . . . Canon 1127.2 . . . notes that the Bishop may dispense a mixed marriage from canonical form . . . The dispensation allows the Catholic party to marry before a non-Catholic minister, in a non-Catholic ceremony . . . ." Source]

If so, it is conceivable that a valid ceremony could take place in which a priest and a Protestant minister are both present, but what exactly their roles could be I don’t know.


That would not apply in this situation since the ceremony will be taking place in a Catholic Church right? It is possible that the christian minister will simply be there and not particpate and possibly offer a blessing after the ceremony?


If the parish is listed on this website, then it is a Catholic Church in good standing and you may certainly attend:

Please note the special section on the bottom of the page entitled “schismatic communities”. These are not Catholic in union with Rome, and if the wedding is at one of these, you should not attend.


Sorry I can’t help further. I’d go with the others’ advice.


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