Interfaith marriages?


#1

My boyfriend is protestant (Church of England/Anglican) and I am a devout roman catholic. I love him and he wants to marry me, but I’m having doubts if an inter-faith marriage can work. Do interfaith marriages work if one or both the people are very religious?
thanks in advance.


#2

Church of England is not too far off theologically from Catholicism. Will he consider converting?


#3

I don’t have experience in an interfaith marriage, but DH and I were just thinking about this over the weekend. We both felt that we are EXTREMELY blessed to be married to someone who is on the same “spiritual page” as us. We are to strive to make God number one in our lives, and how difficult that would be if we were married to someone who perhaps resented us needing to go to Mass every Sunday or who didn’t understand why we want to go to Daily Mass sometimes during the week or make a Holy Hour or go to Confession regularly. We are “one flesh” and it is SUCH a gift to be able to be one not only physically and in the marriage relationship, but to be of one faith too. Our faith is the most important thing in our lives, over and above our parenting styles or our tastes for home decor or our philosophy about home life or anything else. What a blessing to be able to share it fully with one another. :slight_smile:


#4

Church of England is not too far off theologically from Catholicism. Will he consider converting?

no, but he said he was ok if we had kids and they were raised catholic


#5

Lily, This is a bad idea and the Church discourages mixed marriage.

Since you are both “devout” this, to me, spells double trouble. The two churches do not teach the same thing on so many topics, especially the moral ones.

You will have serious issues regarding children-- remember as a Catholic you must baptize and raise them as Catholics.

How will you explain these differences to them? How will you avoid confusing them? How can your husband be the spiritual head of the household when he holds to beliefs incompatible with the Catholic faith?

Think about fast and abstinence days, Holy Days, Mass every Sunday, family rosary and prayer time, moral issues such as contraception, and the confused message you will send to any children.

I suggest you find a devout Catholic who shares your faith, your values, and your practices and who wants to raise up children in a united household.

Yes, you will get many posts on here about how it “worked” for someone, but that does not mean it’s a good idea or that it will work out for you. Sometimes it only “works” because neither spouse is very devout or one spouse is irrelgious. When both are devout, that is a sign of sure trouble.

I think you should reflect on the fact that knowingly going in to a mixed marriage is unwise. You cannot predict the future. One day he may up and change his mind about the children’s relgious upbringing-- especially when the future kids become REAL kids. And, God forbid you get divorced and dad refuses to take the kids to Mass on “his” weekend.

Mixed marriage is so fraught with issues, and marriage is hard enough when you are united in faith, practice, belief. Don’t add extra burdens and perils right out of the gate.

Consult your pastor, but I think your apprehension says that you already in your heart know this is a bad idea.


#6

he is not particularly religious, i am


#7

Church of England is miles away from Catholicism. Do not underestimate this.


#8

Well, what I said above applies. But, add to it “why doesn’t daddy go to Mass?”

Fathers are the biggest factor on whether or not children practice their faith.

Do NOT go into a marriage with an irrelgious man. I cannot stress it strongly enough that this is a very serious issue.


#9

Is it not better that I am the one who is very religious and he is not that religious than both of us being very religious ?
There isn’t much chance of it working?


#10

No. Now you are just starting to rationalize.

Do you really think an irreligious man is the right person to head your household and form your children?

Why doesn’t Daddy go to Mass?
Why doesn’t Daddy pray the rosary?
I want to sleep in on Sunday like Daddy.

What happens on the moral issues-- contraception for example. Many non-Catholics, especially non-practicing Christians, see no problem with pornography, masterbation, etc. They also have no problem with getting sterilized. And, when you are trying to form you sons as Catholic men, who will be their example?

And, he certainly won’t be leading you toward heaven. That’s the *purpose *of marriage-- to work together to beget and raise children for the Kingdom.


#11

No it is not better. You can expect a lot of problems even when you marry a Catholic that thinks that he can pick and choose which teachings to follow.

My point is that it is quite difficult to find a partner that will fit your needs in an appropriate manner. You better dig into the details of your and his religious beliefs and see how far you are before even thinking about marriage.

For example as a Catholic you will get into a marriage until death will do you apart. As a protestant he will get into a marriage while being open to terminating it through divorce, his confession allows for that.


#12

Not necessarily. I know some high church Anglicans who are very close to Catholicism :slight_smile:

But, off topic. I agree with 1ke. I’m in an interfaith marriage. It’s much, much harder.

In your shoes I would leave the relationship and find a devout Catholic man.


#13

You may know some individual Anglicans who are “close” to Catholicism-- I was one of them before I converted.

However, that is not the same as saying Anglicanism, or Anglican *theology *as the post I was responding to indicated, and Catholicms are close.


#14

To answer the OP’s question, yes, an interfaith marriage can work. I am in one and have been married for 28+ years. My marriage is as strong or stronger than my sister’s and she married a Catholic!

Now, even though I am in an interfaith marriage that is working I have to tell you that my marriage is the exception rather than the rule (there is at least one other forum member in a similar marriage and that one is 38 or 39 years and going strong) as a result of this I do not recommend anyone do so.

I do recommend that you start praying about it, long and hard! No marriage should be entered into lightly and interfaith adds another dimension that is not always predictable! Talk with your Priest or Spiritual Advisor. Pray before the Blessed Sacrament, attend Mass more often than just on Sundays!

Brenda V.


#15

Yes, inter-faith marriages can work. My husband is part of the Protestant main-line Christian Church, while I am Catholic.

We do have to work at it, but we’re both very understanding of each other’s needs.

My only advice is this: Pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff.

It takes work, but it is possible to live in peace with someone of another church or faith.

Scout


#16

If you are blessed with sons, they will follow in dad’s spiritual footsteps. “I’m 15 and I do not want to go to Mass. DAD does not go to Mass, it is not a manly thing to go to Mass, real men do not go to Confession…” You would not want your sons to learn those lessons.

Best way to raise good Catholic children - give them a good Catholic dad.


#17

It won’t happen…sorry. He won’t have a problem with you practicing your faith, it’ll be a whole different story once kids come into the picture:shrug: , all bets are off then.

You’ll be in real trouble if he has a reconversion to his own faith, he’ll want his children to believe what he does, just like you’ll want them to believe what you do. Then you’ll be in quite a predicament cause the purpose of marrying is to help each other get to heaven, right? So you’ll want him to get closer to God, what will you do if the path he chooses is his faith and not yours?

Marriage is hard enough without having to struggle with what faith will be practiced in the home, if I knew then what I know now (plus some other things:o) I wouldn’t have married my soon-to-be former husband:thumbsup:!!!


#18

Everysingle interfaith marriage I have seen is rocky at best, especially when the Dad is the less religious of the two. Even in families where both parents are religious, if the dad does not set a good exaple of orthodox and committed catholic faith, his kids (esp. his sons) will not have a strong Catholic faith either. This I speak from expirience on, I never was all that religious from about when I was 10 until I was 17. Why? Well simply because it wasn’t something that I had to do. My Dad felt that going to the 10am mass took up too much of the day but because he could not get my mom and brothers and me up consistantly to go to the 8 am mass at my church we often didn’t go. Both my brothers are not very religous as a result of this and they definetly fit into a catagory of cafateria catholicism. I have seen this in plenty of other families as well. To me you need to be of the same faith and if you want your kids to be devout Catholic, both parents should be devout catholics.


#19

I have been married to a non Catholic for 15years and it is VERY hard.We are not able to talk religion except at a very superficial level.He is a non denominational Christian and is very committed to his church.My children are Catholic but First Communion, Christenings etc are quite sad without daddy there.Think carefully.


#20

Scout,

I’m glad you have found a way to make your marriage work, and I know you love your spouse. So, please do not take offense at my response to your above comment.

“Living in peace” seems such a minimal goal (especially someone in the OP’s situation of not yet married). The real goal should be to work together, shoulder to shoulder, for the Kingdom and each other’s salvation.

I don’t want to just “live in peace” with my spouse. I want to be actively engaged in the faith, actively forming my children, actively Catholic. That simply isn’t possible with a mixed faith marriage.


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