Interfaith relationship


#1

i am a Christian and my boyfriend is not. (neither one of us is catholic). I have always heard from other protestants that 2 corinthians 6:14 means that Christians shouldn't marry non-christians (as in, it would be a sin to marry a non-christian). But I heard that in the catholic church it is okay as long as the kids are raised Catholic. Is this true? If so how do you interpret 2 corinthians 6:14? I am starting to think about the possibility of marrying my boyfriend. He said he would be fine with our kids being raised christian.


#2

Mixed marriages and disparity of cult

1633 In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

1634 Difference 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 mixed marriages 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 these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise.

1635 According to the law in force in the Latin Church, a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority.137 In case of disparity of cult an express dispensation from this impediment is required for the validity of the marriage.138 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 obligations, 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.139

1636 Through ecumenical dialogue Christian communities in many regions have been able to put into effect a common pastoral practice for mixed marriages. Its task is to help such couples live out their particular situation in the light of faith, overcome the tensions between the couple’s obligations to each other and towards their ecclesial communities, and encourage the flowering of what is common to them in faith and respect for what separates them.

1637 In marriages with 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."140 It is a great joy for the Christian spouse and for the Church if this “consecration” should lead to the free conversion of the other spouse to the Christian faith.141 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.

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


#3

It’s not really something that’s considered “OK.” Experience has shown that marriage is difficult enough as it is. When there is not a shared faith between the partners, it’s even harder and has sometimes led to the breakup of the marriage.

The Catholic Church, and for that matter, the Orthodox Church, tolerate such marriages lest something worse might happen.

But the Orthodox Church flat out forbids her members to marry an unbaptized person.


#4

[quote="victory, post:1, topic:180650"]
i am a Christian and my boyfriend is not. (neither one of us is catholic). I have always heard from other protestants that 2 corinthians 6:14 means that Christians shouldn't marry non-christians (as in, it would be a sin to marry a non-christian). But I heard that in the catholic church it is okay as long as the kids are raised Catholic. Is this true? If so how do you interpret 2 corinthians 6:14? I am starting to think about the possibility of marrying my boyfriend. He said he would be fine with our kids being raised christian.

[/quote]

Hi Victory

Kib has given you the accurate Catholic position on this
.
I think you should not view 2 Corinthians 6:14 as forbidding you to marry a non-Christian (is he an atheist or of some non-Christian faith?). Rather you should treat it as an "alarm bell". Marriage is built on the foundations of faith, belief, trust and shared morality. If faith, beliefs and morality differ, your foundations are always potentially shaky. When storms rage, are those foundations going to hold? They may do, and it may be that you share a very happy and fulfilled marriage, but if your mutual foundations are shared, you have set up a far more reliable foundation for your marriage. And this foundation should not be underestimated!

The fact that your boyfriend said that he was happy for you to raise your children as Christian is positive. It shows he has a willingness to compromise. But you also need to consider what example he would be setting for your children by "allowing" one thing for them, yet "practising" another for himself.

A shared faith and spiritual / moral code is incredibly powerful and the most solid foundation one can have for a marriage. I can not tell you what is right or wrong in your situation, but I would advise you to consider things very carefully before you make a commitment to him for life...

I will pray that God guides you in your decision here.... don't rush into things...

God bless

Patrick


#5

[quote="victory, post:1, topic:180650"]
i am a Christian and my boyfriend is not. (neither one of us is catholic). I have always heard from other protestants that 2 corinthians 6:14 means that Christians shouldn't marry non-christians (as in, it would be a sin to marry a non-christian). But I heard that in the catholic church it is okay as long as the kids are raised Catholic. Is this true? If .

[/quote]

It is not "OK" for a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic or a non-Christian. It is specifically prohibitted in canon law. However like many laws about marriage it is one for which the Catholic's own bishop may grant a dispensation, which he will do only for a good reason and only with assurance that the Catholic's faith will not be in danger. Yes the Catholic has to promise to do all that he can to raise children as Catholic and bring them to the sacraments. Their marriage preparation should also deal with the specific challenges of a mixed marriage. All the other laws also apply--both are free to marry, no previous valid marriage for either etc.


#6

[quote="victory, post:1, topic:180650"]
i am a Christian and my boyfriend is not. (neither one of us is catholic). I have always heard from other protestants that 2 corinthians 6:14 means that Christians shouldn't marry non-christians (as in, it would be a sin to marry a non-christian). But I heard that in the catholic church it is okay as long as the kids are raised Catholic. Is this true? If so how do you interpret 2 corinthians 6:14? I am starting to think about the possibility of marrying my boyfriend. He said he would be fine with our kids being raised christian.

[/quote]

Well, it's a bit more serious than just being "ok" in the Catholic Church.

The Church *forbids *Catholics from marrying non-Catholics. Any attempt to do so is an invalid marriage. There are provisions in Church law for those who *insist *on taking this perilous course. In those cases, the Bishop can give permission for a mixed marriage (to a non-Catholic, baptized person) or a dispensation from disparity of cult (marriage to a non-baptized person). Permission/dispensation is required for the marriage to proceed. And, the Bishop might not give it if there are concerns.

The Church *discourages *such unions because they are very perilous to the Catholic's spiritual well-being as well as children brought into the marriage.

The Church, out of mercy, allows those who *refuse *to heed her warning to marry if the Bishop truly believes the Catholic will be able to freely practice their religion and raise the children Catholic.

But, just because the Church tries to care for all her children spiritually-- even those who insist on mixed marriages-- does not mean it's a good idea or something that should be entered into lightly.

The verse in Corinthians is worth paying attention to when discerning a spouse. Faith and the practice of your faith is at the heart of who you are (or should be). Children look at the example of BOTH parents. You can read story after story of people who entered a mixed marriage thinking it would just all "work out" only to post on here about how lonely they are going to church by themselves, how they fight with the kids to get them to go to church because "daddy doesn't go," how they feel so lonely and isolated in their prayer life, how there are arguments over moral issues in the marriage.

I wouldn't recommend it, it's a lonely, difficult path. But, ultimately the decision is yours.


#7

Definitely agreed.

We’ve had this discussion a few times before. I am the child of a very happy marriage between THE most orthodox obedient-to-Rome Catholic you could ever imagine and a woman who although baptised Catholic was adamantly not Catholic until about six months before she died of cancer. She was equally adamantly 100% behind Dad’s raising us as Catholic - “if your father thinks it is best for you then that is what you will do”.

Please **do not **tell me again that she must have compromised her own beliefs to do this. She did not. I was there and I knew her.

Hoenstly, the idea of my father *refusing *to heed the Church’s warnings and being allowed, in the Church’s mercy, to *insist *on taking this *perilous *course is absolutely, utterly, laughable.

I do understand that you are trying to get the OP to understand that This. Is. Serious. Which it is - nobody took it more seriously than my Dad. To the OP - listen up to the gist of what 1ke is saying to you. It reads to me as though the OP needs this dire warning.

But please - word your advice in a way that shows a modicum of respect for such marriages that do work. I understand your advice and your choice of wording is not personally aimed at my parents - but my parents’ choice to marry falls within the scope of your language and there was nothing perilous or “refusing” or in need of mercy, and no foolhardy “insistence” in their decision at all, thank you very much. There is not one of the many, many priests that knew my family over the years that would think for an instant that their marriage was not God’s particular will for both of them.

Again - none of this is intended to negate the good sense of your advice, but as a child of such a marriage, I take strong exception to your wording.

The fact that is sometimes works doesn’t mean that it often works, and chances are the OP’s case is not one of the rare ones that does, but they are out there.


#8

my husband was baptized baptist and i was baptized in the church of christ. i am now converting to catholic...my husband is not. But...he is EXTREMELY supportive in raising our girls catholic and has even asked questions before doing or saying anything about our new religion. my husband said "anything you need to do i am behind you!!"


#9

Perhaps you should not read my posts if they disturb you to this degree. I am not going to stop warning people against mixed marriages.

Your father was not in a mixed marriage. The topic of this post is mixed marriage. Your father married a Catholic. Marrying a non-practicing Catholic is a peril, but of a different kind. And, it is not forbidden by the Church nor does it require permission or dispensation from the Bishop to do so.

Your father married a Catholic.

The Church forbids her children to marry non-Catholics. It requires special permission or dispensation from the Bishop to do so. This permission has not, in all times and places, been given at all. The Church, in this modern world, does allow it out of mercy for those who insist on it. That’s the facts. I’m sorry you don’t like them.


#10

[quote="1ke, post:9, topic:180650"]
I am not going to stop warning people against mixed marriages.

That's the facts. I'm sorry you don't like them.

[/quote]

Read what I wrote.

Point out in my post where I said you should stop warning people against mixed marriages. I did quite the opposite. (And my parents did need a dispensation - they were treated as a mixed marriage. Whether right or wrong, that is how the priest and bishop saw fit to act. In day-to-day practical terms she was certainly not Catholic. She did not accept many fundamental Catholic beliefs and was raised by strongly anti-Catholic nominal "Protestants".)

Point out in my post where I said I did not like the facts. I don't know where you got that from. I did not comment at all on the facts. I commented on choice of language and its blanket application. As I thought was quite clear in my first post.


#11

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