Interfaith relationsiips


#1

Hi,
I was wondering if anyone has experience with interfaith relationships. My son met a wonderful girl that is Jewish (reform but still Jewish) and although they aren’t seriously considering marriage (only 19) and he wouldn’t convert, do they ever work out?
I’ve known couples at work that are interfaith but never really felt comfortable asking how they raise the children. I don’t think you can ever do both as some say, there is a big difference and you can’t gloss over it, but I wondered if anyone knew of a case where it did work? Does the Jewish partner just have to say you can raise the child catholic?
I am part of a bi-racial marriage (24 years) and live in a wonderful multi-cultlural neighborhood (Jewish,Indian, Caucasian, Black, etc)
and like my children having friends of other faiths, it taught them to be very good christians, but this is one area that is very sensitive…most Jews don’t believe Jesus is our savior and that is a big thing when married with children.
Thanks, you never know what the future will bring.


#2

My husband is Jewish. When we were married in the Church I was asked to promise to do everything I could to raise any children as Catholics. My husband was asked to read the paper I signed with these promises, but if I recall correctly he did not have to sign it.

My husband and I don’t have any children so this hasn’t been an issue for us.

Any children born to a Jewish mother are automatically considered to be Jewish.

How strong is this girl in her faith? That will make a difference in how she feels about her children being raised in a different faith. Also, it is one thing to say what you will do before the baby comes. The birth of the baby may cause both parents to change their minds about religion.

In terms of the religious differences, they are pretty large. I wasn’t practicing my faith when I got married, and didn’t return to the Church until a few years after our marriage. My husband and I have the most interesting conversations about religion and have agreed that our respective religions seem rather alien to each other.


#3

A marriage between a Catholic and a Jew is not allowed by Cannon law; but your Bishop can make an exception. It is usually easy to get the exception, but the marriage would not be a sacrament.

Marriage of people with different race is much easier than different faith. Race is just skin deep; faith is to the heart and the center of one’s being.

In an interracial marriage, the couple only has to worry that other people may be judgemental. In a marriage of mixed religion, there is always part of your self – the Holy Spirit residing within you – that you cannot share with that person. It is much harder.

That said, many people are able to be happily married that way; it is much harder, though.


#4

[FONT=Georgia]It seems to me that it is vastly more important to be the same faith than it is to be the same race or class. The “holy wars” make a vocation all the more harder and pits not only person against person within the union, but household against household outside of the union.

Certainly, there are cases where even Catholic and non-Christian marriages survive and even thrive. But these seem to be the happy exception and not the rule.

At times, one party or another at the start of the marriage is disinterested in their faith. Then, following a life event such as the death of a parent, birth of a child, this interest is fanned and the other party is left confused and hurt, children confused.

I would advise against interfaith marriage it in general. It is a complex path that most likely fail to follow well.

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#5

Yes, I see your points. I had a Jewish boyfriend many years ago, but knew then I could teach his culture, but not his faith.
I figured it must be easy to get permission to marry since I see so many married in the church, but usually it is a Catholic woman marrying a Jewish man. And babies do bring out your hidden faith and customs many times, as stated in another post.
The “baby is always Jewish” really isn’t a law, it started with the Holocaust for obvious reasons, but the child can’t really be anymore Jewish than a Catholic child at birth being Catholic or an Italian baby of mixed race just being Italian or the old “you’re black no matter who your mother is” rule of the south. If she wanted to raise it Christian she can.

It’s hard in our world to say, "Don’t fall in love with someone who isn’t Catholic,and with so many Catholics being in “name only” my son said it was being hypocritial…true, but it still makes raising the child easier.


#6

Your son is wrong, it is not hypocritical. A hyppocrite is one who says one thing and does another.

If you truly believe what the Church teaches, you must act on it. It would be a hypocrite to marry outside the Catholic faith if one is a practicing Catholic professing to hold and believe all that the Church teaches.

Marrying outside the faith says that the Catholic faith isn’t really that important, it’s not central to your life or your family or you marriage.

It is *never *a good idea to get involved with a non-Catholic.


#7

I am Catholic and my BF is SDA…makes for some interesting conversations.
Kathy


#8

1ke, that’s what he meant, that many Catholics say they are Catholic, don’t practice it at all or make it up to fit themselves. He was arguing that many Catholics he knows that are going out, getting married, may have it easier in having children considered Catholic, in getting them baptised, etc. but they don’t practice the faith well.
He wasn’t saying interfaith was better, but just saying hypocrisy does exist.


#9

Never say never. Interfaith relationships can and do work…sometimes better than 2 Catholics.
Kathy


#10

Yes, I do say never, and I *mean *never. A Catholic should never *initiate *a mixed-religion relationship.

A convert to the faith had no choice, but a single Catholic does have a choice. And, if they choose to date outside their faith, then that is a serious action and they should reconsider.

It is unwise, and the Church teaches against it. It puts the soul of the Catholic, and their children, in great jeopardy.


#11

So, the fact that others are not practicing their faith is somehow a license for him to do it?

I do not understand his position. He knows it’s wrong, he should seek a Catholic to date.


#12

I guess I wasn’t that clear…he doesn’t make excuses, he just said being Catholic alone, isn’t being the perfect mate.
He said he knows of interfaith relationships that were fine, parents that raised the child in 1 faith with knowledge of the other…his girlfriends aunt is Catholic with a Jewish husband, she taught how Jesus was Jewish, followed these laws/holidays and the fulfillment later with his death. I think it’s wrong to bring them up “nothing” although many people are brought up in “Christmas/Easter” households that pretty much are
For him, finding a wife one day that is Catholic and practicing, will be hard, because they aren’t prevelant and then you have to like/love each other, the religion doesn’t make the match so to speak. He doesn’t think anything gives him a right to do something, it’s just sounds silly to say, “date this girl, she’s catholic”, when she doesn’t follow the faith or may not like him.

I pray for him and all my children, it’s a tough world but I trust they will do things in good faith and I know they will be good parents. I trust Mary will guide them.


#13

I guess I wasn’t that clear…he doesn’t make excuses, he just said being Catholic alone, isn’t being the perfect mate.
He said he knows of interfaith relationships that were fine, parents that raised the child in 1 faith with knowledge of the other…his girlfriends aunt is Catholic with a Jewish husband, she taught how Jesus was Jewish, followed these laws/holidays and the fulfillment later with his death. I think it’s wrong to bring them up “nothing” although many people are brought up in “Christmas/Easter” households that pretty much are
For him, finding a wife one day that is Catholic and practicing, will be hard, because they aren’t prevelant and then you have to like/love each other, the religion doesn’t make the match so to speak. He doesn’t think anything gives him a right to do something, it’s just sounds silly to say, “date this girl, she’s catholic”, when she doesn’t follow the faith or may not like him.

I pray for him and all my children, it’s a tough world but I trust they will do things in good faith and I know they will be good parents. I trust Mary will guide them.


#14

I guess I wasn’t that clear…he doesn’t make excuses, he just said being Catholic alone, isn’t being the perfect mate.
He said he knows of interfaith relationships that were fine, parents that raised the child in 1 faith with knowledge of the other…his girlfriends aunt is Catholic with a Jewish husband, she taught how Jesus was Jewish, followed these laws/holidays and the fulfillment later with his death. I think it’s wrong to bring them up “nothing” although many people are brought up in “Christmas/Easter” households that pretty much are
For him, finding a wife one day that is Catholic and practicing, will be hard, because they aren’t prevelant and then you have to like/love each other, the religion doesn’t make the match so to speak. He doesn’t think anything gives him a right to do something, it’s just sounds silly to say, “date this girl, she’s catholic”, when she doesn’t follow the faith or may not like him.

I pray for him and all my children, it’s a tough world but I trust they will do things in good faith and I know they will be good parents. I trust Mary will guide them.


#15

It sounds to me like you’ve been burned.
I have grandchildren. My 7/yo was recently baptized and my SDA
BF was a witness along with me. So no problem there.

However, you are entitled to your opinion. But I stand by my previous post, that 2 Catholics don’t necessarily have the best relationship. Relationships are more than just religion.
Kathy


#16

What’s an SDA? :shrug:

Nevermind, finally came to me - Seventh Day Adventist! Right?

Duh pregnancy brain here – :blush:


#17

It’s ok. Sometimes I suffer " old lady brain farts" too

Kathy


#18

My husband is non Catholic, but also basically a blank page. He knows how important my faith is to me and has agreed to raise his children Catholic. He may convert one day, I pray for it. He is open to attending mass and knows our priest on a personal level.

It can be difficult at time as it would be nice to share prayers and faith and spirituality with my husband. But, as a faithful Anglican friend once said to me, you can’t know what will happen in the future. What if you marry a faithful Catholic and they draw away from the faith later on?


#19

If the catholic faith weren’t important to me, I wouldn’t have gotten married in the church.

If this was so very wrong, dispensations would not be granted.

True, in the OP’s circumstance, I strongly advise to NOT marry a non-Christian. Though the Church DOES allow for this. And it is still a natural marriage. But what is so wrong with marrying a baptised devout protestant Christian? Look at the saints. How many of them married outside their faith? Yes, AFTER they converted.

I just don’t understand why you are not in favor of church’s allowance for these marriages. The church STRONGLY encourages not to marry outside the Christian faith. However, while it is ideal to marry a catholic, they are certainly not against marrying a baptised protestant christian. That’s what the dispensations are for, to analyize each individual case.

I am married to a devout baptised protestant christian. We have a sacramental marriage, just as if I were to have married a catholic. What is a sacrament is blessed by God, enjoys God’s blessings and graces, and is bound for life. What is so horridly wrong with something that God has blessed? :confused:


#20

No not at all. I did not dated outside my faith.


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