I’m a 25 guy in Indiana. I’m getting married in June to the girl I’ve had a crush on thru high school. I’m a catholic and she is a Protestant. We have already met a couple a few times from my church, and have spoken to my priest. I forget what its called, but trying to get permission from the church to be married in Her church, by Her preacher. Everything went rather well actually.
My question is that we have been talking about our future kids. We both have no problem about going to each other’s churches every other weekend. Mine one weekend, hers the other and so on. And we thought that we’d do the same with our kids, just let them choose what religion when they are old enough.
The thing is, I want our future kids to be baptised in the church when they are very young, like I was. Have Godparents and all that. Her church says that everyone gets baptised later, when that person WANTS to get baptised. I don’t know why, but ok. We have had a little fight about this, and I don’t know what to do.
What does the church say on stuff like this? What is the best way to handle it?
Second, the Church says a few things about all this. While it’s fine that you attend her church with her, that does not count as your Sunday obligation. You have to go to a Catholic Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. You also can’t take Communion at her Church, and neither can she at yours. It’s fine as of now, you didn’t know and therefore whatever sin could have taken place was venial, not mortal. Don’t stress overly much, just keep it in mind from now on.
As far as children go you have to promise to do your best in raising the children Catholic. You can’t just let them choose when they grow older what they want to be. It gives the impression that all religions are fine to follow, and given a choice I think most people would choose the easier way to do things. And Catholicism isn’t really easy, even while it’s True.
I am sorry it caused a fight, Catholicism really isn’t that easy to follow and some of the rules do seem oppressive to the non-Catholic side of a couple. They are rules for a reason, though, mainly that Catholicism is the One, True Church and Protestant churches, while correct in some things, aren’t.
The best way to handle it I think would be to read up on the Church teachings and share them with your fiancee, come to a conclusion that satisfies her and does not go against your beliefs.
First, even if you go to “her” church with her, you must still go to Mass. You are bound by Church and Divine Law to assist at Mass every Sunday. Going to “her” church does not fulfill this obligation. Nor can you participate in the “Lord’s supper” that they have at the baptist church.
Secondly, as a Catholic you cannot “just let” your children choose what religion they want to practice. You are REQUIRED to raise them Catholic. That means baptizing them Catholic, teaching them the Faith, ensuring they receive their other Sacraments.
This is not accomplished by exposing them to false teachings and confusing them or instilling in them the belief that all denominations are equivalent and they can “choose” whatever they want to.
Baptism isn’t just something you do and then forget about it-- it’s a Sacrament, a sacred oath before God. When your children are baptized they receive Sanctifying Grace, become Catholics-- members of the Body of Christ-- and you make the solemn promise to raise them in the Catholic Faith.
You don’t know why? You’d better find out. The reason they teach this is because they reject the salvific nature of baptism. They deny that baptism removes Original Sin, sanctifies the soul with grace, and reject the entire idea of Sacraments.
There are huge theological differences between the Catholic faith and what baptists teach. You had better be aware of this, and think seriously about it.
The first of many fights about religion.
That is why mixed marriage is a bad idea.
**You need to go talk to your priest, and fast. **You clearly need to learn more about your own faith, your obligation as a Catholic, and what your own church teaches.
The Church requires that the Catholic promise to raise their children as Catholics.
***I agree. When I seriously started searching for a life-mate, first on my list of criteria was religion. I was passionate about my religion, and I needed a man who felt the same way. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have worked. My husband and I didn’t have sex before marriage. He and I enjoyed going to Mass every Saturday night, then dinner. That was our “date night”. We volunteered for different Church functions and went on religious retreats. We even met through a Catholic Pen Pal Group.
I think if you find two people who aren’t religious, there wouldn’t be a problem. But people who are passionate about their religion would be better off finding a mate within that religion or there will be problems.
And children born to a Catholic should be raised Catholic. Everyone chooses their religion when they’re old enough to choose, so there’s plenty of time for that. Having a solid background and direction during childhood makes a world of difference. Going back and forth between the two sounds too wishy-washy to me.
When my son was two years old, a Lutheran Church in my area had a Sunday School program for toddlers. (None of the Catholic Churches had programs for children that young.) I took him when he was two and three years old. They sung songs, drew pictures and learned basic Bible stories and prayers. When he started asking questions, I stopped taking him there. This is because I knew he was getting to the age where he would become confused by still attending “Bible Fun” at the Lutheran Church. I taught him at home until he was able to attend Catholic Pre-School.
See, it’s very confusing and unsettling to a child when he is not exposed to stability in all areas of his life. Religious stability is one of the most important gifts you could bestow upon your child.
I hope things work out for the two of you. You’ll be in my prayers.
This is my own personal opinion and by no means am I telling you what you should do – but if being a Catholic is important to you and to future children, you should think long and hard about marrying a non-Catholic. This is not meant to imply that there’s anything wrong with her. Kids need to have a very firm foundation in which to learn. If you expose them to different things, most times they wind up not really believing in either one. I am not married nor do I have any children so my experience is limited to nieces and nephews; however, finding someone who shares my faith and my interest in having a Catholic, Christ-centered home is at the top of my list in looking for a life mate.
I’ve attended her church just a few times. I haven’t taken communion with her either. Nor has she taken communion in my church. I haven’t committed any sins, yet. And we are waiting until we are married to have sex. We’re both virgins. Which I don’t know how we are going to do natural birth control. Don’t know how to find out about that yet.
I would prefer to raise future kids as catholic. But the thing is her entire family is very devoted to their own church. She’s never missed a service, which I admit I have missed quite a few. But I’ve fixed that. I didn’t know thats what protestants belive about baptism. I just assumed that was a “universal” belief, not just the Church’s. And I do believe that the Church is THE Church. And everyday I’m learning more and more about it. Theres just a lot of things that I don’t know how to work out with her.
I personally would not get married until all issues had been discussed and resolved; that you are both in agreement of how things are going to work; otherwise, you could be in for some very unhappy times down the road. Just my two cents!!!
This sounds like a wonderful time for you to talk with a spiritual director. Go and talk to your parish priest about this matter, and maybe ask about a spiritual director. Hang in there. You need a bit of help and some time to work this out.
Clearly you want to live a holy life. You need to be aware that non-Catholic beliefs on moral issues are different than Catholics. Contraception is a huge one. You need to be on the same page that contraception will have NO part in your marriage.
I don’t think you’ve been listening. You, as a Catholic, do not have an option here. It’s not about “preferring” to raise them Catholic-- you must raise them Catholic.
If her entire family is very devoted to their Baptist faith, you need to seriously think about how this will impact your own family if you marry.
No, there are many denominations-- baptists included-- that have seriously flawed views of not only baptism but ALL Sacraments. That is not the only place their theology is in serious disagreement with the Catholic faith.
If you really believe that, then why would you approach your children’s upbringing with the idea of letting them “choose”?
If you really believe the Catholic Church is THE Church Christ founded what are you doing to live out that belief? You are contemplating marriage to someone who does not believe this and does not want to teach the Catholic Faith to future children. I see that as contradictory to a belief in the Catholic Church as the true church.
You need to realize there are things that you may not be able to “work out” with her.
I think you need to step back and think about what you want in your life and from a spouse. You should know firmly how you want to live your life, your faith, and how you want to raise your family. THEN, you evaluate women you meet compared to that criteria-- NOT the other way around.
You have found a girl that you had a “crush” on, gotten involved with her emotionally, and are now trying to figure out how to fit HER into your values and belief system because she does not share your beliefs. If you had first decided you wanted a woman who shared your beliefs and used that as a criteria when dating you would not now be trying to figure out how you were going to “work it out” with someone who doesn’t share your faith.
My personal belief is that the Faith comes first, and I did not date any men who were not devout Catholics because I knew I only wanted someone who shared my faith and would be a Catholic father to our children. If you want a Catholic mother for your children, you need to date Catholics-- not Baptists.
Congratulations on your engagement and your upcoming marriage. I was raised in the Baptist Church and became a Catholic about 7 years ago. I can tell you that what I was taught in Sunday school about what it is that Catholic Church teaches was extremely wrong. There is a very good chance that your fiance and her family do not even understand what it is that the Church teaches, let alone why it teaches what it teaches.
Now, as a Baptist, your fiance should understand and respect the fact that as the husband and father, you will be spiritual head of the household. Jesus taught us to call God our Father. As their father, it will be your job to model this relationship to your children. Now is a great time for you to really dive into your Catholic faith. You might want to sign up for a Bible study class at your local parish and you might want to consider joining the Knights of Columbus.
What’s more, some reading would be a really good idea. A book that I would highly recommend for someone in your position is Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. It details their conversion journey and it would be very helpful to understand what it is that Protestants believe and in contrast why it is that the Catholic Church teaches what it teaches. It will help you to communicate to your fiance why we baptize our babies, why we do not accept sola scriptura, the Real Presence, praying to the saints, and why the Church teaches against artificial birth control. Another good book that I am sure that you will both enjoy is The Good News about Sex and Marriage by Christopher West.
Prayers for you and your fiance, and wishing you both a faith filled and fruitful marriage.
I can speak as the independent fundamental baptist (20 years ago…Hindsight is 20/20) who married a wonderful Catholic man.
Read my story (Reconciling to the Catholic Church thread in the family life forum)
Encourage her to go to the RCIA classes (just for her to better understand your beliefs)
Buy her the book “Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic” by David B Currie, and read it before you give it to her. It very well describes the differences and the reasons why the Catholic Church has the correct views-Bible based-which is important. The “show me where it says that” is answered.
My heart is breaking now because I did not even try to understand my then boyfriends faith-I was dead set on getting him ‘saved’-in my beliefs at the time he was going to hell and I could not live my life with someone I thought was not going to share in eternity with me.
Now here I am 20 years later, deeply regreting not at least investigating his faith and knowing that I cheated my children out of their lifetime (17 & 15 years) of the True Faith and myself out of 20 years. Not to mention the guilt I feel for pulling my husband away from the faith and causing him mortal sin.
Don’t get me wrong-I am glad that God worked in my life to bring me to this realization, I just wish I would have done it before we were married.
And keep in mind that she is doing these things out of love for you and your future children, but she knows not what she is doing.
Has your priest told you to take Pre-Cana classes?
Everyone else- are pre-cana or whatever marriage prep is available forgone if the person is not getting married physically by the church?
Williams, the man is supposed to be the spiritual head of the marriage. You are need to work out most of these issues before marriage. Make it known you want to follow church teaching regarding children and marriage. You might have a few fights and get things resolved. You might find out that you need to postpone or cancel the wedding.You are setting yourself up for battle. Baptists teachings are very different from Catholic teachings in a whole bunch of ways. Get studying. Catholicism For Dummies, The Catechism of the Catholic Church. She needs to study too so she knows what your intentions are. Prayers for you .