Marriage - Disparity of Cult question

A friend of mine is a Catholic married to a Jew.

I had been taught that a Catholic who marries a non-Christian has a natural aka non-Sacramental marriage. Furthermore, upon the non-Christian’s baptism, the marriage becomes sacramental at that point. Is this correct? Where can I find some documentation to support or disprove this?

I’ve looked all through the marriage section in the CCC, particularly the disparity of cult subsection, but have come up empty-handed.

You will find this in Canon Law.

Can. 1055 §1. The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life and which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring, has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament between the baptized.

§2. For this reason, a valid matrimonial contract cannot exist between the baptized without it being by that fact a sacrament.

It is an impediment to the Sacrament (the lack of Baptism). Once that Impediment is removed the Sacrament is effective.

You need to consult the CIC [aka Code of Canon Law] which I’m sure you can find on line.

Can. 1055 Sec. 2 states that no valid marriage contract between two baptized persons can exist as anything other than sacramental. It seems to me, therefore, that a valid natural marriage contracted under disparity of cult per can. 1086 must necessarily become sacramental as soon as the unbaptized party is baptized.

I am looking forward to this very thing as my wife is an unbaptized Quaker who is considering coming into the Church. I’m praying about it every day!


I disagree with you. I have been married to a Jewish man for almost 20 years. We were married in the Catholic church by a deacon.
I was never told our marriage wasn’t valid.

No one here has asserted that a marriage between a Catholic and a Jew isn’t *valid * (assuming dispensation has been obtained).

It certainly is valid.

A marriage to an unbaptized person is not a sacrament. It is a natural marriage.

Your marriage is presumed valid until proved otherwise. If you had the proper dispensation from your local ordinary and canonical form was observed, your marriage is valid. If either was lacking, a tribunal would likely find it invalid. What you were or were not told is irrelevant; the facts rule.

By the way, forgive me for being “technical,” but you weren’t married “by a deacon.” A deacon assisted at your marriage which was actually effected by you and your husband.


Your Marriage is valid! It’s just not a Sacrament until both people are validly Baptized.

I would consider this as natural marriage.


it won’t be in the catechism because it is a question of canon law, and the CCC imparts doctrine.
Your understanding is correct, but if the gentlemen is not contemplating baptism, what difference does it make? If the Catholic party got a dispensation for disparity of cult and other wise there were no impediments, then it is a valid natural, but non-sacramental, marriage. Why do you need documentation? surely the Catholic party was instructed when she prepared for her marriage.

In RCIA I had a couple who were both Jewish. They had been married as Jews; so had a valid, natural marriage. When they were baptized at the Easter Vigil, their marriage automatically became a sacramental marriage.

As noted by others that was in accord with Canon Law. It also had the approval of the pastor, who baptized them, and the Diocesan Office of Worship, which we checked with just to be sure that we were doing right.

They wanted a ceremony; so we had a renewal of their vows on their next wedding anniversary and a small celebration by the RCIA group. However, that was not necessary.

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