Marriage vow question ("bring [children] up according to the law of Christ and his Church")


#1

The Catholic marriage vow includes:

“Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”

My husband and I answered with a wholehearted “YES!!!” but I’m wondering whether a “no” answer (to either part) would invalidate the marriage? My guess is another wholehearted yes, but I’m still a “fledgling” Catholic. Would love an educated response from more veteran Catholics. :o


#2

A permanent intention against children is indeed an impediment to valid marriage.

Refusal to raise children in the Church probably doesn't invalidate the marriage, but such a declaration might lead a priest to delay the sacrament to council the couple. I don't thinka priest could in good conscience marry a couple who would refuse to fulfill their obligation as Catholic parents.


#3

So just to make sure I'm following you: a promise by BOTH parties to raise children Catholic is REQUIRED? Or is it only required of the Catholic party (in a inter-faith marriage)?


#4

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:3, topic:220574"]
So just to make sure I'm following you: a promise by BOTH parties to raise children Catholic is REQUIRED? Or is it only required of the Catholic party (in a inter-faith marriage)?

[/quote]

Your question seemed to be in the context of two Catholics.

Permission for mixed marriage is contingent on the following:

Can. 1124 Without express permission of the competent authority, a marriage is prohibited between two baptized persons of whom one is baptized in the Catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act and the other of whom is enrolled in a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Can. 1125 The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:

1/ the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;

2/ the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;

3/ both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.

Can. 1126 It is for the conference of bishops to establish the method in which these declarations and promises, which are always required, must be made and to define the manner in which they are to be established in the external forum and the non-Catholic party informed about them.


#5

Thank you!

The non-Catholic doesn't have to promise that he will *personally *raise children Catholic, but must be "aware" of the vow the Catholic person is making... does the non-Catholic have to promise not to impede the Catholic's promise to raise children Catholic? (Sorry if I sound dense, I just want to make sure I understand the nuances of the vow.)


#6

2/ the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;

The non-Catholic doesn’t necessarily promise not to impede (but honestly, I would hope a priest would not marry a couple in such a case that before the marriage the non-Catholic was already actively stating they would).

What it means to be ‘certain’ that the non-Catholic is “truly aware of the promise and obligation” means, practically speaking, that the non-Catholic has no substantive objection that will impede the Catholic from carrying itheir promise out.


#7

Thank you so much. :) :thumbsup:


#8

1993’s DIRECTORY FOR THE APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES AND NORMS ON ECUMENISM says this:

  1. When, for a just and reasonable cause, permission for a mixed marriage is requested, both parties are to be instructed on the essential ends and properties of marriage which are not to be excluded by either party. Furthermore, the Catholic party will be asked to affirm, in the form established by the particular law of the Eastern Catholic Churches or by the Episcopal Conference, that he or she is prepared to avoid the dangers of abandoning the faith and to promise sincerely to do all in his/her power to see that the children of the marriage be baptized and educated in the Catholic Church. The other partner is to be informed of these promises and responsibilities.142 At the same time, it should be recognized that the non-Catholic partner may feel a like obligation because of his/her own Christian commitment. It is to be noted that no formal written or oral promise is required of this partner in Canon Law. (…)
  1. In carrying out this duty of transmitting the Catholic faith to the children, the Catholic parent will do so with respect for the religious freedom and conscience of the other parent and with due regard for the unity and permanence of the marriage and for the maintenance of the communion of the family. If, notwithstanding the Catholic’s best efforts, the children are not baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church, the Catholic parent does not fall subject to the censure of Canon Law.143 At the same time, his/her obligation to share the Catholic faith with the children does not cease. It continues to make its demands, which could be met, for example, by playing an active part in contributing to the Christian atmosphere of the home; doing all that is possible by word and example to enable the other members of the family to appreciate the specific values of the Catholic tradition; taking whatever steps are necessary to be well informed about his/her own faith so as to be able to explain and discuss it with them; praying with the family for the grace of Christian unity as the Lord wills it.

#9

Both bride and groom, within the wedding itself before the vows, must promise to “welcome children and raise them according to the law of Christ and his church.”

This is true regardless of whether both are Catholic or not. If it is a mixed marriage, the non-Catholic party must publicly make this promise within the wedding ceremony.

I don’t know how to square this with the claim that the non-Catholic party does not have to promise to raise the kids Catholic. The “raise them according to the law of Christ and his church” seems to be a pretty clear promise to do so.

Supposedly it isn’t, though, since the non-Catholic party is not supposed to be required to make any such promise. This, I don’t understand.


#10

As I mentioned in my post above, the non-Catholic party must make the same promise you and your spouse did.


#11

What if the non Catholic party was attending Mass occassionally prior to and after the wedding but became hostile toward the idea of raising children Catholic once the first child was born? Does the reality of children and her increased interest in her own faith alter the expectation that she not impede him in raising the children as Catholic?


#12

Non-Catholics do not make a promise to raise children as Catholics. They do promise to not impede the Catholic party in raising the children as Catholics. Their are also occasions, like my own, in which Catholics marry in a setting where no vows or promises are exchanged.


#13

Another ancient thread resurrected. :clapping:


#14

My Protestant wife made no such promise… we had a dispensation from canonical form.


#15

My wife and I exchanged vows, but not according to the Catholic form as we had the appropriate dispensation. I don’t think the non-Catholic party makes any such promise. He or she is simply “informed” of the Catholic party’s obligation. My priest was clear that my wife was not bound whatsoever. I was bound. Not her. If she impedes later she breaks no promise… but it puts me in a difficult position.


#16

Having been the non-Catholic party myself, I can assure you that the non-Catholic party absolutely is required to make the promise I referenced in my previous post.


closed #17

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