Marrying a Non Catholic

I’m marrying a Methodist. She agreed to raise the Children Catholic. We are getting married at our catering facility by a Priest who left the Church and is now independent. We are taking this route because our Diocese will not send a Priest or Deacon outside the Church. A dispensation will take to long to get and we were already told that we would most likely not get it. I understand that this will not be accepted by the Church as a fulfillment of my Sacrament. Can I go to my Parish afterwards and fulfill my Sacrament?

That is a sticky situation JTM. You, I hope, are aware that you will be commiting mortal sin. You are choosing her over God, and God’s plan for you.

Please don’t think that I am attacking you. If you read my other posts, you will see that I am in a similar situation. My fiancee’ is also a non-catholic, and I have approached my brothers and sisters in the forum for advice and counsel.

Decide carefully what you will do. I do not know what the Church does in a situation where you deliberately go “around” the Church to be married. I hope someone else here with more insight that I have will respond.

Maybe - talk to a priest. In my opinion, though, religious issues between you and your fiance are too important to put on the back burner. If you don’t resolve things before you get married, you probably never will.

[quote=jtm827]I’m marrying a Methodist. She agreed to raise the Children Catholic. We are getting married at our catering facility by a Priest who left the Church and is now independent. We are taking this route because our Diocese will not send a Priest or Deacon outside the Church. A dispensation will take to long to get and we were already told that we would most likely not get it. I understand that this will not be accepted by the Church as a fulfillment of my Sacrament. Can I go to my Parish afterwards and fulfill my Sacrament?
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you will regret this decision, but free will is a biggie… good luck and God bless you both on your journey…

Why can’t you get married in the Catholic Church? The church will allow you to marry in the Church, it still wouldn’t be sacramental unless she converted at some point after the ceremony. But at least the church would recognize the marriage as valid.

Why can’t she just convert to Catholicism? It shouldn’t be that hard to convince her to convert if she truly loves you. Also, if I were you I’d get married by a priest who is in full communion with Rome. Doing otherwise would be a smack in the face to the church.

[quote=mommy]Why can’t you get married in the Catholic Church? The church will allow you to marry in the Church, it still wouldn’t be sacramental unless she converted at some point after the ceremony. But at least the church would recognize the marriage as valid.
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With all due respect, that is not true. If she is a baptized Methodist, they can sacramentally and validly be married in the Catholic Church. If she is not baptized, their marriage in the Catholic Church would be valid, but not sacramental. If at any time in the future she became baptized, the marriage would automatically become sacramental.

JTM, what is the reason for not getting married in the Church?

My husband and I were married 10 yrs ago. I was young (20) and knew that he planned to become Catholic, but was busy with military training and so we went through PreCana (marriage preparation) in the Catholic Church and I decided to have my deacon marry us in the Chruch since he was the only one available that day and I felt awkward taking communion during our wedding without him. I wish I had insisted on him converting to Catholocism before we were married. I wish I had had a clearer understanding about natural family planning. God is the center of our marriage and family. My husband considers himself Catholic, he reads the Catechism, he goes to Mass he believes in the True Presence of the Eucharist. He believes in the Magestarium, Apostolic Tradition, EVERYTHING… only problem is, he cant’ seem to find the time to go to RCIA, he can’t seem to officially convert. I try to be encouraging without being pushy. I am thankful, truly greatful to be married to such a wonderful man. We live our life as a prayer and our parenthood like a vocation. I just cant’ believe it has been 10 years and even with everything as terrific as it is, it pains me to think that he woudln’t have a Catholic funeral if he died.

My husband and I went to a Catholic College where he received Communion, He thought it was ok because he had such a strong belief in the True Presence, rejecting his Lutheran upbringing. He just followed along with his classmates at Mass. He didn’t realize that he couldn’t just receive because he had a strong belief that it was truly the Body Blood, soul and divinity of Christ.

The deacon told him it was ok to continue to take communion after we got married, as long as the priest at our next church didnt’ know… (wrong information, but we were too young and immature to realize it was incorrect until just a few years ago so he was taking Communion for the first 8 yrs of our marriage!!!)

Unfortunately my generation has had a serious lack of Catholic education. Even if you think you know everything you need to know, I would bet you were in the same position as me 10 yrs ago and didn’t know the Catechism or Catholic doctrine on the level of a mature adult. My formal Catholic education basically stopped after 8th grade, so when I discovered the Catechism as an adult I was amazed and dumbfounded, and I havent’ put it down since.

God has a plan, I know he has had a plan for my husband’s conversion to the Catholic Church…I just wish I had insisted more on hammering it out officially and completely before we were married. I didn’t want to be too pushy and turn him off.

Trust me, you want to get married in the Catholic Church. It may not seem like a big deal right now, like it is just red tape, that God will bless your marriage… but PLEASE don’t go against your conscience. If you feel God is calling you to get your religious “kinks” straightened out, Trust HIM and allow as much Grace into your marriage with the Sacrament as possible. This will make a huge difference when you have children. God is calling you to more than being a good person, He is calling you to holiness, you are His child.

By the mere fact that you are asking this question, I have reasoned that the Holy Spirit is calling you for more than what you are possibly going to settle for. I know your marriage will be blessed beyond your belief if you place all your trust and obedience to the Will of God. Dont’ settle for less than what God wants to give you. He loves you and your future wife beyond all measure.

God Bless You,
I have been in a similar situation, so I hope you dont’ see this as a judgement, I have just been down the same sort of road.
Peace Be With You

[quote=Semper Fi]Why can’t she just convert to Catholicism? It shouldn’t be that hard to convince her to convert if she truly loves you. Also, if I were you I’d get married by a priest who is in full communion with Rome. Doing otherwise would be a smack in the face to the church.
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I agree.

[quote=petra]With all due respect, that is not true. If she is a baptized Methodist, they can sacramentally and validly be married in the Catholic Church. If she is not baptized, their marriage in the Catholic Church would be valid, but not sacramental. If at any time in the future she became baptized, the marriage would automatically become sacramental.

JTM, what is the reason for not getting married in the Church?
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This is true. My husband was baptized in a Bible Church in a pond when he was a little boy, it was a valid Baptism. We went to pre cana and were married in the Catholic Church. I chose not to have communion, but it was still a sacrament, and I went to Communion later. Looking back I wish I had had a full Mass, though.

i thought that if a catholic marries a non-catholic they can have a priest and a minister co-marry them so that it’s valid in both churches. am i wrong?

You should talk this over with a priest and reschedule your wedding. The Church will not officiate weddings at places like reception halls. They are supposed to be in the Church. The “priest” who left the Church really has no more authority than a justice of the peace.

[quote=Semper Fi]Why can’t she just convert to Catholicism? It shouldn’t be that hard to convince her to convert if she truly loves you. .
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wrong reason to convert. She should consider becoming Catholic only because she is truly convinced this is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and she wishes to be in full communion. Doing this to please someone else is a huge mistake.

[quote=Semper Fi]Why can’t she just convert to Catholicism? It shouldn’t be that hard to convince her to convert if she truly loves you. Also, if I were you I’d get married by a priest who is in full communion with Rome. Doing otherwise would be a smack in the face to the church.
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:thumbsup:
I would rather be married by a Justice of the Peace than pretend I was having a religious wedding done by some renegade abusing the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Grotesque.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]i thought that if a catholic marries a non-catholic they can have a priest and a minister co-marry them so that it’s valid in both churches. am i wrong?
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You need to get permission from the Church beforehand. I doubt the Church would consent to having a no-longer-Catholic priest officiate.

I appreciate everybody’s input. I spoke to the Priest at my Church and he told me that if I decide to get married outside the Church (at our wedding facility by the water) then I can always come back to the Church and recite my vows at the alter. While he did urge me/us to abandon our decision to get married outside the Church, he did say that all is forgiven and all can be fixed. I personally don’t believe I’m doing anything wrong. Jesus left the walls of the Synagogues to preach the word of God. How being outside amongst nature and God’s creatures is wrong is beyond me but that’s another debate. I simply wanted to get more input and ensure that my Priest was giving me correct information.

As far as my future wife converting from Methodist to Catholic, that is not her wish or desire. As Puzzleannie wrote, my future wife converting to please me would be a mistake. She is not Catholic and does not believe in many things the Catholic Church teaches. We go to Church together and I receive Communion and she does not because she is not allowed? When we visit her parents I go to their Church out of respect and we all receive communion. I understand the reasons behind the Catholic Church’s exclusionary culture and I can argue for and against their (for a lack of a better word) rules. But, the truth is, my instincts go against my teachings. To withhold Communion from another Christian or anybody for the matter seems wrong and in direct opposition to Christ teachings. While I have issues with this, that in itself won’t influence me to abandon my Church. Rules change. Years ago, a Catholic could not marry a Protestant and fulfill their Sacrament. That rule changed. Sometimes rules are even bent. For example, I have a copy of a dispensation from my Diocese, signed by the Bishop, that gave permission for a member of my Diocese to marry outside, by the water, to a non Christian (Jew). And while this marriage is not a Sacrament it is recognized by the Church as a marriage. To top it all off the marriage was performed by a Priest. Performed by a Priest, not observed by a Priest. My problem is that I’m getting married outside the Church and I did not pursue a dispensation. I guess I didn’t follow the rules but I’m not even sure what they are sometimes. Anyway, I digress. Thanks again for all the input and I welcome more. I hope I didn’t offend anybody, it was not my intention. Thank you again and God Bless!

After all these years of being Catholic, I didn’t know that a wedding could not be outdoors. We had an outdoor mass in our back yard a few months ago. I think it must be a decision made by each diocese.

I do not think that an ex-priest is appropriate to officiate at the ceremony. Not good “role modeling” for those attending, especially for your bride.

A Catholic does not recieve communion in a protestant church. Your girl friend does not disrespect your faith by recieving communion in your church. You, on the other hand , are showing her it doesn’t matter where you take communion. It doesn’t make sense. I think you are doing this to “fit in”.

My bet is that you will no longer be Catholic after you have children, if not before then. Your faith is not strong enough to get through all the rocky roads you will have ahead of you. You will give in and be Methodist or whatever religion your wife is.

I do know that this happens often. I have relatives who have simply gone in another direction because they were not strong enough or not " as in love with their church/faith" as they need to be in order to stand strong.

I suggest that if you really want to stay Catholic, have your children raised Catholic, go to RCIA. Ask lots of questions and learn your religion. I think our church lacks in religious education for the adult. While it is available, many don’t know about the classes. Ask your local priest about this.

Marriage can be beautiful and wonderful, or it can be “hell”. In order for it to be beautiful, both should be in agreement on the most important aspect of your lives,
your spirituality. Please give this some thought.

May God bless you both.

Love and Peace

[quote=mommy]Why can’t you get married in the Catholic Church? The church will allow you to marry in the Church, it still wouldn’t be sacramental unless she converted at some point after the ceremony. But at least the church would recognize the marriage as valid.
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You are incorrect. If she is baptized, the marriage would be sacramental provided that proper form was followed.
A sacramental marriage is any marriage, validly contracted, between two baptized persons.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]i thought that if a catholic marries a non-catholic they can have a priest and a minister co-marry them so that it’s valid in both churches. am i wrong?
[/quote]

For a serious reaons a Catholic can be dispensed from marrying in a Catholic Church. The priest would be a witness for the church if the couple were to marry in a protestant church.

The person who has posted does not want to go through the process of obtaining the proper dispensation to marry outside the church.

I think everyone is missing a REALLY HUGE point here. What about future CHILDREN? I don’t care which parent “agrees” to letting the children be raised in the other parent’s church, the children are going to see that the parents do not agree on the teachings and be CONFUSED. I speak from experience. I’m a protestant who AGREED to let my children be raised Catholic. In the end, my Catholic husband didn’t go, so the children went with me and a few years later he trailed along. They are now adults (four kids) and only the oldest one attends a church. I would really warn this person about to marry out of his faith to do some serious praying about this matter. You are YOUNG and “IN LOVE” and you are overlooking this at the moment. Trust me, it will become HUGE in the future when the children arrive.

Marquette (a seeking grandmother)

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