hi there …
i’m khaky i don’t know if it’s allowed to muslim men to join this website or not , but i had to because i really need help , well i’m in love with a catholic woman , and she loves me back too , well the problem is , we want to get married , and in islam i don’t think that its a problem , but i really wanna know will it be allowed for her to get married to a muslim man ?? does christianity allow it ?! please need answer fast , thanks
Thanking for having the courtesy to ask this of Catholics. Ideally, no, since it is very likely that their children will be raised as such(not good from a Christian perspective; my own mother adamantly told my father, a Shi’ite, that any of their potential children would raised as Christian, but I doubt that that is too common). However, as long as one is not a divorce’, it may be somewhat permissible. As you probably know, though, it is easier for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim than it is for a Muslim lady to do likewise. We do not have Kaffir in Christianity, but there are some Biblical scriptures discouraging “interfaith” unions, as in the situation of Ezra strongly encouraging Jewish men to give up their pagan wives. And saying that it would not a “mixed” marriage because we are all “people of the Book” does not mean much, in my opinion.
Also, as someone else has just implied, you really to ask a moderator to move this discussion to “Non-Catholic Religions.”
I think that it is very loving for you to come in this forum and ask for this kind of information. It sounds like she is a very special person.
The basic facts are that from a Catholic Church point of view she needs her Bishop approval to get married to a non Catholic. For her to be married she needs to be married according to the rites of the Catholic Church, that means that she needs to have a ceremony in a Church (except for very few exceptional cases). That also implies that she has to promise that she will do her best to raise her children as Catholics.
I understand that you really like this women; however religious differences can make a marriage extremely difficult or they can even break it apart. I am talking about the respect for the other person’s religious beliefs. If you really love God and you really believe that your religion is the only true one, then how can you really respect your spouse in her beliefs? How can you allow her to raise your children according to her beliefs even if you think that they are wrong? How do you feel having your children being taught that your beliefs are based on a religion that does not embrace the whole Truth? How would you feel when it is Friday and instead of going to the mosque with you they stay home and then they prepare for a Sunday Mass?
As a father I tell you that once you have a son, you will want to raise him the same way you were raised and that will not be possible when it comes to the relationship with God. Usually these hard questions do not appear as big issues at the beginning of a relationship but once the children are born and they need to be baptized, then the stress in the family will become critical. Just remember that even if the both of you are choosing to be flexible now, when you will have children the both of you will change and you will become quite inflexible when it comes to God.
This question is asking for a Christian response concerning the rules of marriage. It is being moved to the Liturgy & Sacraments forum which is the most appropriate forum for discussing the sacrament of marriage from a Catholic Christian perspective, including what is and is not allowed.
A historical(yet relatively recent) example: Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlevi wanted to marry an Italian princess in the late 1950’s but Pope John XXIII forbade the marriage, since not only was the Shah a non-Christian who would doubtlessly have had any of their children raised as such but also had already been divorced twice. Also, if one were already married at the time(i.e. a potential polygamist), it definitely would not be tolerated by any Christian church, let alone Rome.
I’m not sure where you exactly are, so it will depend but anyways:
There is usually a conflict because Islam requires the children to be brought up Muslim, and Catholicism requires the children to be brought up Catholic. To get married to a non-Christian, a Catholic needs the permission of his/her bishop. He/she is also required to promise that the children will be brought up Catholic. Without this, the marriage will not be allowed by the bishop or accepted by the Church. In some places I know, they even ask the non-Catholic to sign a paper to promise to raise the children Catholic.
As I said, there is a conflict because Islam requires the man to raise the children Muslim. But even if the man is willing to raise the children Catholic, the bishop may not not agree to the marriage. This can happen because later in the marriage:
there may be pressure for the wife to convert
grandparents/relatives/siblings/etc. might exert pressure to raise the children Muslim
the local laws of the country.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in Muslim countries and in all of them, the most common occurrence has been for the bishop not to give permission for the marriage without a good reason. This was because of the above reasons, and the fact that the local laws would always support the children being raised Muslim. Several times in some marriages, because of family or personal reasons, the man changed his mind and the children were brought up Muslim. I have a good friend who is Muslim because of this: his parents met in Europe, married, but when they left and the father had a son, he decided he wanted his sons to be raised Muslims as he was.
If you live in a non-Muslim country, the situation may be slightly different and you should check with the girl’s parish priest who will help you with your questions or give you someone you can contact. They will examine the situation and if you are willing to raise the children Catholic and they feel that there is a good chance that this will happen, and any other concerns of theirs are satisfied, they will help you with the necessary paperwork.
It makes it more interesting in that, in Islam, marriage is almost purely legal rather than spiritual. Thus, civil marriage is fine among Muslims yet has less validity among devout Christians, particularily Catholics.