mixed marriages


#1

Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for a mixed marriage? My boyfriend is Protestant and I am Catholic. We would like to come up with a compromise without compromising our faith, especially in regards to raising children. I obviously would want to raise the children Catholic, but would it be wrong to go to both a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass?


#2

The Catechism does…

1633-1637
vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P53.HTM


#3

[quote=MKV]Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for a mixed marriage? My boyfriend is Protestant and I am Catholic. We would like to come up with a compromise without compromising our faith, especially in regards to raising children. I obviously would want to raise the children Catholic, but would it be wrong to go to both a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass?
[/quote]

I personally would seriously consider this issue, before I got married.

Personally I am a member of a broken home, and my ex-wife converted for me, which was mistake number one, and then left with no regard for the sacrament of matrimony.

This time i have clearly asserted that there will be no more dissention in my home, I will make sure that there is a clear similarity in me and my futures spoused core beleifs.

I can personally see no other road but confusion for the children and animosity between the husband and wife with a mixed marriage (religiously speaking).

I have a girlfriend right now and she is Luthern, and she is currently investigating Church History and Church Doctrine, so she can decide if she wants to come home to Rome.

She is perfectly aware that one of my main criteria for a spouse is the girl must be Catholic, but she also realizes that if she converts, it must be because that is what she knows to be true in her heart, not because of my personal requirements of a spouse…

I compromised my beliefs once and it led to disaster, so never again. I know this may come off as harsh, but one time through the “grinder” (and i pray that never happens to you) and you will see why i have such assertiveness on this subject.

First comes Jesus, and His Church…if they dont meet that requirement, it is a for sure no go. I will pray for guidence in yours and my situations…

Peace of the lord be with you,

Dan


#4

[quote=MKV]Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for a mixed marriage? My boyfriend is Protestant and I am Catholic. We would like to come up with a compromise without compromising our faith, especially in regards to raising children. I obviously would want to raise the children Catholic, but would it be wrong to go to both a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass?
[/quote]

Mixed marriage between a Catholic and another Christian is at best difficult to begin with. So you are smart to begin looking at this now. Compromise is a good thing when it comes to relationships but not when it comes to matters of your faith and Eternal life.

Compromise on where to eat lunch but not on where to have your children Baptized and what Faith they are to be raised with. Do not confuse them with a dual approach it does not work in the long run.


#5

My daughter married a Jew in the Catholic Church. He made a lot of concessions, but 15 years later he goes to Church almost every Sunday. Who would have thought this was to happen??


#6

My husband was agnotic when we married, but he had been raised protestant. He knew I wasn’t going to become protestant and if he ever decide to become a faithful person then he would have to be catholic. Luckily, after 15 years of marriage he will become catholic this coming Easter. I, personally, can’t see how compromise can work. The catholic church is going to teach that it has the fullness of the faith and most protestant denominations are going to teach that the Eucharist is a symbol and not the real thing. Put kids in the middle of that and what you get are neither protestant or catholic, but probably agnotic or something else. Compromise just dilutes either belief. As a catholic you will have an obligation to raise the children catholic.


#7

I was raised a FundieX as a child, I left that faith and mostly became a “free-thinking” christian/agnostic. When we married I told my wife that she is the mother and children would be raised as Catholic. 7years later I was being baptised and recieved my sacraments on Easter.

That said, you need to make sure you have everything in order 1st, and go thru a proper marriage prep program. Good luck and God bless.


#8

I am Catholic, she is Southern Baptist… we have been married 27 years and have 4 beautiful children…

My advice… get ready for roughest road you have ever thought you might have to travel…

It’s no picnic… I am assuming that you are Not Cafeteria Catholic and that he is a practicing protestant…

I wish you luck, love, and Peace… Lord knows you will need it…

If you are not a good study of your faith… you will be… :thumbsup:


#9

Thank you to all those who replied. It saddens me to think that our love for the Lord may be what ends up keeping us apart. It just doesn’t seem right.


#10

I’m married to a non-denom person. I came back to the Church after being gone for 20 years. My situation spiritually is a real struggle, but awesome in the same way. I have the ability to help save a soul who without me might be entirely lost. She doesn’t practice any faith so to speak. Me and our two little ones are avid Catholics…hopefully my wife too will bne one day. I woulden’t freely choose to marry a protestant, too many problems down the road that will put you in a situation that you stay married for the other person’s salvation. This in itself is not a bad thing but when it’s not reciprocal it either becomes unbearable or totally self sacrificial, not a bad thing either but can you take it?

peace and love


#11

I echo both Spaceghost and Cyprian. Ultimately, at this point try prayer. None of us can know what God wants you to do, but we can at least open your eyes to what lies ahead. I can honestly say when I met my husband I thought we had it all worked out. I’m not sure how I would have changed things with what I knew then or with the person I was. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t had many good and happy years. But right now I kind of feel like Cyprian said “self sacrificial.” I also know that this too may pass. To tell you the truth, much of the true “good” life is self sacrificial anyway.


#12

[quote=MKV]Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for a mixed marriage? My boyfriend is Protestant and I am Catholic. We would like to come up with a compromise without compromising our faith, especially in regards to raising children. I obviously would want to raise the children Catholic, but would it be wrong to go to both a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass?
[/quote]

The world view – how reality is perceived – is totally different for a Catholic and for a Protestant. You may not realize it now, since “love” clouds perception, but it will put you in the crucible.

How are you going to teach your children that the Catholic Church is the One True Church when you will be demonstrating that all religions are equally “true” every Sunday? Your spouse will not likely share your joy at the baptisms of your children, their First Holy Communions, confirmations, and so forth. The Church requires you to make a commitment to raise them Catholic.

Recommendation: Your intended should attend RCIA, and if he doesn’t become a Catholic because he is convinced that the Catholic Faith is the only True Faith, don’t marry him. Sure, he might be tolerant and might even become Catholic in the future, but don’t count on it! He also might undermine all your efforts at your children’s religious education and create unbearable tension in the family. Love will fly out the window.

Will he willingly, happily, cheerfully follow the Church’s teaching on the sin of contraception?

If you decide to proceed, fasten your seatbelt and wear a flak jacket and helmet at all times.

I’m serious about that world view.

JMJ Jay
ex-Protestant


#13

[quote=MKV]Thank you to all those who replied. It saddens me to think that our love for the Lord may be what ends up keeping us apart. It just doesn’t seem right.
[/quote]

**It wont be your your love for the lord that keeps you apart, it will be his pride. If he truley loves the lord, then he should focus on studying the facts and history. **

**Good resources for this are on another post of mine [/font]Good Sites For Protestant and Catholics alike. **

**All he has to do is do some serious, unbiased research to find out the Truth about protestent theology, and ideals. Its not that hard to pick it apart once you start studying, and researching objectively. **

**Stick you your faith, Jesus First! **
May the Peace of the Lord be with you both.


#14

[quote=MKV]Does anyone have any advice on how to prepare for a mixed marriage? My boyfriend is Protestant and I am Catholic. We would like to come up with a compromise without compromising our faith, especially in regards to raising children. I obviously would want to raise the children Catholic, but would it be wrong to go to both a Protestant service and a Catholic Mass?
[/quote]

Well, I will pray for you, I am sure that the love will win the problems in the marriage because in all couples are problems but the love is important, greetings


#15

My mother and father were a mixed marriage and were married over forty years until my Mom passed away. I would say they were happy, but certainly religion put tension in their marriage.

My father agreed to use birth control because my mom didn’t want a huge family. This was a prerequisite, and certainly you and your boyfriend should talk about this. If you really want to follow Catholicism and not use birth control, then he should be aware of this situation.

My parents had to be married in the Catholic church and I was baptized Catholic and my mom had to sign a paper saying I would be raised Catholic. This was in the years before Vatican II. She became very bitter about this. She felt like the Catholics were saying here religion(Lutheran) was not valid and this is very insulting. She ended up raising us Lutheran.

You need to discuss all of this with your intended. As a child of this marriage I can say that the arguments about religion–especially between my staunch Irish Catholic grandma and my Lutheran mother did not exactly make me feel good about religion. I used to attend both churches and the differences are minute. They have practically the same liturgy.


#16

I was “no religion” so to speak, never baptised, but fully believed in Christianity and went ‘church hopping’ as a child.

My husband was a cradle Catholic. We were married in the Church, or children are Catholic, and I am attending RCIA. I it gives me a greater joy now that we are all practising it together. As well my children don’t have to question why mommy doesn’t do this and that, and yet she insists they do. I really believe being a family and having that unity brings a greater bond between all of you.


#17

[quote=bapcathluth]My mother and father were a mixed marriage and were married over forty years until my Mom passed away. I would say they were happy, but certainly religion put tension in their marriage.

My father agreed to use birth control because my mom didn’t want a huge family. This was a prerequisite, and certainly you and your boyfriend should talk about this. If you really want to follow Catholicism and not use birth control, then he should be aware of this situation.

My parents had to be married in the Catholic church and I was baptized Catholic and my mom had to sign a paper saying I would be raised Catholic. This was in the years before Vatican II. She became very bitter about this. She felt like the Catholics were saying here religion(Lutheran) was not valid and this is very insulting. She ended up raising us Lutheran.

You need to discuss all of this with your intended. As a child of this marriage I can say that the arguments about religion–especially between my staunch Irish Catholic grandma and my Lutheran mother did not exactly make me feel good about religion. I used to attend both churches and the differences are minute. They have practically the same liturgy.
[/quote]

The Lutheran religions are partially true, as are all Protestant religions. The Catholic Church alone among the thousands of Christian “churches” teaches the True Faith – pure and unadulterated – that comes to us from the Apostles. So your mother was right in feeling that her religion was inferior – that is, if you believe Truth matters in religion.

The Lutherans copy some aspects of the Catholic Mass. There the similarity ends. The differences are not "minute" as you have suggested – not even among the many disparate Lutheran factions themselves, much less between the many kinds of Lutherans and the Catholic Church.

By definition, a Catholic is one who believes everything the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches and lives his life accordingly. Contraception is an evil practice condemned by the Church. It is not “birth control” that offends God, but artificial contraception – putting up barriers so that He cannot create new life even if it is His Will to do so – My Will be Done, not His. It is Church law that children of a mixed marriage must be raised Catholic – that was the law before and after Vatican II. No one “has to be married in the Catholic Church.”

Peace be with you,

JMJ Jay


#18

MKV,
I wish i had found this website a year ago when my husband and i were engaged. His family is very catholic and I was raised protestant in a small town where everyone else is protestant also. We had no idea what we were getting into. To put it lightly, there was lots of tension with family. My suggestion to you is pray, pray, pray! Definately take these posts seriously, but keep in mind that every situation is different. What may work for one couple, might not work for another. I know a couple married for 45 years where every sunday he would go to his church and she would go to hers. Ive also heard of a couple that would go to catholic mass on sat night and protestant church on sun morning. we didnt want to do either of these, but we would have because we both respected each others religion as we began to understand them. We prayed a lot, and started exploring our options. We found a wonderful (prodestant) church where we both feel comfortable and accepted. Some people have said that maybe he wasnt as strong in his faith as his family had hoped, which may be true, I dont know.

I think some key things to remember are to keep respect at the top of your list. It’s definately a good idea to discuss concerns, but avoid heated arguments. Also, dont try to persuade him to belive or understand the same as you. Some of it may be hard for him to grasp, and vice versa. Go thru your catholic marriage classes, but also talk to his preacher and agree to participate in their marriage prep stuff. If you want him to keep and open mind, you will have to keep one also. Dont agree to anything that makes you uncomfortable, either. i dont know if you have set a wedding date or not, but it may even be wise to ‘postpone’ any definate plans until a resolve is made.

I am a firm believer that God brought my husband and I together for a reason, even though we were from different faiths. I dont think that our religion was designed to tear us apart, but bring us closer. This has definately been one of the biggest challenges I have had to face, but as a result, my faith in God has grown tremendously, and so has my husbands. And now that the waters have somewhat cooled between family, I have found this wonderful website where I can learn more about his families religion…without the stress, worry, and attitude of his family. Good luck and keep praying!


#19

Dear farmchic, I think you have the secret, and that is respect for each other’s religions. When one partner feels that his or her religion is being “dissed” this makes for a lot of trouble in a marriage. I know, because I witnessed it with both my parents.
There is no doubt that a mixed marriage tests a person more, but if done successfully, maybe the rewards are greater. You really learn about charity, respect, patience and empathy.


#20

[quote=Katholikos]The Lutheran religions are partially true, as are all Protestant religions. The Catholic Church alone among the thousands of Christian “churches” teaches the True Faith – pure and unadulterated – that comes to us from the Apostles. So your mother was right in feeling that her religion was inferior – that is, if you believe Truth matters in religion.

The Lutherans copy some aspects of the Catholic Mass. There the similarity ends. The differences are not "minute" as you have suggested – not even among the many disparate Lutheran factions themselves, much less between the many kinds of Lutherans and the Catholic Church.

By definition, a Catholic is one who believes everything the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church teaches and lives his life accordingly. Contraception is an evil practice condemned by the Church. It is not “birth control” that offends God, but artificial contraception – putting up barriers so that He cannot create new life even if it is His Will to do so – My Will be Done, not His. It is Church law that children of a mixed marriage must be raised Catholic – that was the law before and after Vatican II. No one “has to be married in the Catholic Church.”

Peace be with you,

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

My parents were married in the 1950’s and they had to be married in the Catholic church according to my mother. She didn’t want to be; she wanted to be married by her childhood minister. I do know that she liked the young priest who married them.

I would say the differences are minute. It just depends on whether you want to focus on the minutia or the big picture which is Christ’s love and our belief in him as our savior. I think it is sad that we Christians let these petty differences blind us to all we have in common.

Being a child of a mixed marriage makes one much more able to see varying points of view, I guess. I don’t think my mother felt that her religion was “inferior” as you stated. In fact, part of the problem was that both of my parents thought that their religion was superior.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.