Mixed religions marriage


The Catholic Church allows entering marriages of mixed religion/denomination. It would seem that a protestant or non-catholic could be considered anathama to the faith if having as much an opportunity to convert as an intimate relationship with a catholic he still refused. as I understand it, catholics are also permitted to marry non-Christians. would’nt both of these things contradict the tradition of paul in saying "do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.’?


That is why a Catholic needs approval from the church to do so. This so the couple is given a chance to clearly understand the difficulty they are taking on.


the CCC: **1633 **In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.

The hope is that the Catholic will lead the non-beliefer to Christ (it’s in the bible) and the non-Catholic into the Catholic Faith.


The Papal Encyclical On Mixed Marriage is very instructive.


of course we would hope that in the case where the marriage is already entered into or when one converts to christianity that the believer would lead the other to salvation. I know that the catachism permits entering into such marriages with special councel and help from the church! am I the only one who sees the contradiction between that and the apostle paul’s teaching, “Do not be unequally yoked togeather with unbelievers for what fellowship has rightiousness with lawlessness and what communion has light with darkness and what accord has Christ with Belial or what part has a believer with an unbeliever with an unbeliever. or what agreement does the temple of God with idols.for you are the temple of the living God.” II cor 6:14-16.

don’t just reiterate what I already stated–that the catholic church permits mixed marriages under special guidance. instead answere the question I asked, how is it possible that this is consistent with paul’s teaching? I know a lot of what catholics believe. the question is’nt what they believe. the question is whether it is true and I should believe it too. this is the point of apologetics. if these kinds of seeming contradictions can’t be reconciled, I have to conclude the catholic church is in error.


One must distinguish between a divine precept, and pastoral advice.

Much of what Paul writes to his congregations falls under the latter-- advice-- rather than an absolute command of divine law.

That is the case here. This passage is not about marriage specifically. It’s about fellowship. If it was to be taken literally, a Christian could never invite a non-Christian to their home, speak to them, engage in business with them, etc. Clearly that is not the intent of Scripture.

It is, of course, prudent advice and should carry a lot of weight as we discern friendships, relationships, and marriage.

I personally advise that a Catholic never marry a non-Catholic. The Church discourages it, but does not forbid it-- because as the bible also says… the unbelieving spouse is sanctified through the believing spouse.


One of my cousins married a non-Christian. After they were married for 10 years, he decided that he wanted to be Catholic (on his own, with no coercion whatsoever from my cousin). He was baptised, confirmed and received Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil the same year that his son received First Holy Communion a couple weeks later.


so what exactly constitutes "unequally yoked"
yoked: a tool used to harness togeather for the purpose of being inseperably connected for the duration of a task. that does’nt sound like casual aquaintance to me.

unequally: paul’s rational leads us to think he’s talking about being in a strong bond with an unbeliever because of the sacrilidge of Christ being united togeather with belial. it does’nt seem like mere advice but a theological concept to me.

your answere is insufficient.


the papal encyclical makes somewhat more sense. although, it still allowes that permission for exception can be granted–which is my objection in the first place.


It’s an image, which would be recognizable at the time, of an oxen team.

Your definition is not supported by context of the passage-- nor the entire letter of II Corinthians.

In your opinion.


Oh, but don’t take my word for it. From a variety of Protestant bible websites:





doubtless the broader point includes the particular situation.


It is not a prohibition.


Also under the Old Law it was forbidden to plough with a team consisting of an ox and an *** - [mods: can we fix that stupid net nanny? ] yoked together.


Yes, the Protestant websites I referred the OP to do a good job of explaining the imagery and the OT references from which it comes.


Since a Catholic cannot be physically prevented from marrying a non-Catholic, all the Church could do is refuse to marry them under the Sacrament of Matrimony. Then they’d get married somewhere else, and almost certainly, resent the Church for the rest of their lives, and raise their kids non-Catholic. That’s the alternative, and it’s not clearly preferable.


Paul does say not to be unequally yoked. What he does not say is “we will not allow you to be unequally yoked”. Thus the Church attempts to assure that the couple is aware of the issue and that the couple is confident that they will not be unequally yoked.


I am in a mixed marriage and he is Christian but does not attend any church :o silly . Well he has always tried to and successfully pulled me away from the CCC but I am bonded now again with my faith. So we are still married and fairly happy and congenial but not really yoked in the sense we were. Yoked really does mean both going the same purpose and direction, but then this is not a healthy relationship as the psychologists say.To be healthy we must have a little bit of independence.
Theologically we are now headed in the same direction only on a different road and I can still see him and wave to him, hopefully he won’t fade away, or disappear from view but if he does I now know that it won’t be because of me. Spiritually I don’t consider myself
yoked to him and maybe this is what Paul is pastorally saying, unlike oxen we can take the harness off without divorce. Or maybe our yoke is like very streched out :smiley: I’m praying that he will see we are on the same task.
Uneaqually can also mean the one is trying to do all the work and the other one is dragging it’s feet or pulling back to eat the grass on the way. Dessert


Non-Christians may simply have never heard The Word.

A typical requirement for the Church to endorse such mixed unions is for the prospective bride and groom to pledge to raise the children Catholic.

And before the anti-Catholics draw swords, please keep in mind that many Protestant churches have similar requirements before allowing for a church wedding.


Unfortunately I was married years ago and at the time my marriage would not have even been legal as I think that it was not accepted if I wasn’t married in a CC(we didn’t really agree to anything and I didn’t have to get married) so I didn’t raise our kids CC but thought my dh was very faithful to his faith but found out not quite so and he was very easily lured away by any religion except the CC so our kids were somewhat brought up in his parents faith which was a very good faith but now my kids are finding out about the CC through me and my side of the family so it has become a test on his side to see how they will treat the CC, accept or critizize ?
Now I have spoken with two priests and ironing things out about my marriage and have the confidence in the Lord that it is all valid, because we were married in a church, so they say.
So the shoe is on the other foot. I have stepgrandchildren who are CC but I love them all.
I think what Paul is pastorally saying is when you do marry into a family you end up marrying THE family and can get influenced by it.
My husbands family is great and I treated them nice but I don’t want to be boasting and now it is their turn to be gracious to me and Christian, which they are having a difficult time but that is not my problem it is theirs. By the way there are many fallen away CC by marriage, in his family.

My advice today would be like Paul’s don’t do it. But would I do it over again yes because I still love my dh.

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