Non-catholic dating catholic... a few concerns


#1

Hello all, unlike most of you here, I am the non-catholic in my relationship. My girlfriend is not catholic yet either, but she is currently attending RCIA classes and plans to get confirmed/baptized in the catholic church.

I am coming here for simply educational purposes as I am obviously not knowledgeable on catholic ways. Although I myself am not catholic I do support her in her goal to grow closer to god and am very proud of the fact that she is doing this. She feels most comfortable with catholic church and feels it best suits her, but I however do not (for myself, but that is not my concern here).

Although we are far from getting married or having children I do have a few questions I would like to learn about for the future. I have read that in order for catholics to be married in the church to a non-catholic they must go through courses and get special permission, the catholic must also promise to raise their children catholic. What are the rules for this if I am a non-catholic and hope to raise my kids in another church than the catholic church? Will this stop our marriage from being officially recognized by the church?

Also, is there any way that a couple can be married in the outdoors, but with a catholic priest and still be recognized by the catholic church?

Thank you for your help, I am trying to learn so I can one day make the right decisions and be informed, not just go off assumptions. I look forward to hearing the responses and sorry if I sound uneducated in catholicism.


#2

Yes, the Catholic must do all in his power to raise the children in the Catholic faith. In order to marry a non-Catholic, a dispensation must be obtained. The ceremony can take place outdoors.


#3

All couples who wish to marry in the Catholic Church must attend pre-marriage classes/courses, not just the non-Catholic party. The classes are about marriage and not ment to try and convert anyone. The Catholic must get permission to marry a non-Catholic, but this usually routine and the priest can take care of the paperwork in the office. The Catholic must promise to raise the children in the Catholic faith; this could be an issue if the other party has a problem with that. In my diocese, you must be married inside a Catholic church. You can have the reception, of course, anywhere you want.


#4

[quote="Script_reader, post:1, topic:195838"]

Also, is there any way that a couple can be married in the outdoors, but with a catholic priest and still be recognized by the catholic church?

Thank you for your help, I am trying to learn so I can one day make the right decisions and be informed, not just go off assumptions. I look forward to hearing the responses and sorry if I sound uneducated in catholicism.

[/quote]

I was in your shoes once but not seeking an outdoor wedding. As I understood it the church would send a Priest or deacon as an official witness should a dispensation be granted as other denomination clergy conducted the ceremony.


#5

[quote="Catholic1954, post:3, topic:195838"]
All couples who wish to marry in the Catholic Church must attend pre-marriage classes/courses, not just the non-Catholic party. The classes are about marriage and not ment to try and convert anyone. The Catholic must get permission to marry a non-Catholic, but this usually routine and the priest can take care of the paperwork in the office. The Catholic must promise to raise the children in the Catholic faith; this could be an issue if the other party has a problem with that. In my diocese, you must be married inside a Catholic church. You can have the reception, of course, anywhere you want.

[/quote]

All couples must take pre-marriage courses, but there are other courses in addition for those to take who are marrying non-Catholics. In our diocese it amounts to six evenings. It's to help the non-Catholic better understand the faith of the spouse.

Out of curiosity, in your diocese can the marriage be outside if there is no Mass?

Regarding the OP and children, is this going to be an issue in the marriage? Does she want to raise them Catholic while you hope to raise them in another church?


#6

As others have said all couples that want to marry in the church must attend pre-marriage classes/sessions. The catholic party must promise to do everything in there power to raise any children catholic, the non-catholic person makes no promises but is informed of the catholic partys promise. In order for a catholic to marry a non-catholic they must get a dispension (permission) which is common and not hard to get (the priest will probably handle this). Getting married outdoors is a little tricky. It depends on the diocese and permission would be needed to have a wedding outside, and many diocese, including mine, have policies that do not allow outdoor weddings for anyone that wants their marriage recognized by the church. In the case of interfaith marriages they do giver permission to marry in other churches.


#7

[quote="Script_reader, post:1, topic:195838"]
What are the rules for this if I am a non-catholic and hope to raise my kids in another church than the catholic church? Will this stop our marriage from being officially recognized by the church?

[/quote]

A Catholic cannot marry a non-Catholic without permission from the Bishop. This permission is predicated on the Catholic affirming their freedom to continue practicing the Catholic faith AND their promise to raise the children as Catholics.

So, there isn't an option for a Catholic to marry validly intending to raise their children as anything other than Catholics. It is not optional.

Also

[quote="Script_reader, post:1, topic:195838"]
, is there any way that a couple can be married in the outdoors, but with a catholic priest and still be recognized by the catholic church?

[/quote]

Only if the Bishop gives permission for Catholic weddings in his diocese to take place outside. There are only a few bishops that do so. You would have to ask the priest.

A Catholic marrying a non-Catholic can receive a dispensation from the Bishop to marry in the non-Catholic's place of worship. A priest could attend as a witness, but would not officiate (this isn't necessary for validity if the Catholic has been dispensed from Catholic form, but many couples do have a priest attend)

[quote="Script_reader, post:1, topic:195838"]
Thank you for your help, I am trying to learn so I can one day make the right decisions and be informed, not just go off assumptions. I look forward to hearing the responses and sorry if I sound uneducated in catholicism.

[/quote]

Perhaps going to RCIA with your girlfriend (not to convert, but to learn) would be a good idea, and also making an appointment to speak with a Catholic priest who can explain to you the very real obstacles mixed marriages may face and all of the Catholic Church requirements.


#8

[quote="chevalier, post:2, topic:195838"]
The ceremony can take place outdoors.

[/quote]

Only if the bishop gives permisson for Catholic cermonies to take place outdoors or gives a dispensation from form when the non-Catholic intends an outdoor wedding.

In my diocese, this is absolutely forbidden.


#9

[quote="Script_reader, post:1, topic:195838"]
She feels most comfortable with catholic church and feels it best suits her, but I however do not .

[/quote]

Can you see Scrip_reader how this could possibly create serious problems between the two of you, especially if she lives her Catholicism very faithfully, (and so she should), and the two of you could not share intimately that most important thing (Catholic Faith) in her life?


#10

[quote="4Squarebaby, post:4, topic:195838"]
I was in your shoes once but not seeking an outdoor wedding. As I understood it the church would send a Priest or deacon as an official witness should a dispensation be granted as other denomination clergy conducted the ceremony.

[/quote]

I see... thank you for the help. Is your spouse not catholic? Can you give advice as to how you both worked it out? Again we are far away from this point, but I am just preparing myself so I am knowledgeable when the time comes.

[quote="Incomplete, post:5, topic:195838"]
All couples must take pre-marriage courses, but there are other courses in addition for those to take who are marrying non-Catholics. In our diocese it amounts to six evenings. It's to help the non-Catholic better understand the faith of the spouse.

Out of curiosity, in your diocese can the marriage be outside if there is no Mass?

Regarding the OP and children, is this going to be an issue in the marriage? Does she want to raise them Catholic while you hope to raise them in another church?

[/quote]

I am not really involved in any church seriously at the moment, I am going back and reading scripture and reading what churchs believe, to find out where I stand with things. So yes, children being strictly raised catholic could cause problems, but at this point we are not really sure.

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:195838"]
A Catholic cannot marry a non-Catholic without permission from the Bishop. This permission is predicated on the Catholic affirming their freedom to continue practicing the Catholic faith AND their promise to raise the children as Catholics.

So, there isn't an option for a Catholic to marry validly intending to raise their children as anything other than Catholics. It is not optional.

Also

Only if the Bishop gives permission for Catholic weddings in his diocese to take place outside. There are only a few bishops that do so. You would have to ask the priest.

A Catholic marrying a non-Catholic can receive a dispensation from the Bishop to marry in the non-Catholic's place of worship. A priest could attend as a witness, but would not officiate (this isn't necessary for validity if the Catholic has been dispensed from Catholic form, but many couples do have a priest attend)

Perhaps going to RCIA with your girlfriend (not to convert, but to learn) would be a good idea, and also making an appointment to speak with a Catholic priest who can explain to you the very real obstacles mixed marriages may face and all of the Catholic Church requirements.

[/quote]

Yes I agree, I have been to a few of the RCIA classes before and plan to attend a few more with her. I also have never been to the catholic church during mass, and I plan to attend this following weekend for the first time to better understand it.

[quote="Joseph629, post:9, topic:195838"]
Can you see Scrip_reader how this could possibly create serious problems between the two of you, especially if she lives her Catholicism very faithfully, (and so she should), and the two of you could not share intimately that most important thing (Catholic Faith) in her life?

[/quote]

Yes, I can... that is exactly why I am here. I am trying to help her, find out what I can do to educate myself on what to expect, and the things required of myself and her for the future.


#11

[quote="Script_reader, post:10, topic:195838"]
I see... thank you for the help. Is your spouse not catholic? Can you give advice as to how you both worked it out? Again we are far away from this point, but I am just preparing myself so I am knowledgeable when the time comes.

.

[/quote]

Check the poster data box on the right hand side or pull up their profile by clicking on their name. I am the non Catholic half of the marriage. My wife is what many on this site would call a Cafeteria and Cradle Catholic. As far as I can tell besides my Nation Of Islam little brother we were the only couple of ether family who were actually in a church, my home church in our case.


#12

[quote="4Squarebaby, post:11, topic:195838"]
Check the poster data box on the right hand side or pull up their profile by clicking on their name. I am the non Catholic half of the marriage. My wife is what many on this site would call a Cafeteria and Cradle Catholic. As far as I can tell besides my Nation Of Islam little brother we were the only couple of ether family who were actually in a church, my home church in our case.

[/quote]

oh, well any advice you can give on how you guys worked things out?


#13

Hi Script_Reader,

It might be technically possible to marry, even if you are uncomfortable with certain aspects of the Catholic Church. But your inability to worship together as a family, and especially how you are going to raise the children, will continue to be an area of conflict. Imagine that your wife will want to baptize the children in the Catholic Church, and attend masses on Sundays there with the children. Since you disagree with the CC, you will probably attend a different Church, meaning that the two of you, husband and wife, will not worship together. You will probably take the children to your Church on certain days, and your wife will take them to the CC on other days. You will never be together, as a family, in God's house. When it comes time for the children to get educated in matters of faith, it will get worse. Your wife will want the children to take First Communion (around the age of 6), and later (age 10-12) be confirmed in the CC, which will probably make you really uncomfortable, because the CC will teach your children the very same things that you disagree with, and which prevented you from attending the CC in the first place. But your wife will have a duty to do all of this, to raise and educate the children in the CC - the very same things that you don't want to do.


#14

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