Orthodox/Catholic Marriage

One of my friends (who is Orthodox) is dating a Roman Catholic. He told me that if they get married he is going to raise his kids Orthodox. I told him his girlfriend would also have an obligation to raise her kids Catholic, but then he thinks he has a stronger obligation to raise his kids Orthodox because he thinks that in a few years the Catholic Church is going to be borderline Anglican. How do I tell him that’s a ridiculous claim without being rude, thanks haha.

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Are they both aware if they go as far as marriage they will be likely best advised to marry in an Orthodox Church as whilst the Catholic Church recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments the reverse is not generally true and the general advice in such relationships is to marry in an Orthodox setting. If your friend thinks that of Catholicism and and his girlfriend is Catholic that suggest some very real potential problems likely to pop up in that relationship as time goes by if the female partner values her faith to any extent. She is not likely to enjoy such comments about it, especially the idea of being married to someone who will foster that view of the mother’s faith in the mind of future kids.


CIC (Latin Canon Law)

Can. 1125 The local ordinary can grant a permission of this kind if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions have been fulfilled:
1/ the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;
2/ the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;
3/ both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.


If he feels that way about the Catholic Faith, someone ought to tell his Catholic girlfriend that she should seriously reconsider marry him. He can’t force her to apostatize from the Faith plus she has an obligation to raise the children Catholic.

Yes, the Orthodox have valid sacraments but they also do re-baptisms and re-confirmations :scream: depending on the particular Orthodox jurisdiction. She might have to undergo these ceremonies in order to be married, notwithstanding the fact that a valid Baptism & Confirmation cannot be repeated without committing sacrilege.


I’ve never heard of a Catholic having to undergo re-baptism or re-confirmation in order to get married in an Orthodox Church.

ETA: I’ve been to a Catholic/Orthodox wedding. It was in an Orthodox parish and the groom’s Catholic priest participated as a reader.

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AFAIK, most Orthodox jurisdictions recognize Catholic sacraments but from the threads I’ve seen here on CAF re-baptisms and re-confirmations do occur (which really irks me since the CC recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments/mysteries).


A reader?!? :scream::tired_face: (Sorry, I have to vent.)

(Now calm)

Btw, was the groom’s priest RC or EC? If RC, he should have been a witness to the wedding (which he is according to RC theology) and not a reader.


Without the means to hold a binding ecumenical council, the Orthodox Church is effectively at the mercy of sola scriptura. That would make it more “borderline Anglican” than he predicts we will be.

Oh wait… I guess that might be taken as rude🤷‍♂️


No, that was fine. There’s some serious misinformation on this thread. The Catholic Church always recognizes the validity of Orthodox marriage…
A Catholic Orthodox mixed marriage is not comparable to a Catholic Protestant mixed marriage. The Church recognizes it to be a much more nuanced situation. There can be accommodation in raising the children as valid sacraments will be received in both cases. Often the marriage ceremony itself will be Orthodox as the Orthodox jurisdiction may not recognize the marriage if celebrated in the Catholic Church.


I mean on one hand I kind of think the boyfriend’s right I’ve been saying that on these threads for years…

I don’t think the Church is going to cease to exist and go extinct but going into some weird places theologically like Anglicans yeah I think we’re not too far off on apostasy

Since Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity share the first thousand years and share the sacraments and most theology it kind of puts both people at a stalemate since both their respective Churches hold that they are the original Church founded by Christ and his Apostles.

I often wonder how Catholic/Orthodox couples deal with this when it comes to having children?

I’m kind of wondering how Church attendance is dealt with if presumably the Catholic member of the marriage has to get a dispensation to attend Orthodox services for Sunday obligation and possibly vice-versa for the Orthodox member?

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My wife was a fallen-away Evangelical and I was hardly raised Catholic.

I ended up returning to my faith shortly after we were married and I was taking the kids to Church alone for a number of years and fighting with her mom who was insistent that I allowed the children to go to her church every other week or so.

I’d only allowed this because at the time I was working graveyard shifts Wednesday through Sunday and I wasn’t able to be physically capable to get up to go to the earlier Mass with the children’s liturgy so I allowed my kids to go because they had a Sunday school program.

I still took my children to Mass to make their obligation but at least they had somewhat of a basic form of Christian education.

If I had known I could I would have enrolled them in Catechism classes.

I had a heck of a time because my parents weren’t practicing and my brother didn’t have any children and he wasn’t married so I had to figure out all this stuff on my own.

I also had to begrudgingly be a little diplomatic and fair considering that I didn’t marry into another Catholic family.

My wife really was not religious and had some serious issues with religion at the time so she kind of put her parental religious duties on the backburner of her parents because she didn’t want to take sides.

My poor kids would get so worn out because they would go to Mass in the evening but they had already gone to church in the morning with their grandparents and it was like a tug-of-war over their spiritual formation.

It’s in part my fault because I allowed them to go with their grandparents in the first place but I didn’t think my mother-in-law would be so huffy about it and in my mind I was their father I had the final say along with my wife but she refused to take sides or make a final decision.

When my first child was born my wife and her parents didn’t want our daughter baptized Catholic because they didn’t believe in infant baptism so it wasn’t until years later that I got all four of my children at that time baptized.

A year later a Eastern Catholic mission began and I started attending with my girls and then my wife and I and all our children started going and she converted almost 3 years ago.

We now have five children going on six children.

We both agreed that the children are not going to church with their grandparents except for very rare special occasions because we’re a Catholic family and we’re raising our children Catholic.

It’s also funny when my wife calls Martin Luther a heretic.

My children and I are all canonically Roman Catholic but my wife is Ukrainian Catholic.

If I had to give anyone advice and as mean as it might sound so you don’t have an uphill battle and have all the difficulties that I had for the sake of your own sanity and for your children please marry another Catholic.

It’s a headache to have an inter-religious marriage that involves raising children and having arguments about religion pertaining to your children is a really ugly thing.


I also have a co-worker who was raised by mixed religious couple a Catholic parent and a Baptist parent.

He would go to Mass on Saturday and worship service on Sunday that guy has some serious hang-ups with God and a lot of anger.

We also have a family friend that has another similar background only it was her grandmother’s whom were Catholic and Lutheran and they would both take her to church and would both talk smack on each other and pressure her in taking there side with their religion.

Both these people are atheist or at the very least agnostic one of them is a really ugly person he’s got a lot demons he’s wrestling with and I can’t blame the guy and the other person’s is very kind but through no fault of her own has some issues.

The moral of the story is basically that making your kids practice two different religions or two different Christian denominations is damaging.

For one it’s exhausting for the child and for two it doesn’t really give them consistency.

I can’t imagine what it was like for my coworker to never have a weekend that you had to go to Catholic vigil mass on Saturday then wake up the next morning to go to a Baptist worship service and have two contrary theologies shoved down your throat by two disagreeing parents.

Then our family friend to have a Catholic grandmother and a Lutheran grandmother call each other derogatory names around their granddaughter and try to persuade her to their faith when the poor kid loved both of them and probably didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of a religious war.

With Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity it’s not even really that they’re different religions they’re pretty much the same thing but both churches claim that they’re the original and true Church and that puts two people in a relationship with children in a difficult place.

I hope someday there will eventually be some reconciliation with the Catholic Church and various Orthodox Churches and we would be able to share communion and work out these types of marriages but better yet have full reconciliation but that probably won’t happen in our lifetime.

I still hold that it’s better to marry into your own religion.


The fathers faith would trump. Besides, raising kids in Orthodoxy is no different than raising kids in Catholicism. They are both Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.


Well yes, but they are schismatic so they aren’t in union with Rome.

What about when an Orthodox calls another Orthodox schismatic? A Syriac Orthodox bishop called the Malankara Orthodox church schismatic. Find it so odd since they are both in the OO communion.

There’s a fight going on in India. Between the Indian Syriac Orthodox (Jacobite) & Malankara Orthodox. The Malankaras are taking over Jacobite churches using the civil court system.

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A marriage like this cannot work. The Orthodox Church requires that the children will have to be raised Orthodox.

It depends on the bishop. But many Orthodox theologians don’t believe there is grace within heterodox baptisms and confirmations. It’s not “re-baptism” nor is it “re-confirmation” anymore than if we were to baptize someone who was baptized in a heretical fashion (such as Oneness Pentecostals). As Orthodox we don’t just categorize things into “valid” or “invalid” like western theologians do, because we believe the Orthodox Church is the true Church established by Christ and that grace chiefly exists only within the Orthodox Church which extends to our mysteries. That doesn’t mean all baptisms outside of the Orthodox Church are necessarily rejected, although it is recognized that they may be lacking in grace, and through the mystery of chrismation, by oikonomia a baptism could be given what it was once previously lacking and many Orthodox bishops decide to go the route of oikonomia. But as said, some bishops will require a full Orthodox baptism which, unlike Roman Catholic and Protestant baptisms, we know for certain has grace because it is of the Orthodox Church which is the One True Church established by Jesus Christ. But regardless of the way a person is received into the Orthodox Church all bishops are required to accept it because the Church accepts it and the Orthodox Church is the Bride of Christ.

I think if you plan to marry someone Orthodox be aware of these issues and also that even when dead you can’t buried together and that funerary customs mean cremation is prohibited for the most part. These may all sound like extraneous issues when dating but when married they become real, they can be worked through but it’s more likely they will be if each side sets out knowing what the others faith consists of. That said the bloke dating the girl in the OP who is cited has a serious issue with lack of respect for the faith of his girlfriend from the sounds of things and that doesn’t bode well for a relationship.

how are relations between the Orthodox (Eastern Orthodox)? Could someone who received all the sacraments at the OCA (Orthodox Church in America) say for example, start attending the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America? or the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America?

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Yes. Though members of the Russian church wouldn’t be able to give the same answer.

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