Promise to raise children Catholic


Hi, I’m a devout Catholic, my potential future wife is a Hindu with a love for the Catholic Church, but not a member. What does the church mean when it says:

I promise to do all in my power to share the faith I have received with our children by having them baptized and reared as Catholics.

I know that puts an obligation on me, but to what extend would it affect my wife?

I know a lot of people will say I shouldn’t even get married to a Hindu, but I respectfully ask you to answer my question if you have any information.

Thank you.


I married a Lutheran and made the same promise - what it means is you are responsible for all their religious training, making sure they are prepared for their sacraments and they get to Mass a minimum of every Sunday and Holy Day. Your future wife has no responsibility as far as that is concerned but she may choose to help you ;).

Did this answer your question?

Brenda V.


What about her in terms of teaching our kids about her religion, is she only allowed to teach them the Catholic faith?


Short answer, no, she makes no promises except to be open to life.

You two need to sit down and discuss this, thoroughly, so the question is, how much of Hinduism do you think will hinder any children from being able to learn about the One True God? I know virtually nothing about Hinduism so I can not help you here.

I can tell you that I could never have married if I knew I could not share my life with my children. I have been blessed with always having a strong faith and the desire to live accordingly so my life includes my faith, they are inseparable. As a matter of fact I was ready to call off the Wedding a month before as we ironed this detail out and as you can see by the ticker in my signature line we are approaching our 30th wedding anniversary!

You also need to sit down together with your Priest or Deacon and start talking about this. They can help you with many more of these questions you have than any one here on the boards can :).

Brenda V.


Brenda, are you sure the spouses are not making any other promise than to be open to children? As I recall, the vow goes something along the lines of I will accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church? It seems to me that the nonCatholic spouse is indeed promising, before God, to raise the children Catholic.


Raising the children Catholic, by implication means that your wife would not interfere with their religious upbringing. It would also mean refraining from teaching them the Hindu religion, which could lead to indifferentism and confusion.


Thanks for your answers guys. I found the answer in a 1993 edition of This Rock in Quick Questions:

Q: When a Catholic and a non-Catholic get married, does the non-Catholic have to promise to raise the children of the marriage in the Catholic faith?

A: No. This used to be the case, but the current Code of Canon Law (1983) does not require the non-Catholic to make this promise. The Code does state that “the Catholic party . . . [must] promise to do all in his or her power to have all the children baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church” (c. 1125), but the non-Catholic party does not have to promise to have the children raised Catholic.

This rule attempts to do justice to the consciences of both the Catholic and the non-Catholic. The non-Catholic party is not asked to violate his conscience if it requires him to refuse to promise to raise the children Catholic, and the Catholic party is asked to live out the belief that Catholicism is true by doing all that is possible to have the children raised in the truth. The final decision about how the children will be raised is to be a joint decision made by both parents. Canon law requires that all of this be understood by both parties before the marriage is contracted.


is there anything stronger than knowledge (or lack thereof) that can affect a person? I am a religious studies major and in the last three years, the things I have discovered about varoius faiths have been illuminating beyond explanation. there is no good reason to willfully remain ignorant about anything, especially religion. Hinduism is throne where over a billion hearts rest, just as is catholicism. while you are not obligated to believe it, we all have the duty to understand it, if only to gain a better channel of communication with our inter-faith brothers. we have no right to ask them to consider us if we weill not do the same.

again, nothing in the exploration of another religion imlies your own doubt of your own, but rather a will to understand. at the very least it will enable you to cite specific reasons as to why you belive what you do and not what they do.


We’re not talking about college-aged adults taking theology classes here. We’re talking about children who may indeed become confused if brought up in a household with such wildly differing religious backgrounds as Catholicism and Hinduism.


Exactly! :thumbsup:

This “I will not teach my teach my children a religion but instead let them decide when they are older” attitude is nothing less than an abdication of the most fundamental parental responsibility.

Those who promote such a view are morally bankrupt.


I don’t remember the exact words of the vows but am pretty sure my husband was not asked to agree to this. Perhaps we had different vows from the ones two Catholics say?

I had to sign a paper saying I would do my best to Baptize and raise those babies Catholic (which I strongly objected to because I felt that all married couples should be faced with this question so bluntly asked of me!) I signed the paper and still say that all couples getting married need to do likewise, if both are Catholic, they need to sign it, if only one is then the Catholic party must sign it. This truly brings home the importance of doing this!

Brenda V.


If you were married in a Catholic Church by a Catholic priest, this was indeed part of the vows, whether you remember or not.


So you, Mr. rpp, are going to call people morally bankrupt? You have the authority to call somebody morally bankrupt, you are that insightful that you can make this sweeping generalization. Does God consult with you before he makes judgments on people, because you seem to have an awful lot of information on everybody.

I plan on teaching my children my faith, I’m not abdicating the “most fundamental parental responsibility” as you put it. I will do what is required of me by the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH headed by POPE BENEDICT XVI in Rome. If you have some other set of rules that you live by, then go ahead, but those are YOUR rules, not anyone else’s.

Thank you Brenda for your input.


Your welcome. I am again going to strongly suggest you and your soon to be fiancee start talking to a Priest or Deacon, make sure you are both fully understanding what it means to be married with a disparity of cult (that is a Catholic and non-Christian) it will be far more difficult than my marriage and the difficult part comes with the children as you are so rightly trying to understand right now! Keep in mind that the mom tends to spend far more time with children than the dad (just the nature of family life) so your wife no matter how much she promises to not teach them about her Hinduism will probably impart some of it anyway!

I will not tell you to not get married, I had plenty of people tell me that 30 years ago, all the way to “you don’t get married because you are going to “change” him!” which was not my intent, if change occurred it would come from the Holy Spirit and not me :wink: and there is still time for it to happen! I still pray for it and I have seen my husband go from an Agnostic to one of the best Christian men ever!

Brenda V.


I am glad that you have not abdicated your parental responsibility in raising your children.

Parents who refuse to bring children up in their faith are putting the souls of their own children in grave peril. How is that anything else but morally bankrupt?

As you have been a member of this forum for more than a year, I am surprised at this post. Other forums may permit this, but personal attacks, such as the one you engaged in here, aside from being sinful, are not permitted on this forum. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the rules here or you may find yourself dealing with the moderators.


It’s not up to you to determine if something is sinful. Plus, I only responded to what you said. I asked you what your authority is to say what you said.


It is our moral obligation to admonish the sinner.

Sir, what you just posted in your second sentence is false. When you ask if God consults me, that is obviously a personal attack. At best, this is a venial form of blasphemy.

Straighten up or you may find yourself in trouble with the moderators.

So how would you describe someone who imperils the immortal souls of their own children, a saint?

You are not worth listening to as you seem to be here just to start trouble or pick a fight. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you. I will not return insult for insult nor with I fight with you. However, if you continue your personal attacks against me or any other member here, you can be assured that you will be reported to the moderators.


Go ahead and report me. I’m sure what you said is just as bad, if not worse.


Hi phil;

I appreciate you posting this, as I always wondered myself–even though I have been married for 17 yrs to a cradle Catholic, I remember when my marriage was blessed in the Catholic Church, that we both had to agree to raise the kids Catholic. I echo the other poster(s) who suggested that you really have a heart to heart with your potential future wife, as it’s hard to tell now, but what you both agree to now, might change substantially when children are here before you, and suddenly you and your wife are at odds with how to raise the kids. I can’t imagine being a parent and not wanting my children to experience the religion I embrace in its entirety. I think that your wife, if she remains Hindu, while agreeing to raise the kids Catholic (once you cross that bridge) might have a complete change of heart when marrying, and on the other hand, she might not. I’m just saying that it really is something (as you know, otherwise you wouldn’t be asking lol) that requires several heart to heart conversations over before marrying someone who doesn’t follow your faith. While there are obstacles in interfaith marriages, there are obstacles in marriages where faith is not an issue. And with those obstacles, there is always a beautiful opportunity to witness your faith, and see if your potential wife would consider converting.

If you choose to marry her, I will pray that it all works out for you!:slight_smile:


Thanks so much whatevergirl, your post has a lot of valuable information in it. Thank you for being so understanding and sensitive. This is a really big issue for me, and something I’m struggling with. Everyone, please keep me in your prayers.

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