So, in another thread there is discussion of raising children of mixed marriages (Catholic and non-Catholic). I don’t want to derail the original thread with this somewhat of a tangent, so let me start a new one. A relative of mine, she is Catholic, she married a Muslim man. They were married in the mosque, without any Catholic priest present; but I understand she got a dispensation from disparity of cult from the local diocese, so her marriage in the mosque is recognised by the Catholic Church. Now, the condition of this dispensation, was they had to agree to raise the children Catholic, and they agreed to that.
But, my question then comes, what does it actually mean to “raise the children Catholic”? They were baptised and confirmed, they were sent to Catholic schools, they went to Mass on Sundays. The husband was okay with all of this, so long as he could take them to mosque sometimes (he only went irregularly), and the sons were circumcised. I don’t think either parent tried to convince the children “my religion is right and yours is wrong”, rather the attitude was “expose the children to the religions of both parents, and as adults they can decide what (if any) religion they want to believe”. Both parents are believers in their respective faiths, but neither is particularly devout, and both subscribe to the viewpoint that the similarities between their faiths are more important than the differences.
So, does it sound like they actually lived up to the commitment they made to the Church to “raise the children Catholic”? Is exposing the children to both parent’s religions compatible with this? Is not telling them the other parent’s religion is wrong (which might be bad for family harmony) compatible with this?
In some ways I think this is easier with Islam in that there is a lack of rites of passage like baptism. If it was another Christian denomination, the question would come up - which Church to baptise the children in? With Islam, that question never arises, because there are no specific ceremonies expected for children/adolescents in Islam.
Interestingly, from the viewpoints of both religions, the children are members. Under Catholic canon law, the children are Catholic because they were baptised in the Catholic Church. Under Islamic Sharia law, the children are Muslims because they were born to a Muslim father.