The non-catholic spouse in a mixed marriage teaching their child their religion


#1

Hi,

So I'm seeing a Hindu girl. We haven't really started "officially" dating yet....the main reason is because of the issue I'm about to bring up......marriage and the rearing of children.

I asked her if we ever got married would she be willing to raise the kids catholic. She said yes (as in agrreeing to have them baptized, confirmed, go to mass every sunday, catechised, etc), but she said she wanted to teach the kids about hinduism and even take them to hindu ceremonies and prayers also....She believes that theres only one God, but in many forms and believes the "Catholic version of God" is one of those forms....so would this be a valid marriage if I ended up marrying this girl?.....If no, then I will not start dating her.


#2

A marriage can be valid but not sacramental. Anytime you marry a non-baptized person, no matter what they believe, the marriage is not sacramental. This is a very difficult journey for both of you without children. Adding children to the dififculties makes it exponentially more difficult.


#3

[quote="PbloPicasso, post:2, topic:242034"]
A marriage can be valid but not sacramental. Anytime you marry a non-baptized person,** no matter what they believe, the marriage is not sacramental.** This is a very difficult journey for both of you without children. Adding children to the dififculties makes it exponentially more difficult.

[/quote]

How could this be?

A friend of mine married a non-practicing Muslim man in the Catholic Church with a Catholic priest presiding over the ceremony.

They got permission, she had to promise to raise their children Catholic (she is) and he had to promise not to prevent her from doing so (he isn't).

I suspect this statement is incorrect.


#4

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:1, topic:242034"]
Hi,

So I'm seeing a Hindu girl. We haven't really started "officially" dating yet....the main reason is because of the issue I'm about to bring up......marriage and the rearing of children.

I asked her if we ever got married would she be willing to raise the kids catholic. She said yes (as in agrreeing to have them baptized, confirmed, go to mass every sunday, catechised, etc), but she said she wanted to teach the kids about hinduism and even take them to hindu ceremonies and prayers also....She believes that theres only one God, but in many forms and believes the "Catholic version of God" is one of those forms....so would this be a valid marriage if I ended up marrying this girl?.....If no, then I will not start dating her.

[/quote]

Whether or not it would be a valid marriage, why would you want to volunteer your children to be confused? Either God is a Triune, supreme God, or He's just one of many (thousands). There's no in between. Her religious viewpoints will tear down the Catholic faith even if she isn't trying to do that. Why do that to yourself, why go down that road?

:shrug:


#5

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:1, topic:242034"]
I asked her if we ever got married would she be willing to raise the kids catholic. She said yes (as in agrreeing to have them baptized, confirmed, go to mass every sunday, catechised, etc), but she said she wanted to teach the kids about hinduism and even take them to hindu ceremonies and prayers also....She believes that theres only one God, but in many forms and believes the "Catholic version of God" is one of those forms....so would this be a valid marriage if I ended up marrying this girl?.....If no, then I will not start dating her.

[/quote]

I suggest you NOT date this girl.

The Church prohibits marriage between the baptized and unbaptized, and requires a dispensation from disparity of cult to enter into such a marriage. The Catholic must promise to raise the children Catholic, and the non-Catholic must be informed and the priest must ensure that the non-Catholic **truly **understands what this means.

Teaching them the Hindu religion--- a completely false religion-- would confuse children. Exactly how will you explain that Mommy's religion and all its pantheon of gods is untrue while she is teaching them that there are many paths to god (a false idea rejected by the Church)?

This is just asking for trouble and probably worse.

Please find a Catholic woman with whom you can raise a Catholic family.


#6

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:3, topic:242034"]
How could this be?

A friend of mine married a non-practicing Muslim man in the Catholic Church with a Catholic priest presiding over the ceremony.

They got permission, she had to promise to raise their children Catholic (she is) and he had to promise not to prevent her from doing so (he isn't).

[/quote]

The mariage would be a valid, **natural **marriage. Only marriages between two baptized persons can be a sacrament. Baptism is the gateway to all other sacraments.

If a baptized person marries an unbaptized person it is not a sacrament. But, it is certainly a *valid *marriage if they follow Church law. If the unbaptized party were ever to receive baptism, the marriage would become a sacrament.

[quote="StJudePray4Me, post:3, topic:242034"]
I suspect this statement is incorrect.

[/quote]

The statement is completely correct.


#7

Thanks for the answers.

But I don’t want advice. I just want a clear black and white answer

Would I be living in a state of sin if I were to marry this girl knowing she would raise the kids catholic. She would have them baptized, go to confession, go to church every sunday, not use contraceptives, get confirmed, say the rosary, allow them to be catechized and follow God etc. etc… but also tell the children about her religous beliefs and occasionally let them participiate in some of her religions’ “things”?

I want a straight answer.

If its a sin, then I will stop this romance with this girl, but if it isn’t I will continue to be with her and hope she will convert because I think I could if I was given enough time…and if the kids were ever in doubt, I would teach them what I was taught (books that prove chrisitanity, our lady of fatima, stories of saints, etc. etc.)


#8

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]

Would I be living in a state of sin if I were to marry this girl knowing she would raise the kids catholic. She would have them baptized, go to confession, go to church every sunday, not use contraceptives, get confirmed, say the rosary, allow them to be catechized and follow God etc. etc.......

[/quote]

No, *she *would not be doing these things. YOU, the Catholic, would be responsible for this.

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]
but also tell the children about her religous beliefs and occasionally let them participiate in some of her religions' "things"?

[/quote]

Catholics cannot participate in non-Christian religions. The Church's teaching on this is clear.

A Catholic might, on occasion, attend a non-Catholic or non-Christian religious service. Like a funeral, wedding, etc. But, participate, no. This violates Church teaching.

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]
I want a straight answer.

[/quote]

Then go talk to your priest.

Much of this falls in the area of prudence. And, acting in a purposely imprudent manner-- such as pursuing a relationship with someone who intends to teach your children a false religion-- can be gravely sinful, yes.

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]

If its a sin, then I will stop this romance with this girl, but if it isn't I will continue to be with her

[/quote]

Again, go see your priest.

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]
and hope she will convert because I think I could if I was given enough time....

[/quote]

Marrying someone in the hopes that they will convert is very imprudent.

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]

and if the kids were ever in doubt, I would teach them what I was taught (books that prove chrisitanity, our lady of fatima, stories of saints, etc. etc.)

[/quote]

You seem quite naive.


#9

SHE cannot raise the kids as Catholics because SHE is not a Catholic. YOU are but tell me that a mother will not want her children to share her religion! What about little stories she tells them from birth, even just without thinking, that indirectly undermine the Church? She can say “oh sure, I will tell them about your religion being good,” but what she will really do is continue to put Hinduism up against Christianity and then you have children who have to choose between their two parents’ religions. And do you know what happens when children are put in that position?

They choose “neither of the above.” And usually have -0- religious faith or practice.


#10

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:7, topic:242034"]
Thanks for the answers.

But I don't want advice. I just want a clear black and white answer

Would I be living in a state of sin if I were to marry this girl knowing she would raise the kids catholic. She would have them baptized, go to confession, go to church every sunday, not use contraceptives, get confirmed, say the rosary, allow them to be catechized and follow God etc. etc....... but also tell the children about her religous beliefs and occasionally let them participiate in some of her religions' "things"?

I want a straight answer.

If its a sin, then I will stop this romance with this girl, but if it isn't I will continue to be with her and hope she will convert because I think I could if I was given enough time....and if the kids were ever in doubt, I would teach them what I was taught (books that prove chrisitanity, our lady of fatima, stories of saints, etc. etc.)

[/quote]

There isn't a straight answer. Is it always sinful? No. The Church would not allow it, if it were. Do some Catholics marry outside the faith and find their non-Catholic spouse is an excellent support to their practice of the faith? Yes, they do. Do some Catholics marry outside the faith with a certain amount of presumption, pride, or lack of prudence, knowingly making a marriage that puts their faith and the education of their children in danger? Well, of course they do, and that is wrong. The seriousness can vary, the culpability can vary, but strictly speaking, yes that can be a sin.

You have to continually ask yourself these questions, even when you date a person who is baptised and confirmed. Someone can attend Mass every Sunday and still present a threat to your practice of the faith, if they become* your *spouse. There are good Catholics with whom you could not make a peaceful household suitable for rearing children. There is a certain amount of discernment required in these matters, which is why the Church does not allow you to waltz up and marry anyone you want on short notice, even another Catholic.

I know from experience that you are considering a difficult thing. I can't tell you that it is a sin. As you are in the thick of hearing what vocational direction the Lord desires for you, I would suggest that you talk to a priest who knows you well, and get yourself a spiritual director of some sort and a serious prayer life, if you do not have one already, and go from there.


#11

I do recommend you stop this romance. Since you say you are able to, then do. Speak to your priest seriously. Spend time with the young adult groups in your diocese. Make friends with practicing Catholics (men and women). Do not deliberately pursue the course of dating and contemplating marriage with a non-Christian woman -- really do not even deliberately pursue a non-Catholic woman.


#12

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:9, topic:242034"]
SHE cannot raise the kids as Catholics because SHE is not a Catholic. YOU are but tell me that a mother will not want her children to share her religion! What about little stories she tells them from birth, even just without thinking, that indirectly undermine the Church? She can say "oh sure, I will tell them about your religion being good," but what she will really do is continue to put Hinduism up against Christianity and then you have children who have to choose between their two parents' religions. And do you know what happens when children are put in that position?

They choose "neither of the above." And usually have -0- religious faith or practice.

[/quote]

This is not quite true. My husband is not Catholic, yet he teaches the faith not as "the Church teaches this" but rather as "this is true." He does have the "advantage", though, of actually being baptised and not having been brought up knowing the tenets of his own denomination. He can say, "This is the Body of Christ", without duplicity. That is a rather rare thing, but it does happen, even among those who are not baptised.

You could say it is impossible for a Hindu to do that, and generally speaking I'd have to agree, but I've found that in the US there is no religious contradiction without its adherents. It is a strange world out there.

It is true that the likelihood of religious practice in adulthood is directly tied to whether one or both parents practice the faith. I could not find statistics for the situation where the father is Catholic and practices the faith and the mother is non-Catholic and practices a different faith. The numbers are probably out there, but I couldn't find them.


#13

Ben...

I think the response is, it is a SIN. (shrug) the reason? you are allowing UNTRUTH to be present as truth. The fact that it's their mother, gives the teaching authority. It will confuse. When you are BORN catholic, there's a responsibility that you have that others outside of the church don't have. You are to protect the fullness of truth at whatever cost. I know it "sits" wrong in our emotions to take a stand on something, however, this you must stand on, or you put your immortal soul, and your children's souls you have custody of, in danger. I am with an agnostic. He has agreed not to usurp my teaching our son. However, He also knows i will not "tolerate" endangering his soul with pagan ideas. You don't know who or what he is? That's fine, however you aren't teaching our children that relative self destructive road of feelings. Just my 2 cents, but the natural cause and affect states this will statistally end in disaster. Granted, it also says me and my fiancee have a huge percentage of failure as well. We've been together 13 years (yea..!) However, it's certainly a rarity, and i credit us still being together because of my Catholic Faith.

I will pray! Good luck to you!


#14

I think that if you are knowingly entering marriage with a person who will teach your children a false religion than that is dangerous ground.


#15

[quote="1ke, post:5, topic:242034"]
I suggest you NOT date this girl.

[/quote]

I would have to second that. I can't say that it is certainly a sin to pursue a marriage with her, but if you are still at a moment of indecision, you ought to know, OP, that this is a path that others have travelled to their grief. You are at a point where you can withdraw from the scene without hurting her, consider that, too.

This young woman does not deserve to be thought of as a "fixer upper" that will be OK if you can convince her to become a Catholic. If she becomes Catholic, wonderful, but if you are considering marriage, don't do it unless you can do so without reservation. Don't put expectations on her that are beyond the gifts God has given her. That's not fair to her.

On her wedding day, a woman ought to look at a man who is thrilled to have her just as she is. If you don't have that to give her, leave her to find someone who can.


#16

OK, thanks to all

I've decided to break this romance up now

but another question....

would it be a sin if the Hindu wife agreed to let me raise the kids catholic with no opposition and she didn't teach the kids Hinduism or made them participate in Hindu worship things?


#17

[quote="EasterJoy, post:15, topic:242034"]

This young woman does not deserve to be thought of as a "fixer upper" that will be OK if you can convince her to become a Catholic. If she becomes Catholic, wonderful, but if you are considering marriage, don't do it unless you can do so without reservation. Don't put expectations on her that are beyond the gifts God has given her. That's not fair to her.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I would also add that in the case of mixed-religion marriages, a spouse who agrees at the time of marriage to raise his or her children in a religion not of their own upbringing may be sincere.... but they may also change their mind years later, particularly when the first child gets to be around school age. As the child starts to interact with the world, a parent may become acutely aware that his or her heritage, and the associated happy memories, are not being shared with the child. Remorse on the part of that parent may then lead to struggles in which the child is pulled this way and that.... which isn't fair to the child.


#18

Not a sin. You’d have to get a dispensation to marry her, #1, and then, #2, you’d have a religious and spiritual “one-legged stool” as a foundation. It would be you and only you teaching your kids about your faith. That may seem do-able from where you are now, but trust me, it gets old fast.


#19

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:16, topic:242034"]

would it be a sin if the Hindu wife agreed to let me raise the kids catholic with no opposition and she didn't teach the kids Hinduism or made them participate in Hindu worship things?

[/quote]

Stop focusing on "is this a sin" or "is that a sin." It is not black and white.

As has already been pointed out, numerous times, this is an area of prudence. It can become an occasion of sin. It can certainly lead to very serious issues in a marriage. It is *unwise *to start such a relationship. Can failing to use the good sense God gave you become a sinful area in your life? Yes.

Hindus have a pantheon of literally thousands of gods. These are false gods. These are false ideas.


#20

@Ben: You might back up a little, and ask yourself what the importance of marriage is. Do you know why it is preferred that you marry a practicing Catholic? Do you know why marriage is considered a sacrament (and when it isn't)?

As I was told by more than one priest, my goal is to get my husband into heaven. His job is to do the same for me. We are to be sharing faith, building a ground work and foundation for our family, and the salvation of our children. None of this means that a person who doesn't share my faith is a bad person, but as a practicing Catholic, I want to eat from the full feast, not just the a la carte menu. :p

I can't describe how much it means to me to be able to go to mass as a family, to have all of us able to share in the Eucharist, and know that we are on the same page spiritually-- and it hasn't always been that way. I was a fallen away Catholic, and married an unbaptized agnostic. By the grace of God, both of are now practicing our shared religion. My husband's conversion was a profound gift-- but I've read enough here to understand that it is not always the case, and many families struggle with a conflict of faith.

I think if you think over why we are called to marriage in the first place, you'll find your answers.


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