Two different faiths- one family


My husband is lutheran and I am very Roman Catholic.

He is just as strong in his faith, and will not allow our children to be raised Catholic. He will allow me to practice whatever faith I choose though.

I have felt drawn in the past to teach Religious Ed classes at my Parish, because I feel I have had many life experiences that support my Catholic Faith that I should try to find ways to share with others.

This presents a problem though now that my children are old enough to be participating in the classes, but are not. I know that people are speaking poorly of me. All they see is that I am not bringing my children up in the faith, but yet feel impelled to teach other peoples children instead.

It is not an option for me to raise my children Catholic. I believe it is most important to keep my marriage together.

Should I step down as a teacher in this program because people are gossiping about me, and I may be setting a bad example… or should I remain to try to share with others the amazing ways Jesus has touched my life.

I feel in my heart Jesus telling me to “not worry about what others think, but only of what He thinks.” I feel Him telling me to “remain where I am planted”. But at the same time there are some very important people at the church who have made it clear to me that it is important to worry about what others think.

How do I know if I am to remain visible, or hide myself?


My cousin is in a situation like this. He is very Catholic, and his wife is very Lutheran. They have a very solid marriage and three beautiful children. I believe they attend both Catholic and Lutheran church services. The children have the examples of two wonderful parents who live out their Christian faith. It works for them because they choose to make it work.

I know this doesn’t answer your question about teaching CCD, but you can still demonstrate your faith and your commitment to your marriage and family. You can be a wonderful example to your husband and your children.


You know what, you need to get your priorities straight. Raising your children Catholic is not optional-- it’s a grave obligation for a Catholic.


I think that you should continue to teach. What does he say when you remind him that he promised not to interfere with you Baptizing the children and raising them Catholic in order to obtain the Bishops permission to marry you?


When a Catholic marries a non-catholic they vow to bring their children up in the faith to the best of their ability. The OP is doing her best to provide an exmple to the children but her husband **will not allow her **to bring them up as Catholics. Therefore, it is not her sin but his. As the husband, she is commanded to honour him too. I am not suggesting that she does not state her case to him or argue her corner but perhaps the best of her ability is the modelling of a strong Catholic faith.


Isn’t doing so a canonical requirement for a mixed marriage? (Assuming it was a Catholic marriage.) :confused:


Yes. They make a promise to raise the children Catholic (the wording in Canon Law is:

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;

Situations like this are exactly why mixed marriage is extremely unwise and discouraged by the Church. Short of me being physically restrained, my children would be in at Mass EVERY Sunday, baptized and catechized in the faith. Period.


As it should be 1ke! What with you being the head of the household.


No. They make a promise to do ALL IN THEIR POWER. It is within her power to put them in the car and take them to Mass.

Well, then, she should have married a man who would.

I disagree.

Not when his request is contrary to the Faith. The Faith comes before anything else.

He had to acknowledge her obligation to raise the children Catholic prior to receiving a dispensation. So, she doesn’t really have a “case” to argue. It’s her obligation to raise them Catholic.

As for teaching CCD when she doesn’t raise her own children in the faith, yes I think that is problematic. Those in leadership positions are held to a high level of scrutiny. It could be very confusing to parents and children alike. Should it prevent her from teaching? Not necessarily, but she should certainly seek guidance from her pastor on the issue.

This is a very serious issue, I feel very sad that the OP has been put in this position by choosing a mixed marriage.


My husband is the head of the household.

But, trust me, if the choice were between him or the faith, it would not be a contest.


Ad hominem attacks on other posters neither helps the OP nor changes Canon Law.


Taking my feet out of my shoes and putting them in yours for just a second…

and of course, taking you to mean that there is no way you can raise your children Catholic (which you should be, btw…)

I don’t think you should be teaching . I wouldn’t.


:blush: lol - I’ve had it in my head for ages that you were the husband. Sorry about that.

BTW - best of her ability and all in her power are exactly the same thing. She cannot huckle her kids out of the door and into the car. That is beyond most women’s power. Therefore, without having a fisty-cuffs with her husband, the next best thing is leading through example and prayer.
It is too late to become unmarried therefore there is little point in arguing that.


No attack, linnyo thought I was a man. It happens a lot on here.


I think you need to find a way to teach your children your faith. While not ideal, would your husband be open to attending both Churches?

Personally, I think you should continue to teach RE. It will set a good example for your children. You could also use the materials to teach your own children when your husband is not around.

As for the gossipers at your church, explain your situation and invite them to join you in prayer for your husband and children`s conversion.

For the other posters, I think the OP could do without the judgemental attitude. Yes, it is preferable to marry a Catholic. Yes, if she had a Catholic wedding, her husband needs to honor her promise to raise the children Catholic. If she thought she would not be able to fulfill that promise, no, she should not have married him. But she did not ask us to address any of those questions, and she did not post to be judged.

OP, I will pray for you and your family at Mass today.




You are handling your personal situation the best you can. I think it is important that you live your faith openly – remain visible! Do not hide yourself! Teaching the faith when your own kids are not Catholic is not a sin.

It is important also to take the long view, that openly practicing your faith is being a good role model for your children, even if your husband won’t allow them to be raised Catholic. If you feel called to teach Religious Ed, by all means do so. Remind these very important people in your parish that no one’s life is perfect, including theirs. Your steadfastness in the faith may bear fruit in the future when your children are old enough to make their own decisions about which faith to follow. And in the meantime you are helping other people’s children to understand and practice the Catholic faith. And also remind these very important people that gossiping is a sin.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I feel that you are displaying a remarkable example of faith and fortititude to devoutly practice your faith while your husband and children are Lutheran and your fellow parishoners are gossiping about you. Kudos to you!



I think your posts here are coming across as a little harsh. From everything the poster has presented, she is a dedicated Catholic. I do not think we should be making her feel guilty for not raising her children within the Church if she has made it clear doing so would be a serious threat to her married life.

The fact of the matter is that her and her husband DO have children now and I think it would be irresponsible for anyone here to ask her to jepordize her marriage over denominational differences.



I don’t mean it in the sense that the Church is “just a denomination”. But I do think our priorities should be straight. For a Church that puts so much emphasis on the eternal bond of marriage, we should not be making the poster feel guilty, we should be trying to help.

I’m sure most of the people posting here would agree that divorce is causing massive social problems- yet we’re going to chastise a faithful Catholic who has done all in her capacity to maintain her marriage and instruct her children in the Faith?

My point is the children are baptized into Christ and there will come a time when they, outside of their parents, can make a choice.


Who are these important people? If it is the Pastor or DRE (or someone similar), you should definately listen to them and do as they counsel. If it is not, perhaps the best solution would be to go to your Pastor or DRE and explain the situation. Ask them their advice and follow it.

As for your children, what do you do at home to teach them the Catholic faith? Can you read Saints lives with them? Teach them Catholic prayers. Certainly you should ask your husband about this again. And pray for his heart to be opened, both for your children’s sake and his own.

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