Article Discussion: A Catholic Priests Perspective on Interfaith Marriage

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April 10, 2009 at 4:11 pm #920

admin

Click here to read the article: A Catholic Priests Perspective on Interfaith Marriage

April 17, 2010 at 12:36 am #4548

Marissa

Father,
Thank you so much for this article. I just got engaged to a wonderful Jewish man and we are so excited to share our faiths (though we have agreed well in advance to raise our children Christian). However, we have strong faith because we question and intellectually analyze God. I appreciate God because no matter my question, the trinity answers it. My parents have much more emotional faith (attachment to ritual) and this is very difficult for them, though they love my fiance. Also, though you say the Catholic faith is much more accessible than the Jewish, most websites I have found give the message that I need to ask for excuses and forgiveness (dispensations) to love him. I’m so glad to know that there is a welcoming Catholic faith that will support our love and our commitment to each other and God. I am renewed in my search for the right path to God that will now include the Jewish love of my life.

April 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm #4552

Antonia

Thank you for this article. I have a lot to consider in this relationship that I have with a Catholic man. I am a non-Catholic Christian.

We have become quite serious and we love eachother dearly, but the question has come up on if/when we marry how will we raise our family. I do not see myself ever giving in to raising my children Catholic and he doesn’t see himself ever giving in to not raising them Catholic.

I am really afraid of the decision that is in front of us, but I think we have to choose what’s right.

I hope that we can come to some sort of agreement or compromise that appeases both of us, but at this point, I don’t see what kind of compromise that could be.

It is disheartening.

June 24, 2010 at 5:07 am #4761

Debbie B.

I really like this article: very straightforward, informative and overall positive although not ignoring the fact that there are challenges in interfaith families. I totally agree with point #4 that a child cannot be a Jew and a Catholic at the same time. I think when people try to bring up children that way, the children may become confused and often end up not really being a member of either religion. I would also add that it is kinder to children for parents to choose which religion to raise them in rather than expect the children themselves to do so. Otherwise children can feel like they would be rejecting whichever parent is of the religion that they do not choose. Or they get only a half-way education in each religion rather than a good education in one. I think of a friend who as a child in an interfaith home was told that she would have to “figure it out for herself” who felt that it gave her no religious foundation and made it harder for her to find her way religiously as an adult.

June 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm #4770

Jason

Amen. My wife and I participated in an interfaith couples course when we had been involved for a while and were considering marriage, and were shocked that all of the other couples were already married and had never worked through these issues before. They didn’t consider that religious and cultural differences would arise until they had or were planning for children. (Frankly, in almost all of the cases it was the secular Jewish partner who hadn’t realized or properly expressed that he or she would want the couple’s children to be raised with Jewish knowledge, thus bewildering the Christian partner, who had thought that there would not be any issues.)

The course instructor was a rabbi, and the course took an unabashed Jewish perspective. The first thing that the rabbi said was that it is unfair to children to “raise them in both faiths and let them choose when they are older,” in part because that forces the children to effectively choose between parents. We absolutely agreed with that premise.

Through and after the interfaith couples course, my wife and I discussed our religious and cultural needs extensively and made the decision to raise our children Jewish. (It helped that my wife does not feel a strong connection to the Catholic church in which she was raised and does feel increasingly comfortable in the Jewish context.) This has made all the difference for us.

July 12, 2010 at 7:30 pm #4855

Jacob

I want to thank you for the article. Actually my fiance just parted ways with me because we could find no compromise on religion in the household. Since I wouldn’t convert to Catholicism she said that it would be a moral sin to raise children in that environment. I still hold steadfast to the believe that raising children in a loving household should come first. God loves all believers; not just certain denominations. While there will be challenges, I feel it is best to expose children to different denominations and let the Holy Spirit direct his/her faith.

July 14, 2010 at 10:46 am #4864

thomas fitzpatrick

what about an older couple…40-45yrs. old
children are not an issue…how can the ceremony be done to include both faiths? my fiancĂ©e is Jewish and i would like to incorporate both faiths wedding vows and traditions in our ceremony. quickly as well, how do i go about obtaining an annulment of my previous marriage?

July 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm #4866

Sandra Mears

This is in response to Thomas Fitzpatrick. My huisband (Jewish) and I were married in our middle 40′s and had a wonderful cermony conducted by two judges but which incorporated both our faiths. Respond to me and I will give you more details. You need to the annulment through the Church and it will not be quick. My hubbie and I are in the process now.

July 26, 2010 at 2:56 am #4925

Unregistered

I read this article some months ago and it gave me faith as a non-christian that my relationship with a catholic man could have a future.

But despite my love and support of his faith and agreement to raise children as he wished, some months later he has left me because I apparently will never fully understand the joy in his heart that faith brings.

I think no matter how much love you may have for one another and respect, if you do not believe the same thing then it will not work. They will always choose their faith.

It is sad but true.

August 2, 2010 at 3:22 am #4943

rdebutts

Thank you so much for this article, Father. I am engaged to a wonderful man who is not affiliated with any church. I am Catholic and although he understands that it is important to me to receive the sacrament of marriage, he feels that it is not right for him to join a religion that he is not deeply moved by. I was not aware that a compromise can be reached until I read this article. It is very straight forward and does not ignore important issues that every couple, even if they share religious beliefs should discuss before marriage, but it is also hopeful and positive. Thank you.

August 3, 2010 at 11:31 am #4950

Unregistered

I am marrying a hidhu guy in chruch, with signing a document that kids will be christain. The worst case later, will there be anyproblem if kids are not brought up in christain way.Please let me know

November 23, 2010 at 5:37 am #5229

Unregistered

What about a 48 year old woman married to a Hindu man in indian civil courts and preist, Can they marry in the catholic church and is there a possibility of the woman to be excommunicated from the church?

February 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm #5450

Unregistered

Re: 48 yr old woman marrying a hindu man – my wife is hindu, I am catholic, and we had a civil marriage, the kanyadaan, and the catholic mass on the same day. Discuss it with your pastor / parish priest for guidance. There’s no excommunication in this situation

February 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm #5459

Earl Capps

My girlfriend and I decided that our children would be raised Jewish, knowing the trouble interfaith marriages often have. We got that issue taken care of early on so it’s not hanging over our heads later on.

I later realized that it would be even better if we all shared the same faith and traditions and started doing my homework, initially figuring it would allow me to better raise our children, but have since decided I want to convert. My GF never asked me to consider it, nor did she say children had be raised Jewish. and for a while, she tried to slow the train down, telling me I didn’t have to make that choice.

I was raised Southern Baptist, tuned out as a teenager and ended up Eastern Rite Catholic. In past relationships, I considered my faith off-limits for negotiation, but this time the choice was amazingly easy to make.

It’s amazing what one will do for the right person, and how easy and right those choices will be.

March 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm #5636

Unregistered

I am struggling. I am in a 10 year marriage with my non practicing Jewish husband. I am Catholic, and have seemed to stray away from attending mass but have received all the sacraments. My first marriage was in the church and officially annulled. My current marriage was a civil ceremony. Our two boys are now 6 and 8 and have not really received an education in either faith, other than God is our Father and our Creator. My husband is under the impression that raising our kids Catholic would be disrepectful to his deceased father (who was Jewish and died when my husband was young). How could I dispute that? Now, I feel that we should have raised our kids in a religion rather than living the lifestyle of “having them choose”. Why make them feel like they are going to reject one of our religions? Why not teach them one religion? I’ve briefly brought this up with my husband, who tells me over and over to go to church for myself – it might help with stress, etc. But to tell him I want to engage our children in my religion and take them to church each week, engage them in Sunday school, etc, the sacraments, etc. How do I approach this?

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