Article Discussion: Culturally Catholic

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April 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm #1834

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September 28, 2009 at 12:49 am #3792

Bob

I am trying to settle in my self the beliefs of an Irish Catholic, and an Independent Baptist. I have met a wooman who is Irish, and though not a practicing Catholic, is concerned of my trying to sway her into my faith.
My question is, according to the scrpitures, we would be unequally yoked because of the difference in salvation, and the teaching of my faith as to here’s .. your thoughts??

September 29, 2009 at 1:47 am #3794

Ruth Abrams

Hi Bob,

This site is mainly aimed at couples and families with one Jewish partner. The issues for Jews and Christians of various stripes, or Muslims or Hindus,  in interfaith marriage, are ones we know intimately. We’re a lot less familiar with the issues facing Baptists and Catholics. Still, you might try this article, which has tips for couples going into religious intermarriage:

http://www.interfaithfamily.com/relatio … iage.shtml

For the couples we serve, the main issue is how to raise future children. It sounds like you have a few other things to work out, as well. Maybe a good next step is to talk with a clergyperson who is kind and openminded about how people in your church have handled this in the past.

September 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm #3797

Hebrew Catholic

Well, Bob, I can’t really answer your question, but I can give you a distinction that will be helpful to you in many, many different contexts, especially if you pursue a relationship with a woman of a different faith from your own:

Every person’s ways of organizing his or her thoughts about the world (often called the person’s “categories”) will be conditioned by the person’s own background, including religion.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how reality IS, for everyone, but it’s at least how it looks to that person.  The categories may not always be important or even have meaning from a different point of view.  As a result, one person may say something he thinks is perfectly clear, and the other person only says, “Huh?  What are you talking about?”

When you express concerns about being “unequally yoked because of the difference in salvation”, you are speaking in categories that make sense to evangelical Christians, but not most other people, including many others who consider themselves Christians.  By “difference in salvation”, I take it you mean that you are “saved” and she is “unsaved”.  I think another way of saying it is, “My religion teaches me that a person who is going to heaven shouldn’t be married to someone who is going to hell. I know I’m going to heaven, and Catholics are going to hell.”

It would actually be a little surprising, at least from a Catholic’s point of view, if you believed that someone you loved was going to hell and did NOT try to convert them.  And yet, given that she has not thus far converted to your faith, presumably she does not agree that she is going to hell (and possibly not that you are necessarily going to heaven).  It may be hard for her to understand why you would consider a lifelong relationship with her if you still believe there is a “difference in salvation” (that is, that you’re going to heaven and she’s not), and even harder for her to believe that you have no intentions of trying to do anything to change that. 

Is there a way for the two of you to build a solid marriage even though you have such vastly different opinions about something so important?  Only the two of you can answer that.

Even if you decide that you personally can put aside your concerns about her salvation, be prepared for the possibility that she may not be able to put aside her concerns about your concerns.

September 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm #3808

Andrea

Discuss with your girlfriend what both of you believe regarding God and religion. Talk to your minister. Catholics believe in baptizing infants and may or may not still believe that it’s necessary to remove original sin and for a baby to go to heaven. First Communion, sacrament of reconciliation and confirmation will be other sacraments she may or may not have received in the church. Catholics teach that regular confession to a priest and penance is necessary to help keep a soul in a state of grace. Communion should be taken as often as possible and it is believed that there is the “real presence” of God on the altar when the priest says the blessing over the wine and bread and in some sense the communion wafer is of Christ’s body. Confirmation, like baptism, leaves an indelible mark on a soul and is not repeatable and gifts the recipient with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Your girlfriend probably doesn’t practice these or believe in some of these on a conscious level any longer, but they’re part of her belief system depending on how religious her family has been. She may well want to baptize your babies or her family will want her to and will not believe that it is necessary for her to be “saved” in the sense you mean it. Catholics believe that we are saved by being baptized and through an ongoing relationship with God that includes confession and regular attendance at Mass.

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