Can a Catholic Marry a Non-Catholic?

The Catholic Church does not forbid Catholics from marrying people who are not Catholic. It has been the practice of the Church to marry non-Catholics and Catholics for quite some time. The Church refers to these types of marriages as mixed-marriages.

Sometimes a future spouse will choose to go through a process called RCIA to become Catholic prior to marriage, but it is not necessary to become Catholic before marrying a Catholic. However, express permission of the local bishop is necessary. The Catholic person must uphold the obligation to preserve his or her own faith and “ensure the baptism and education of the children in the Catholic Church,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1635).

One of the reasons that the Church exists is to safeguard the souls of those in its care. If a Catholic insists on marriage to a non-Catholic, the Church allows it, but wants to protect the soul of the Catholic in the marriage by making sure the non-Catholic understands the moral teaching and obligations of the Catholic party and assure that the Catholic is not in a position hostile to his or her faith.

Marriage to a Non-Baptized Person

The Catholic Church calls the union of a Catholic to someone who has not been baptized a disparity of cult. In the above example the two people are baptized Christians of different confessions (or denominations), but a non-baptized person is not a part of the Christian family. When it involves someone who has not been baptized then the marriage requires an express dispensation from the bishop in order for the union to be considered valid.

Scripture tells us that the unbelieving spouse is made holy through the believing spouse (1 Cor. 7:14). Sacramentally in marriage the spouses are the conduits of grace to each other and in a mixed-marriage of disparity of cult the Catholic is a conduit of grace to the non-believer. If this leads to a free conversion of belief by the non-believer then the church rejoices.

Concerns About Marrying Non-Catholics

For a mixed-marriage between a Catholic and a non-Catholic to work well it is important that the couple embraces what is common between their respective faith traditions and “to learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1634). This can be very difficult and trying, but can be overcome by mutual respect.

A marriage to a non-baptized person can be especially difficult because of the greater chasm in religious belief. In either case the disparities between faiths can lead to tension and gradually religious indifference. Attempting to convert one’s spouse can be interpreted as hostile and could lead to discord in the marriage. Humility and open and honest communication about expectations and the practical side of a mixed-marriage is important to making it succeed.


  1. donnie thomas says

    Okay. I am rather confused. It doesn’t take much these days. Bear with me as I try to explain all this. I was born and raised Baptist. Baptized in that belief in 1999. Get married to my first ex husband who was an athiest in 2000. He divorces me in 2001 because he would rather see someone else and marriage was not what he thought it would be. That union ended in 2001 by the divorce decree. I meet and remarry my current husband who was also divorced in February 2002. Now I am still Baptist and he is Pentecostal. His wife left him (she was baptized Pentecostal) because she wanted to be with another man. Now both of those religions are against divorce as well, but as long as we are the “victim” we are allowed to remarry in that denominations eyes. Neither one of us were brought up Catholic. Because of this, I cannot open up the painful past with my ex husband because there was also abuse and alcohol. I cannot visit that again. So would I have to pay for this tribunal to investigate my old marriage and my current husbands marriage???? My husband is not interested in joining the Catholic church but will visit with me. He is a truck driver and hardly home. I don’t think it would be fair to pay money for a tribunal investigation to determine the validity or nullity of a painful marriage that lasted less than a year anyway. My ex husband divorcing me and a complete stranger having access to his information and bringing this back up is bringing up all these emotions that I buried 14 years ago.

    • myco jalagat says

      Hi i’m a non-catholic and my fiancee is catholic. she wants me to marry in catholic church. we are both christian and my question is, is it possible we get married in catholic church? how? and please help me because our relationship is getting worst now.

  2. Cyndi says

    I was born and raised Catholic but was never confirmed. 9 years ago I married my husband in a Las Vegas wedding chapel. He was born and baptized Catholic but when he was very young, his dad became a born again Christian in the Baptist faith and my husband was subsequently baptised in that faith. Neither my husband nor I currently go to church on a regular basis. I have been away from the church for quite some time and have been mulling over returning. I do not have a priest that I can ask these questions of but I was wondering if my marriage would cause issues with me being able to rejoin the church. My husband has no problems with me doing my own thing and if we have children, he agreed that I would be able to raise them in the Catholic faith but he absolutely refuses to have anything to do with the church including participating in any kind of ceremony for a catholic priest to bless our marriage. Furthermore, would this also effect any children that we have being able to be baptized? I have not joined a parish yet so I do not have a priest that I can talk to about this.

    • tiffany says

      I am in a similar situation as you. I was baptized Lutheran and my “civil” husband was baptized Catholic. But his parents later joined a Baptist church and we were unaware that he was baptized Catholic. We both have not attended a church since we were children. I had a calling to join the Catholic church and have been taken RCIA classes since August. My husband is fine with me joining and even raising our kids Catholic but is not interested in attending or becoming a member. I meet with the priest in Oct and at this time I did not know my husband was baptized Catholic. I was told that we could rectify my marriage situation by writing a letter to the Bishop requesting to be married in the church shortly after the Easter Vigil and after the marriage I could be in communion with the church and receive the Enthusiast. I had to find baptismal records for our next visit with the priest. (Which is when we discovered my husband was baptized Catholic.) And once the priest found out my husband was baptized Catholic he will not be allowed to marry us in the church unless my husband attends RCIA to bring him up to date on his sacraments because he is not a confirmed Catholic and therefore can not be married in the church. So without him attending RCIA I can not be married in the church and therefore I can not be in communion with the church, become a member or receive the Enthusiast. The only way it would be different for you would be that the church you married in would have to be one that is recognized by the Catholic church as providing a sacramental marriage. But from my understanding that is not common. Good luck…I have no future in the church without my husband. Which is shaking up everything I believed in the Catholic church. Please pray for me.

  3. hossie says

    I’m a catholic girl from a diehard catholic family. My boyfriend is from a diehard Jehovah’s witness family. We have plans of getting married but the problem is our religious differences. We’ve tried to end the relationship on several occassions but still haven’t been able to because we are too attached to each other. Its the third year running in this relationship and I really don’t know what to do anymore because I don’t want to convert to his and he doesn’t want to convert to mine.

  4. says

    I married a non Catholic and then we divorced. Our marriage was never annulled, and he has since passed. Would I need to go through the annulment process before I would be able to return to the Catholic church?

    • Georgia Howton says

      No-NO-no——-you are considered a widow already. NO annulment necessary.
      Go back to your Church, and make new friends. :-)

  5. Neil says

    I’m getting married soon we have a concern since by birth i am a catholic by faith and also my fiancee` i know her since childhood we grow up together. to make the story short wen i meet here again she is no longer a catholic but a born again christian. as a confirmation is needed to get married the question is can we still pursue our plan to get married on catholic church?

  6. Robert H says

    I have a question about what needs to happen in this situation.
    Woman: Catholic, married/divorced outside the Catholic church; has an adult child by a man she never married.
    Man: non-Catholic, married/divorced twice outside the Catholic church
    What needs to happen before these two can get married in the Catholic church?

    • Nancy Parrent says

      There is no issue with regard to the adult child. The intended being a non-Catholic is not a big factor. Divorce is the issue. Talk to your local Pastor. I don’t know how high up you need to go for an approval. Marriages were consummated, so idk if it’s even possible. It won’t hurt to ask, however.

    • Guy Gustafson says

      Ask the highest Authority, Jesus. Here is what he said on the matter:

      Matthew 19:8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      Don’t listen to your priest unless he agrees with Jesus. Jesus said nothing about annulments.

  7. Jeanle Fulvadora says

    Hi,me and my fiance planning to get married.we hve different belief..i am a catholic and he is Apostolic..i want we marry in catholic church and its ok wth him..but my question is he is divorce man…can we allow to get marry in catholic church even he is apostolic and divorce man?

    Please help me and thank you


    • says

      In my opinion, unless your fiancé gets an annulment of his previous marriage you can’t marry him. I would recommend you go to your local Catholic priest and ask him for guidance.

      • Guy Gustafson says

        Follow Jesus, not your heart. Your heart may tell you what you want, not what Jesus wants.

        Matthew 19: 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

        • James says

          proverbs 18-22 – he who finds a wife, finds what is good and receives favor from the lord. Also read 1 corinthian 7: 1-16. It doesn’t matter what your religion is as long as you both believe in God and Jesus Christ. If any church does not allow a marriage between couples they the church and the priest or pastor is doing an injustice to both couples and to their faith

    • Benovalent says

      Hi all, from what I know about my Catholic faith, marriage is between two people and God seals the deal. Being divorce is not a sin. Please talk to your local priest whom I am sure will be able to advise you on what should be done before you commit yourself again after you have gone through a divorce.

      • Guy Gustafson says

        Jesus said the following…

        Matthew 19: 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

        • John says

          Oh please! Your argument is that it’s not okay because of one set of verses. Jesus came to offer forgiveness for our sins. In Psalms 51 the bible says: “1Have mercy on me, O God,
          according to your unfailing love;
          according to your great compassion
          blot out my transgressions.
          2Wash away all my iniquity
          and cleanse me from my sin.
          3For I know my transgressions,
          and my sin is always before me.
          4Against you, you only, have I sinned
          and done what is evil in your sight;
          so you are right in your verdict
          and justified when you judge.
          5Surely I was sinful at birth,
          sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
          6Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
          you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
          7Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
          wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
          8Let me hear joy and gladness;
          let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
          9Hide your face from my sins
          and blot out all my iniquity.”

          Divorce doesn’t make anybody a sinner. We are born into sin and the only way to be freed from sin is through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And even of you do get divorced, all sin is equal in the eyes of the Lord, you can be washed whiter than snow!

  8. Gabriela says

    Even though we are both very young, my boyfriend and I have decided that we will get married in the future. I have told him that I want to us to get married in a Catholic church and that I want to raise our kids as Catholics. He is fine with all of that. He doesn’t believe in any religion and I thought getting married in a church would be impossible, especially since I do not want to convert him. When I was taking classes for my Confirmation, the class teacher told us students that it was impossible for a Catholic to marry a Non-Catholic. She said that if our partner truly loved us, he/she would convert. My boyfriend was baptized when he was younger but he doesn’t know into what specific Christian branch (lutheran, baptist, etc). Is its possible for us to marry without him converting? I really need some advice.

  9. JAYESH says

    I am hindu guy and my girlfriend is roman catholic to whom I want to marry we had 1st only decided that we won’t get convert until any1 of us wants to get convert on our own free will and regarding children I have told her that I don’t have any objection if they to follow mother’s religion
    Although I have read regarding what Bible says for such kid of marriage I still want to know whether is it a sin for girlfriend to marry with me and also will there be any difference to my girlfriend in church or to perform any catholic function as I am not going to get convert

    Please help me out I dont want her into any sin coz of me

  10. Celine says

    Further more in continuation to this existing issue, I am worried if it is right to stay with my husband, I am afraid that he will try and instil his belief in the child and not allow me to teach the child Catholic faith and prevent or child from receiving the other sacraments. I feel it is wrong for the child to practice that faith as well. He calls me a religious phanatic. Please advice. I have a baby now and unable to enjoy the gift as am worried about these things and also that am away from my husband and our child’s future in all aspects,

  11. Celine says

    Hi sir, I am a Catholic married to a non Catholic. He accepted to all the rules of the church, the prenuptial agreements signed before marriage and that our children can be brought up in the Catholic faith. Now we have a child and he refuses that our child be brought up in the Catholic faith. However I got our child baptised and he is very upset about it and we are having problems between our families and staying at from each other. I really miss my husband who is otherwise a very nice person but I am upset that he had not kept his promise made. Please advice.

  12. Sarah says

    I am a Catholic and my fiancé is Nazarene. We both want to be wed in the church but I don’t know if this is possible as my daughter was Baptized Lutherian as her godparents are Christian and Lutherian and the Catholic church refused to allow them as her godparents in a Catholic baptism without them converting to Catholisim so she ended up being Baptized Lutherian as they weren’t demanding that anyone switch their faith. What would we need to do to get married in the eyes of the church? I will not force anyone to switch their beliefs and if that is what will need to happen I’d rather not be married in the eyes of the church.

    • says

      Hi Sarah. You can marry someone of another faith in the Catholic Church. What is needed is a dispensation, or permission, from your bishop. Start the conversation with your parish to get into the details.

  13. L. Hong says


    I am not a Catholic but have faith in Church and my wife is a Catholic. We got our civil marriage done just two months ago. I am taking the RCIA program and I hope get baptized next year. After that we want to have a wedding in the Church and our marriage be blessed. That’s our plan. However, the Church where I am taking the RCIA program told us that our marriage needs to be blessed before I can get baptized. They said that without our marriage being blessed, I cannot get baptized. I don’t know why is that. Can’t I just get baptized normally as a single person then after that we can have a wedding in the church and get our wedding blessed ?

    Could you please share us your thought about this ?

    Thank you very much

    Best regards,

    L. Hong

    • Sven Smith says

      Hi Hong, I am Catholic and my fiance is Non-Denominational Christican. We went through some issues with the Catholic church marrying us. Normally in the Catholic religion, you can get baptized before the wedding, but you can also get baptized after the wedding as long as you promise the bishop or prist that you will follow the catholic faith. Not sure why you cant get baptized before the wedding, my pastor tried to get my fiancee baptized before but because of the time restraints of the wedding, she will do afterwards. When you get baptize you need to do it for you, not just for the wedding, that could be a issue that your bishop maybe having with you. I would talk to your bishop and ask him why you cant get baptized before the wedding.

  14. Wilson rodrigues says

    Hi…i m Catholic n I have been in relation wid a divorced women n she as a 12yr old boy I Want To Marry Her What Will Be D procedure Is It To Difficult Or Complicated.
    Plz help
    Wilson rodrigues

  15. Leah Lara says

    Im a Catholic and my boyfriend is a Baptist. We have been talking about marriage and we both recognize that we would have to settle matters first before we do so, most specially with respect to the issue of what religion the would be children will take after.

    Just last night he proposed a compromise that the children will not be raised as Catholics and instead, we would let them choose when the time is right. I am not comfortable with the idea because of any eventuality that may, heaven forbid, transpire in the years that they are neither baptists nor Catholics. He mentioned that in case i would insist on affliations for the children, he would insist that they be dedicated to being baptists and not Catholics.

    This honestly breaks my heart and I dont think I can agree to either situation… Any advice/s?

    • Marie says

      Catholics serve mass Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. One way is to go to a Catholic mass on Sat nite and a Baptist service on Sunday morn. Then when they are old enough they can choose. OR one wk you go to Mass next week Service and when they are old enough they can choose. Each of you can teach what you believe independently as they get older so they understand. Key word here is INDEPENDENTLY so there will be no arguments. When questions arise from the children each parent gives their own beliefs to the child as long as the child is old enough to understand. It doesn’t hurt for a Catholic to go to the Baptist Church or vise versa.
      So you should always go to church together. Worked for us.

  16. Girl says

    I am from a Catholic family. My mother is an active Roman Catholic believer. My boyfriend is a Baptist. His family converted from being Catholic probably 15 years ago. We are currently in a long distance relationship. He goes to their church service on Sundays. But when we see each other, he goes to Mass with me though not openly participative which is just fine because I respect his religion.

    I am certain I won’t be converting. I will live and die as Catholic. He knows that. He seems sticking with his religion and does not consider converting too, and I don’t want to convince him either.

    We have light talks about marriage and somehow ended up planning to get married in both churches. It won’t be financially easy. Geez. However, issues arise when both our mothers (at different occasions) mentioned their concerns. My mom wanting him to convert to Catholic; and his mom wanting me to convert to being a Baptist. They believe that a family should choose a common religion or belief to follow.

    Now, if only the two of us would decide, we would live happily respecting both religions. But we respect our parents so much that this becomes an issue for us. Any comment or advice is appreciated. Thank you.

  17. Melissa says

    I am Catholic and my fiancé/children’s father is not. Two of my three children have been baptized in the Catholic Church and my third will be this month. My children’s father and I have been together for 16 years and engaged for most of that this time. We didn’t marry due to financial troubles, (debts student loans etc)- I wanted a small but decent celebration which was impossible without any hurt feelings as his family is very large. Recently some of my fiance’s family, including his mother have done and said some unforgivable things to us and our children. Given this I do not want these people in our children’s lives. I refuse to allow my children to be raised thinking it’s acceptable to be treated by family and anyone the way they treat them and us. I don’t expect my fiance to never speak to these family members again- but I refuse to give any more chances as this last time was very hurtful emotionally mostly to one of my children and us. My fiancé tried to explain to these family members how hurtful these things were and they just pushed the situation further and went as far as to threaten me physically for speaking up when they were emotionally attacking my our son for something he didn’t say (the only family member present was the brother who started this and he was plastered and high- at a child’s birthday party!)
    Shortly after my fiance and I had our first child his mother decided she was Christian and mentally attacked me several times for not having the same religious beliefs even after I respectfully asked that we not speak about religion as I don’t impose my religious beliefs on her. She continued to speak negatively about Catholics and even told me my children and I were going to burn in hell if I didn’t convert and participate in some religious seance. Now of days she’s still referring to herself as Christian and is one of those people who want people to believe she is Christian more than she follows the Christian way and the scriptures she posts constantly on facebook.
    I apologize, this has been built and bottled up for a very long time. I strongly feel no one should force their religion on anyone. I also feel that constantly quoting the bible does not exempt you from following it.
    Any how, given the past few months as mentioned in the beginning, we have decided we would like to schedule a wedding date at my parish’s (Catholic) small chapel followed by a small dinner at home for close family members given our financial situation. My concern is that I am having difficulty getting information the Monsignor told me to get. I asked the sister of my fiance who is not involved in the recent events, if she knew if he was baptized and if not if she could please ask their mom and where do I could get the information from that church. She responded that they don’t know what type of church baptized him and that they don’t know which church it is and that it may not even exist anymore. The sister(unknowingly)went on to tell me that the only thing the mother was sure of was the name of the Godparents which she referred to as “Mr and Mrs. (my last name which is in no way common). CLEARLY the mother is refusing to give me the information I need(I was just looking for the name and type of church he was baptized in).

    What should I do? I want to marry in the Catholic Church but don’t want my fiance to feel like I am forcing him to become Catholic if he needs to do anything(such as being baptized again) since his mother is refusing information that can lead to the documents we need acknowledging his baptism.

    Thank you for your time.

  18. Extremely worried says

    I am a Hindu in love with a non believer Catholic. We have been together a little over 3 years. My boyfriend’s parents are extremely controlling and they were always against our relationship. Its just been a recent development that they accepted us but only on one condition that I convert. All this while during our courtship my boyfriend and I go to attend the mass as well as he accompanies me to the temple. He is extremely understanding but because of his parents and certain circumstances he goes to the church to not hurt his parents but he is actually a non believer. He tried telling his parents but they shut him down by threatening to break all ties with him when he tried to tell them how he feels. I like going to the church but I think of Krishna when I m praying there. Why can’t we be both and live in harmony.. It’s so sad to have come this far but being honest with them would actually mean calling the wedding off.. I am really worried and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to convert and my boyfriend doesn’t want me to give up my faith either but now the parents have started planning a wedding and they already objected to the Hindu wedding and also very firmly said I have to convert and baptized. They seem to be loving and kind only till I said I would convert. As we started going to the church a lot more and knowing their oppositions towards my customs and beliefs I am extremely taken aback and do not wish to convert as that’s not who I am. I have the rosary and Bible just next to my Hindu God S picture where I pray everyday. If I can be respectful of their culture and beliefs can’t I expect the same? And they seem to make it such a big deal as if it’s their wedding and they haven’t really bothered to ask either of us how we feel. Please help us

    • Durga says

      You should reconsider marrying this person. Love should be above all. Obiviously these people want only religion and not love. Good luck

  19. N Claeys says

    I was previously married in a civil ceremony to a divorced Catholic man. We were divorced about 15 years ago due to physical abuse. I am not Catholic. I remarried a Lutheran man some years later and now I would like to convert to Catholicism. My current husband is not sure yet if he wants to convert. What would be the process for me to pursue my conversion? Thank you so much for any information you can provide.

  20. Merlin Rodrigues says

    Please help me.. just wana know …
    As I m a Catholic n my spouse is a non Catholic .. we haven’t married in the church yet.. but as per Catholic belief.. if I am getting married in the church I have to baptise my 1st baby.. but unfortunately my spouse is not ready for same.. he is fine with me following my religious belief but do not want his kids to follow the same.. hence just wanted to know if it is possible to get married in the church in this scenario.. or I will not be able to marry him in d church..

    But we have already legally married in the court, but not yet married in Church.. so what should I do in this case..

    Plz help

  21. Merlin Rodrigues says

    Please help me.. just wana know …
    As I m a Catholic n my spouse is a non Catholic .. we haven’t married in the church yet.. but as per Catholic belief.. if I am getting married in the church I have to baptise my 1st baby.. but unfortunately my spouse is not ready for same.. he is fine with me following my religious belief but do not want his kids to follow the same.. hence just wanted to know if it is possible to get married in the church in this scenario.. or I will not be able to marry him in d church..

    Plz help me

      • MichaelA says


        Happily Married for 40 years to my Non-Catholic Spouse.

        I am a Catholic and married a Non-Catholic when I was 22 years old in a Civil Cermony.
        My Mother who was a devote Catholic died of Cancer when I was 18 and my father was
        around at the time of my marriage.

        We had no children, if we did, we always agreed we would have raised
        them Catholics, but we both got involved into our careers.

        My spouse ( wife ) let me go to Catholic Church Daily and been happily married for about 40 years !!!

        We were marriage in a Civil Ceremony 40 years ago, for all these years my wife allowed me
        to go to my Catholic Church.

        At the time we got married, no one objected, relatives that were Catholic.

        Any objections to this, seems old school pre Vatican II folks seem to
        frown on couples like us, but younger couples do not.

        At my Catholic Church, if you push out all the Couples when one was Catholic
        and the other was not, the Church would be driving away lots of Catholics
        away from the Church.

        When it come down to it, God is the only Judge and not a Human Being.

        I think the Catholic Church and Pope Francis believes that it strives to keep
        it Catholics rather than drive them into running away from their Church.

        Any comments appreciated – Should I feel guilty or Damned all of a sudden after
        having 40+ years of a happy marriage, having a spouse ( Non-Catholic) that respects
        my Faith in the Catholic Church and allows me to practice my Faith. If she ever wants to
        come to my Faith, that is her choice, but I be Damned if I let the Catholic Church, person or
        Priest ( old School Pre Vatican II ) condemn me for marrying a Non-Catholic in a Civil Ceremony
        40 years ago and drive a wedge between myself and my wife and destroy our happiness
        that we have shared and plan to stay together till Death do us part.

        Should feel guilty by peer pressure from others ( Old School Pre Vatican II Catholics )

        Will leave the Catholic Church before I leave my wife !!

        • Marty says

          I too was married, in a Civil Ceremony to a Non Catholic 30+ years and go to Church daily
          No Children and age 64 and also, like you, been happily married for 30+ years. If we
          ever to have children, my wife agreed they be Catholics, so same situation here !

          I feel I am no less a Catholic and my wife (Non-Catholic) let’s me practice my faith. So you should
          have no shame ! If they drove up away, the Catholic Churches would soon be empty, that what
          Vatican II realized !

          My Guess is that there are some ( Catholic Priests ) that like Vatican II and others Did not like
          Vatican II and the old school priests seem to never like change in the Church, even when it is
          really for the best interests to keep existing Catholics in the Church and not drive them away !!

          Maybe Don will chime in here if he brave enough to respond to us. !

      • Merlin Rodrigues says

        We have already legally married in the court, due to passport reasons, but not yet married in Church.. so what should I do in this case..

  22. esor says

    Hi. Im a catholic girl and wants to marry a muslim man. Its hard to get married at catholic church so we decided to go civil wedding first. He promised that if we will have children he will let me raised them as catholic. Is this a right choice? Thanks for reply in advance.

  23. Pat says

    I am a Catholic and have a few questions concerning my sister who is in limbo.
    My sister, Trish, married a Jewish man, Steve, 13 years ago in the Catholic Church.
    During their marriage they never had any children.

    After 10 years of marriage, Trish converted to Judaism and got remarried to Steve under the Huppa (in the Jewisg rite), a year later they divorced- civilly and in the Jewish faith, but never annulled the marriage.

    Trish has since gotten remarried (2 years ago) with a Christian man named Paul from Haiti and they have had a son, Joshua. Joshua is 1 month old and they have just circumcised him for health reasons.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Can Trish and Paul baptize Joshua within the Catholic Church? What about the divorce and lack of annulment?
    2. Can they seek an annulment within the Catholic Church? And then have validation and then can baptize?
    Thank you for your time and response and if you know any priests to assist us with these matters in the GTA, Ontario, I appreciate your suggestions.

    May God Bless you,

  24. CMB says

    My daughter is Lutheran, her fiance’ is Catholic. They are undecided on if they will marry in our church or his church. He is saying that if they marry in a Lutheran church their marriage will not be recognized in the Catholic church and they will have to have a separate service (even just the 2 of them) in front of a Catholic priest in order for it to “count” – is this true? – Or could they marry at our church and have our Pastor and his Priest officiate at the services? – They are both Christians, baptized and confirmed – I don’t see the issue!

  25. Alex says

    Hi, I am a catholic and my fiancee a Hindu. She is ready to be baptized, but for he parents who doesnt want her to. We are thinking of getting a permission from the Bishop for a mixed marriage. I learn that this will not be a sacramental marriage. But, is it possible to have a normal Holy Mass after the actual marriage ceremony This is for my family memebers who would like to see me getting married in somewhat a proper catholic ceremony.

  26. Darwin says

    I was born a catholic and my fiacee’ is not, but we are planning to get married soon, so what we did was, she took the course to become a catholic but will be finish and baptism is on september, the problem is our wedding is at August. We try talking to the priest and they all say no, because my fiancee is not baptist yet, my question is…asking the local bishop to have full permission is the only hope to have this wedding in the church?

  27. Rudy says

    Hi there. I am catholic, but my fiance is a non-catholic christian. We are getting married in a catholic church. Can her minister say some words (prayers, blessings, etc..) at the wedding? She is ok with marrying in a catholic church, but really wants to have her minister have some part in the wedding.


  28. ivy paul says


    • Profiling says

      Don’t do it. If you have children, he might take them, and you might not get to see them again.

  29. saroshka says

    I am a catholic and my fiance is a baptist. We are both baptised and even underwent the catholic wedding preparation because at that time he was willing to marry in the catholic church. But sadly something happened and he changed his mind, although he would still let me baptise the chidlren catholic, he doesnt want to marry in the catholic church anymore.
    What can do so that our marriage, even if in a baptist church and by a baptist pastor, would still be valid in the eyes of the catholic church?
    ( Also i need to mention that once we will marry i will be living in an other place and register in a new parish since i am leaving my country to marry my fiance and live with him in an other country)

  30. Jon says

    My fiance is Catholic and I’m a non practicing protestant. My Fiance is dedicated and practices her religion. I agreed that we shall get married in a Catholic church. I love my fiancee so much that I can’t allow religion become an issue. My Dad disagrees and his rationale is that a woman should take on a man’s religion, of-course I don’t feel like that. I want my fiancee to have a wedding she has dreamed of since growing up. My worry is that my Dad will refuse to attend our wedding. He is so stuck in the old way of doing things. Please advice.

  31. J Bowman says

    I was Catholic for three years when my wife and I met. After 1.5 years or marriage I have returned to being a Buddhist/Taoist. She says without sharing beliefs there is no marriage and I believe she will leave soon. I will not be bullied into pretending to believe things that I don’t. I understand her feeling deceived but that was never my intent. When we met I was convinced I was Catholic but I now know better.

  32. Chuck says

    I’m a 70 year old man, widowed, Catholic. I have been dating a 67 year old divorced woman who was baptized and raised a Baptist. We she married a Methodist. They were married in the Methodist church. Their marriage lasted about five years. she has been divorced for thirty years. She is not an active member of any church and has not been for many years.
    is it possible for us to be married in the Catholic church? What would it take?

    • says

      Hi Chuck. I know I give this response a lot, but the best course of action truly is to get in touch with your parish priest to discuss the matter in more detail. That conversation should be much more fruitful for determining a specific course of action since it should go more in depth with the specifics of your two lives.

  33. Celena says

    Hello I need help, My first marriage had major issues, we got married in Catholic, the person abondend me and escaped not be seen for 4 yrs and atlast we got divcored, I am looking for annulment and also I got a non catholic person, who wants to marry me and want to bring up the children in Catholic way, but doesnot want to convert till he gets to know the religion more and his heart to accept Jesus. So kindly provide me help, we want to marry in Catholic church, but we have no support from our priest.

    • says

      Celena, I am sorry you are having difficulties and that you have no support from your priest. It might be helpful to reach out to another priest to start the annulment process which would need to be completed before you could marry another person.

      • Fm says

        Quick question: a Catholic is marrying a non-Christian. They have agreed to a non sacramental ceremony before the “big” wedding, which is not a Catholic ceremony.

        The question is, if they are doing this in order to silence the Catholic family and have no intention of raising their children in the Church, is this scandal to the Church? There is no question that the one who was catholic is no longer practicing and won’t be returning to the Church other than the non sacramental wedding.

        • says

          Yes, I would consider it a scandal. When getting married in the Catholic Church both parties are making a significant pledge to each other and to their future children to raise them in the faith. In a sense it would be a lie to have a Catholic ceremony with no intention of following through on the duties of Catholic marriage.

  34. aron says

    My fiancé is a non-practicing catholic and I’m not baptized under any religion but was brought up Christian, she wants to be married in a catholic church but do not know the steps needed to take since we do not go to church and we are going to get married in another state where all of our family lives. If you could help I would appreciate it, thank you.

      • Wendy says

        Not in the Catholic Church. Further, the Catholic Church will not accept the children of the union, denying them baptism and education in Catholic schools. I write from personal experience. Catholics therefore are not Christians and the Catholic Church is simply are large cult. Go to a Protestant church where the whole family will be accepted. It is a total waste of time talking to the bigoted parish priest.

  35. says

    My husband and I were married in the Methodist Church 38 years ago. I converted to the Catholic faith 7 years ago, but my husband did not although he goes to mass with me occasionally. Can we renew our 40th wedding anniversary in the Catholic church and does the catholic church recognize our marriage in the Methodist church?

    • Shannon Downey says

      My husband and I were married in a Methodist church 38 years ago. I converted to the Catholic faith 7 years ago but my husband did not. He occasionally attends mass with me. Does the Catholic church recognize our marriage & can we renew our wedding vows in the Catholic church or have our marriage blessed in the Catholic church?

  36. Joy says a roman catholic and now engaged with a divorced non -christian (buddhist) and we are planning to have a church wedding..Is it possible?..does my fiance need to be converted to catholic? Thanks so much

  37. loret says

    Hi,i am a catholic but in love with a non-catholic and he wants to marry me..we are. currently courting and i love hum so much.the truth is that i can’t stop being a catholic.he dosent hav any problem with my prayers,mass and confession.he’s a good christian and we pray together most times.but he can’t give up his faith and i can’t give up so scared because i really love him and i really want my kids to grow up in the catholic faith.i need your advice

  38. Rich says

    I am not catholic and attend non denominational churches. I am a devout christian and am continuously growing in my faith and walking in the way Jesus calls us to act. One problem is that the girl I am dating is a catholic and very firm on the fact that she won’t marry a non catholic. She has actually even asked me if I would become catholic! I actually never even attended a catholic service because there was not a catholic church in my small hometown. (I went to a lutheran church as a child and then a non denominational through high school and college) I understand and really respect much of the catholic beliefs but really don’t know everything that I should about it. Reading info from this website has been helping my understanding of the catholic beliefs. Throughout all of this I have actually asked her before if I could go to a catholic service with her and she didn’t seem to be too interested so I am going to go with another friend of mine when she isn’t there. My intent is to do this because I want to learn more about it on my own not because she wants me to.

    Overall I know that God is telling me that for our relationship to build we both need to continue growing in our faith and that I need to know more about her beliefs to fully understand her and what it means to her. My beliefs are that all Christianity is good and that it is completely impossible for us to understand his wonder. (Differences between belief about purgatory) Though also understand and really respect much of the catholic traditions. (Sacraments etc) For now I do not want to be catholic, I love my faith and want to continue growing in it although I do want to consider this change due to the importance it has to her. My intent is not to change for her but that I actually believe that all Christians live a very similar life and can co-exist but I also don’t have a problem acknowledging the potential that there is purgatory and that confession is needed. (I confess my sins to close friends and believe that confessing with others that I respect spiritually is just as important!) Anyway how is it possible for her to understand my intent that I want to learn more about the catholic faith yet also allow it to happen as I feel God leads me?

    • Felicia says

      If you truly would like to learn about the faith, ask the deacon or priest about the R.C.I.A program. It stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. It is traditionally for converts but there are people who go to the classes simply to learn more about Catholicism. I have been married for over 6 years to a Catholic and I am attending it as soon as the next set begins in my parish. I was never baptized and my husband got away from the church for a long time. I have been struggling with belief in God for the last 3 years. My attendance has actually started to bring my husband back to the church as well. I think that you are doing the right thing simply by learning more about her faith so you can better understand her. I wish I had as much sense as you. And her beliefs aside, the Church does not prevent Catholics from marrying someone of another denomination. It just has to be approved by the Bishop since the Catholic member must understand the potential difficulties that may arise and be sure they are strong enough to endure them in their faith.

  39. Mary Grace says

    I am Catholic and my partner is non catholic. He respect and accept my religion. We agreed to stay with our religion. Now, the matters that keep worrying me if we have children, am I responsible to raise them as Catholics. I love to raise them as Catholics but I’m afraid that my partner disagree with it and saying I am selfish.. please give some advice.

  40. zid says catholic and my boyfriend is baptist..were planning to get married but the problem no one will give way in our religion..he asked me if can i convert to baptist but i said no,also he don’t want to be convert to catholic..our best option is to get civil wedding..but i want catholic church wedding and raise my children in catholic..he told me that if we just get married in civil ,he want me to go with him in baptist church and raise our children in baptist..but i don’t..our both family don’t want us to be convert in any religon..but we love each other ,religion conflict..
    please help me,what we should we do to overcome this conflict..please ,thank you..

    • says

      In short – consider not getting married until this is resolved! This could be a significant source of tension for you both during your marriage. Share the truth of your Catholic faith with your fiancé – don’t leave the church founded by Jesus Christ for a man. It’s great that the both of you are talking about this. I encourage both of you to pray and I will pray for you as well. God bless.

  41. Andrea says

    My ex husband and I, both catholic, were married in the Catholic Church. We divorced after 17 yrs due to his alcoholism. I was only 18 and pregnant when we got married. We have been divorced 12 yrs now. He has been remarried now for the last 7 yrs. I am very active volunteering in my Catholic parish. I am also engaged to a wonderful non catholic and also divorced man. I am having a very emotional and hard time with even attempting to get a annulment as it would really be too much on my daughters and my Ex himself. Also, if I read right my fiancé would have to also get an annulment even though he was not married in the Catholic Church ? We have been together for 10 yrs living apart, and are truly in love, but neither one of us would wish the annulment emotions on either family. What are the consequences if we married outside of the church? Am I banned from all sacraments ? I have been raised catholic all my life, and if I really want a catholic funeral when I pass too.

    • says

      Hi Andrea. I am sorry to hear of the emotional pain of your past. These situations are never easy. If your fiancee is not Catholic I do not think he will need an annulment. I recommend you meet with your parish priest to discuss your specific situation. God bless.

  42. Ntumwa Gilbert says

    I have a born again girl friend and we so far have a one year old son together. I am still confused on whether we should get married because of the differences in faith. The most fatal issue being that she criticizes the Catholic way of prayer,
    1. That we worship Idols when we kneel in front of Mother Mary’s sculpture.
    2. That Mother Mary is completely irrelevant in Christian life and praying through her is devilish.

    With all the above and many other criticisms, she has vowed never to convert. This wouldn’t have been my problem, but the mockery and insults about Mother Mary is a pain in my heart. Advise please.

  43. frank says

    My wife and I were of different religions–I Roman Catholic, she Church of God. We were married in the rectory of the catholic church instead of main alter because of mixed marriage. Our daughter was brought up as a Catholic. My wife went through RCIA over 40 years after marriage and she converted to Catholicism and we have now been married over 55 years. On our 45th anniversary our marriage vows were renewed on the main altar of the Catholic church by our Bishop. A GREAT DAY FOR BOTH OF US! I believe we had the same kinds of problems any other couples had. We had few confrontations about religious differences. She read the St James version of bible and to her saw few differences with readings at mass. She attended mass with me (when I went) from day 1 of marriage. This is our story of mixed marriages–and have no idea how applicable it is to other peoples lives.

    • George says

      Thanks for sharing your experience Frank, I am currently in a 3yr+ relationship with my girlfriend who is non denominational Christian and I am Catholic myself. We would love to one day get married but have many questions about the easiest way to do so with a mixed marriage. Your experience gives me a lot of hope. God Bless you.

  44. Malia Tevaga says

    Hi there,

    I am Catholic myself but my partner is a Sikh. We would like to get married in the catholic church without my partner changing his religion. Is that possible or does he have to be Catholic to marry me in the catholic church?

    Other thing is we already had a Court wedding 2 months ago. Will this affect us from having a church wedding as well?

  45. Isadora says


    I am Catholic, but for the past 3 years, I have been going to an evangelical church. My boyfriend is not a believer. However, I would like to get married in a Catholic church. Is this possible?


  46. Danielle says

    I am a non catholic- non denominational christian, my boyfriend is catholic, to be married in the catholic church I know he/I must vow to sustain his catholic faith and raise our children as well in the catholic church. But referencing the requirment to provided a baptismal certificate. Do catholics not consider a non- demoninational baptism valid? I have been baptized just not in the catholic church.

  47. Lissette says

    I’m engaged to a non catholic who has been studying our religion and our prayers for some time now. We find ourselves in a tight spot due to the fact that he wants to convert so we can marry and have a traditional catholic wedding but he is in the millatary he is gone for 5-6 months then visits for about two weeks. Is there a faster or easier way to convert him? HELP!!!

  48. says

    Hi, i m a non catholic married to a roman catholic. We have done a court marriage 2 yers back & we are planning to get married in church. Can you please guide me how to go about. My husband is quite tensed due to not havind his parents support. It would be great if you can help us out. Thank you.

    • says

      Hello Aarti. The first step is to contact your parish priest. He will be able to discuss the particulars of your situation and give you good direction on how to proceed. God bless.

  49. Amanda says

    I’m a Catholic. But I have a born again christian boyfriend and we are planning to get married sometime next year. Can we pursue our marriage despite of being in different religions? I do not want our religion to become a hindrance. He asked me if I am willing to convert into their religion, I said no but I’m willing to get married in their church and raise our kids as born again christian. Is my decision wrong?
    I have strong catholic faith and I will not turn my back from it. I’m afraid that our plans would shut down just because of being in different religion. Help!

  50. Jo says

    Does a non believer who was married to a Catholic believer in a church but now divorced need a declaration of nullity/anullment in order to get married again in a Catholic church to another believer?

  51. natasha says


    I am a catholic and follow my faith religiously. But I am set to marry a non catholic (hindhu). As per my talk with the parish priest, he says that a normal mass cannot happen.

    I am terribly upset and would like to have a wedding mass. Its a personal choice. I am ardent follower of Christ.

    Please share your advice.

    • sara says

      He believes in cows, dont u have respect for your faith? He will control u, u will see. Stay with Catholic lady.
      Why do u want mass? Why is it so important to u if he doesn’t believe in Jesus? I jave seen miserable Catholic women marrying other pp.

      • Mau says

        Sarah, that is incredibly disrespectful. There is an old Jewish saying that springs to mind: “Do not profane the name by which another man knows his god. For if you do it in Allah, you will do it in Adonai.”

        I hope it works out for you Natasha. As a Catholic-college educated person (who majored in Eastern Religions), I truly wish the best for you. Those of the Hindu faith can be incredibly respectful of religious differences and, as they call it, the many paths to God. (Thinking of Sri RamaKrisna here.)

        And in case some want to disparage my comment, yes, I am a Catholic and yes, while I would prefer to marry a Catholic myself, I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to judge whom God calls us to love.

  52. Cedric says

    I am a non denominational Christian and my girlfriend is Catholic. We would like to marry. I would rather my children be brought up non denominational until they are old enough to choose. What would be the church’s view on this?

    • sara says

      Make them Catholic, way more humble than others. I work with Protestant pp, but have been friends with many Catholic long before , I swear to God, I cant handle PROTESTANTS. They talk too much, wrong teaching from what they are told.bad.

      • Alina says

        Dear Sara,

        You are so horribly judgmental. Even you uttering the word humility is laughable. If you want to evangelize for the faith you should do it with love, not criticism and hate. You should tell your priest what you just said about protestants at your next confession. Hopefully, the holy spirit will enter you and you can stop being so critical.

  53. justin says

    Me and my girlfriend are planning to get married, I’m catholic she is from a different church as well and none of our parents want us to leave our respective churches… I need some advice please!!!

  54. Daniel says

    My wife to be has been working as a music teacher for 20 years at a catholic elementry school. We are getting married next month, I am a Christian man and belong to a non-denominational christian church. Basically she was told by the priest that if she doesn’t get married in the Catholic Church she would loose her teaching position. What are your thoughts ? To me I feel she is being discriminated against because she is marrying a non catholic.

  55. Eugene Venicia says

    I want to marry a Non-Christian (Hindu) but is it necessary that our children have to baptized and raised as Christians; can’t they take their own decision of their faith.

    • says

      Yes, as Catholics we believe that Jesus Christ is the one way to heaven, that he established the Catholic Church, and that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of God’s revealed truth. Since the Church cares deeply about the salvation of all the people of the earth, including your children, it asks its members to raise their children Catholic. Wouldn’t you want your children to have the same gift of faith that you have been given?

  56. Julia M says

    Hello ,I’m married to a Catholic man (civil wedding)I am not baptised and would like to be baptised. What are my options or what steps should I take to get baptised. I understand that our marrieage is not valid based on Catholic norms. Kindly assist. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Julia. Typically you would go through a process where you take some classes to learn more about Catholicism and become baptized at the Easter Vigil Mass. However, there are exceptions to this process. Please speak to a priest at your husband’s parish to get the process started.

  57. says

    Please settle a discussion I am having with a widow friend. I am divorced and have an annulment and know I can marriage again. If he remarriages a divorced non Catholic he is commenting adultery. I say he is wrong. The other person only needs to get an annulment.? Who is right?

    • says

      Hi Kathleen. I assume when you refer to “he” remarrying you are speaking of your former husband. If this is the case, then no, he would would not be committing adultery if he remarries since your marriage to him has been annulled. However if he remarries another person who is considered married by the church then he would be in a sinful relationship with another married person. The other person would need to seek an annulment. I hope this helps.

  58. Mike says

    Can a catholic man born in korea but lived in america for a long time marry a non-baptized woman without a religion from South Korea?

  59. mitz says

    My fiance is an austrian baptized catholic but has not been paying church tax thus he cant be issues his baptismal certificate.. i am a filipina and we want a church wedding here in the philippines.. is this still possible?

    • says

      Yes, it might be possible. I am not familiar with all of the details of the church tax, but you will want to check with your priest to see what, if any, possibilities there are of getting married without your fiance’s baptismal certificate.

  60. says

    Can a married person who is not married in the Catholic Church marry a person who is Catholic and had their marriage anulled?

  61. Sammy says

    This issue of Catholics insisting of obtaining the permission of the Bishop prior to a non catholic marrying a lady from catholic has caused a lot of havoc in my town, Nanka, Nigeria. It breeds strive and bitterness among the catholics and non catholics. Just yesterday an Orthodox young man wedded a lady from the catholic church in the orthodox church. Many of the relations of the lady were absent at the wedding, because th local priest threatened to expel any catholic found at the wedding in orthodox from the catholic church. whats your stake on this? Secondly, the catholics in my locality sees and treats anyone who is not a catholic as an infidel, and those doomed for destruction.

    • sarablynn says

      I find this hard to believe, as my parish priest just told me that, any thing the Orthodox church does is permissible for Roman Catholics to do… such as the Nativity Fast. He said that since the two are so closely related, that if an Orthodox person converts to Roman Catholicism, they would not have to be baptized again. Surely he isn’t a liar. If those priests are acting that way, report them. The deacon, at my church, just told a story about when he went to a Baptist church.

      • Alina says

        Yes, but different cultures behave different regarding these issues. Not every diocese follows or interprets the same rules similarly.

    • says

      Yes, you can marry someone who is not Catholic, but the other person could not be married already. If you want to marry somewhere other than a Catholic church building you would need to discuss that with your priest.

  62. Jo says

    What is the catholic view about a catholic marrying an Adventist in the Adventist church?
    Does the catholic stand to loose any rights or relevance in his/her Catholic Church by virtue of marrying outside the church?

    • Alina says

      Your marriage will not be valid in the eyes of the church. Thusly, if you do not get a special dispensation to marry outside of your church you will be considered “living in sin.”

  63. J Thompson says

    It depends on what faith the “divorced” person was married in and I’m sure someone here more knowledgeable about Canon law can offer feedback. Generally speaking, only a Catholic marriage is valid. i the divorced preson was married in a non Christian faith (buddhism, judaism,, etc) than that is not considered a marriage and there is no problem converting to Catholicism and marrying a Catholic in the Church. If the person was married as a Christian you may (may..check with a priest) need the approval of the Catholic Bishop as protestants do have a valid sacrament of marriage. If the divorced person was married as a Catholic, FORGET IT, unless a valid annulment is in place.

  64. Lixtony Stephen says

    Thank you so much sir for such a comprehensive talk concerning a marriage between a catholic and non catholic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *