Catholics marrying non-Catholics

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  LARobert 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #664

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    [quote:2k4zh06f]My daughter is getting married in another year. she is catholic but the man she is going to marry isn’t can she still get married in the catholic church? And if so will they have to take any classes? can you get back to me as soon as possible. If you can, can you e-mail a answer.
    -Patricia[/quote:2k4zh06f]

    The answer is yes, she can get married in the Catholic Church still. Her fiance will not necessarily be required to take any classes in regards to converting to Catholicism, but special dispensation from your local bishop is necessary to receive permission for a non-Catholic to marry a Catholic in the Church. Both will have to take marriage preparation classes from your local parish together. I hope everything works well with the wedding!

    -Jon Jakoblich

    #9110

    James
    Member

    Isn’t it that their children have to be Catholic even though that the father isn’t Catholic?

    #9114

    LARobert
    Participant

    As part of the requirements to be married in the Church, the non-catholic party has to agree to raise any children born of the union as Catholics, and to follow Catholic Moral teachings regarding artificial birth control.

    #9115

    James
    Member

    Thanks again LARobert <img src=” title=”Smile” /> I remember learning this once but I wasnt sure

    #9119

    LARobert
    Participant

    Now for the reason the Church requires the above. One of the reasons that the Church exists is to safeguard the souls of those in it’s care. If a Catholic inisits 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.

    #9125

    James
    Member

    Hypothetically, What if the wife is Catholic and the husband is a Protestant, but the husband refuses to let his children to become Catholic? What does the church say about this situation?

    #9128

    LARobert
    Participant

    The Church can do nothing more than try to remind the Protestant party of their promise. But then again this is one of the reasons many religions discourage intermarriage, it can cause either the loss of faith of one or both parties, or even worse the breakup of a marriage.

    Here is a sad example. I know a man who was raised and still believes in the teachings of the Catholic Church. He married an Episcopalian. Early on they raised the first two boys Catholic, then she became pregnant when the youngest son was 16. She wanted to abort because the baby had a higher chance of being born retarded or deformed due to her age. Thank God he was born with no issues, however because she so protested the Catholic teachings about abortion, and felt put upon by the Church and her husband, she insisted the boy be raised in no religion, and now none of them attend any Church, and the boys get no religious formation.

    This is an extreme example, but unfortunatly not an uncommon one.

    #9130

    James
    Member

    I’m sorry to hear that <img src=” title=”Sad” /> I hope that one day these children will find faith in Christ

    #9334

    I have been married for many years now. I am a Catholic married to a non-Catholic. My husband doesn’t have any religion. His parents are Buddhist, but he doesn’t do as his parents do. After Sunday mass today, the priest asked me to talk to him. He asked about my religion and my husband’s. In that conversation the priest told me that “I cannot have communion because of my situation.” I was shocked and very depressed. Being a Catholic, communion , receiving the Eucharist is very important to me. I feel that attending mass is complete when I can have communion. Now that this priest told me that I CANNOT HAVE COMMUNION because I married a non-Catholic. He said I should ask permission from the Bishop where I was born (in another country because I migrated to another country). I said that why can’t I just ask Jesus’ approval in my prayer. He said no, but who is higher , Jesus or the Bishop? To get the bishop’s approval, I have to spend lots of money , time and energy to go to the place where I was born, which is in another country, thousands of miles away ! I was devastated. I cried on my way home after mass. The priest kept on saying I can’t have communion because of my situation. I felt I was condemned for marrying a non-Catholic. At home, I kept wondering if I can’t have communion, then what’s the purpose of attending mass. It’s would be better to just stay at home and pray, as the same as going to church without communion. I asked the priest many questions, but he never gave me any answer , hoping he could help me understand:
    1. Where is it found in the bible that I should ask for a permission from the Bishop to marry if I marry a non-Catholic ?
    2. Today’s mass, the priest mentioned about the 10 commandments, so I asked him which of the commandments that says I have to ask the bishop for his approval?
    3. If I want to ask for approval to marry a non-Catholic, can’t I ask Jesus for it instead of the Bishop? Jesus is higher than the Bishop.
    4. Jesus died for me, and if I go to take the communion, will Jesus forbid me saying, you can’t have communion because you married a non-catholic?
    5. Being married to a non-Catholic, will it be a sin if I take the communion?
    6. If I don’t get the bishop’s approval, will Jesus death be in vain, because I married a non-catholic?
    I raised my children about Jesus and Mary, and how to trust God. After this incident, I don’t know what to teach my kids about communion because I myself can no longer have this. <img src=” title=”Sad” />

    #9340

    LARobert
    Participant

    First be assured of my own poor prayers that the situation be resolved.

    As to where something is in the Bible, and if the Bishop or Jesus are superior to one another, the answer is a bit complex.

    Jesus gave the authority that He as God has to the Church. He told the Apostles “He who hears you, hears me.” So it is not really an issue of who is “higher” but rather does the Church have the authority to make laws that safeguard the Sacraments.

    As marriage between two Catholics or between a Catholic and a person who is validly baptized can be a Sacrament when it is administered properly, and thereby a source of grace, the Church is careful to assure that those who enter into a marriage do so in a manner that supports the Sacrament. For Catholics who marry non-Catholics, the permission of the local Bishop is required in order to assure that those who are going to marry understand the seriousness of the Sacrament, and that the non-catholic party has been instructed in what obligations the Catholic party has in their religious and moral life.

    Attending Mass is complete if you do or do not receive communion. And until the situation is resolved you can make a spiritual communion. There are formal prayers, or you can make your own prayer that tells Jesus that as you cannot receive communion at that moment, you would like to receive Him spiritually.

    Not having been part of the conversation between you and your priest, it is hard to know the entire circumstances. Some of the information that you will need to supply to the bishop may be of a personal nature, and do not need to be disclosed here. First, did the marriage take place in the Catholic Church. If it did, and the priest who married you did so knowing that your husband was not Catholic, then he probably already had contacted the bishop and had permission to marry the two of you. If you where married by a Civil ceremony, or at a Non-catholic church or Temple, then you can simply start by writing a letter to the bishop of your home diocese, and explain the situation, you may also wish to inform him of the place and date of your baptism, as the Church were you where baptized should have a record of the sacraments you received, (Baptism, first communion, confirmation, and if you had ever been married before, or taken solemn vows.) This may be all that you need to obtain permission to be married in the Church where you live now. The ceremony can be a private one in the Church or sacristy, if you where not married in the Church previously.

    Just as we don’t know all the backround of your individual case, it is hard to say how long the process will take, but being able to receive the graces in your marriage, and in communion are important. What looks like a devistating setback may also be a blessing in disguse. To marry in the Church, your husband will have to learn a little about the Catholic Church, you never know, this may be the very thing he needs to help him consider what place Jesus should have in his heart, and may result in his conversion.

    #9495

    Babsintx
    Member

    I believe I am being called to the Catholic Church and am learning about it right now.
    I have been married before but not to a Catholic and not in the Catholic Church. There was abuse involved, but that need not be discussed here. What I want to know is how difficult is it to obtain an annulment or is one even necessary. I may want to marry in the future and want to make sure I do the right thing.

    #9533

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster
    "Babsintx":e09nzenr wrote:
    I believe I am being called to the Catholic Church and am learning about it right now.
    I have been married before but not to a Catholic and not in the Catholic Church. There was abuse involved, but that need not be discussed here. What I want to know is how difficult is it to obtain an annulment or is one even necessary. I may want to marry in the future and want to make sure I do the right thing.[/quote:e09nzenr]
    From the limited knowledge that I have of the annulment process it can take a year. Also, one of the most difficult parts is the willingness of your ex-spouse. He or she could make it drag out for a while if he or she is uncooperative.

    If you want a more definitive answer you would be best served by talking to a priest in your area. He will be able to better guide you.

    I hope it goes well!

    #9535

    LARobert
    Participant

    There are any number of things that would make a marriage simply a natural union and not a sacramental union. Among them if one or both of the parties was not validly baptized at the time of the marriage. If it was done by a Justice of the Peace, or at the County Courthouse etc. If one of the parties was underage or not free to marry, (if one of you had been married before or other reasons for not being free to marry).

    As Jon wisely advised, you can discuss all of these issues and the circumstances with the parish priest prior to your reception into the Church, and if there seems to be grounds for a delclaration that there never was a sacramental marriage.

    #9540

    Babsintx
    Member

    The other party would never cooperate in this. He is a Christadelphian. They believe the Catholic Church is the Beast in Revelation. What is a valid baptism? We were both baptised via immersion into the Christadelphian faith. I thank you both for your good information and will talk to the Parish Priest about it. I am a bit nervous as I just bought some books to help me understand the beliefs better. All of your help is tremendously appreciated.

    #9601

    LARobert
    Participant

    Sorry I missed the last question. Valid baptism according to the Catholic Church is any baptism done with potable water, not rose water, or rose petals, or other elements. While the person is being immersed, or the water is sprinkled or poured on the person, the person immersing, pouring or sprinkling says, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Ghost)” and has the intention of doing (at the very least) what the Church intends. There are those who baptize in the “Name of Jesus” or the Creator, Word and Mover, or other words who do not baptize validly.

    Another consideration is if the person has reached the age of reason, then they need to have the desire to be baptized, if not then the person responsible for them (parent, godparent, etc should desire that they be baptized, and wish to raise them in a Christian home. although the second part is not required for validityl.)

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