Marriage between a Roman Catholic and a Hindu

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Hi, I'm a 26 yr old baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic, wishing to marry a 26yr old Hindu girl.

What I want to know is, if we first have a civil wedding, then a hindu ceremony, can I still get married in the Catholic Church? If so, how?

Bottom line.....

I want to get married in Church. She agrees. But she also wants us to get married according to Hindu traditions. We both agree that a civil marriage before the others is best.

Please help, I need to sort out this whole thing ASAP!!!!

-- Nigel Eccleton (necc@hotmail.com), October 21, 2002

Answers

Nigel,

Once you have the civil ceremony, then you cannot have a Church wedding. You can have your wedding blessed by the Catholic Church but I do not believe there is any ceremony involved.

Others will have to clarify other options.

-- Glenn (glenn@nospam.com), October 21, 2002.


dear friend, according to the norms of Canon Law, it is better to have Catholic marriage first the for the sake of civil law you can have civil proceedures for a civil marriage. if u want to remain in the catholic religion you should not try to practice other ritual practices of marriage. In your case the marriage will be a marriage of disparity of cult. and there are also other complications better you ask the girl to recieve Baptism if she wants. Xtian marriage can be performed only among two batised members of church and among a male and a female. peter

-- Peter Francis (veluthedath@sify.com), October 22, 2002.

Nigel,

Here is what the Bible says about this.

2 Cor 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"

- Ethan

-- Ethan (ethan_post@freetechnicaltraining.com), October 22, 2002.


Jmj

Hello, Nigel.

Since you have identified yourself as a Catholic ...
if you are certain about this marriage,
and if your friend wishes to remain a Hindu (rather than become Catholic),
and if your friend insists on being married in a Hindu ceremony,
and if you wish to be REALLY married in the eyes of God,
then here is what you must do [i.e., you have no other choice as a Catholic]:

Discuss your plans with your parish priest, asking him to seek your bishop's permission to take part in a mixed marriage not celebrated in a Catholic ceremony. This permission is required by Canon Law. Without it, you would not be validly married, but would be "living in mortal sin" (fornication). Without permission, neither a civil ceremony nor a Hindu ceremony will truly bring about a "marriage" in God's eyes.

God bless you.
John

-- J. F. Gecik (jfgecik@hotmail.com), October 26, 2002.


Nigel, Disregard the racist exclusionary answers you've been given above. I am a Catholic who is marrying a Hindu, and I fully believe that our marriage will be blessed by God, whether or not within the physical confines of a church. He comes to mass with me occasionally; I celebrate Hindu holidays with him. His family accepts my Catholicism and there is mutual respect. The only thing a true marriage needs is a meeting of the minds and the hearts. Man has no right to pass judgment on the relationship of two people of "disparate cultures." Catholicism is simply one way of celebrating God; all ways are valid. Good luck and Congratulations! Amy

-- Amy (herrera912@yahoo.com), November 19, 2002.


No, he shouldn't disregard the previous advice. It's the advice Nigel was asking for.

Neither is it racist. That's a biased opinion, from someone who is prickled seeing her marriage plans disparaged as fornication.

The simple truth is, Amy isn't interested in a sacramental marriage. She has the same satisfaction wild animals get when they mate. It's sometimes a mating for life. Nature is accomodating that way.

But for Amy to pretend there's no difference shows this clear bias.

''Catholicism is only one way of ''celebrating'' God. Tell me what God asked you to celebrate, Amy? You just don't believe in the God who revealed Himself, you've conjured up a convenient one for yourself.

I know these may be stinging words, and I'm sorry. However, your kind of sham wisdom is good for Dear Abbey and Oprah, not the Catholic Church. Don't feel bad. Oprah has a fine show, and you're a better writer than most Dear Abbey posters. You should have been a guru.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), November 19, 2002.


"The only thing a true marriage needs is a meeting of the minds and the hearts."

If you are a true Catholic, I don't see how your mind can "meet" with that of a Hindu.

For instance:

Your mind won't meet on the fact that Jesus IS God.

Your mind won't meet on the fact that Christ instituted the Catholic Church and Faith as the one true faith.

Your mind won't meet on the fact that in order to be a part of the Body of Christ you need to be Baptised.

Your mind won't meet on Confession, the Eucarist, Sacramental Marriage, the Authority of the Church.

Unless of course you aren't a true "practicing" Catholic.... Then I guess your minds could meet - but then, why would it be so important (at that point) to be married in the Church anyway?

In Christ.

-- Jake Huether (jake_huether@yahoo.com), November 19, 2002.


Oh, Amy won't like the first words: ''If you are a true Catholic, I don't see how your mind can "meet" with that of a Hindu.''

Yes, a meeting of the minds is very possible. Nevertheless, a Catholic has responsibility before god, or else he/she isn't a faithful Catholic.

Some of the greatest people are Hindus. Ghandi can be called a holy man, and I have a converted Hindu friend, now a very great Catholic. Obviously, Mother Theresa had love to spare in Calcutta, for Hindus.

But, Nigel clearly loves a Hindu girl; no one has to convince him. He just wants a good, sacramental and HAPPY marriage. He's in God's hands now, and Nigel's love is really God's own, calling to this Hindu daughter.

Amy is badly mistaken.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), November 19, 2002.


Nigel,

You posted here to hear the thoughts of other Catholics and from the brief time I have spent reading the majority of replies, I feel they come from people who love the Catholic Church and Jesus and are just putting forward the perspectives of the Bible and the Christian faith.

Amy is insensitive to label them racists in defense of her romance. The above few who have responded have posted frequently and I have not seen any bigotry in any of their replies.

The Hindu faith is vastly different and you must decided inside how important your faith to your Catholic Church and Christ is. After all Hindu's believe in a multitude of God's. No one here is preaching but explaining that you only have a finite time on this earth and only your relationship with Christ will afford you the chance to heaven if it is what you believe in.

You have a choice that only you can determine but if your faith has any importance and it shows it does, then think for a moment how you can explain to yourself sharing your life between Christ and another faith.

-- aka max (temzil@yahoo.com), November 19, 2002.


God is one people. Please do not let your religious politics confuse the fact that WE ARE ALL God's children.

-- Robert Bowden (robbow1239@hotmail.com), November 28, 2002.


Mr. Bowden:
We are all God's children, for sure. But God isn't one people. He isn't created by the people.

We don't believe in religious politics. That's a poorly chosen word. If you wish to learn about faith, let Catholics tell you. Our faith always taught tolerance and love. Don't let old political rivalries and hatred persuade you otherwise.

Even in the midst of our most heinous conquests and crimes, God remained above the sin; and blessed His faithful followers. He even brought immense good out of evil; something for you to ponder. Only God is able to transform evils into blessings for all of humanity. Those things have never come from any strange gods.

-- eugene c. chavez (chavezec@pacbell.net), November 28, 2002.


I read with interest the many comments that are submitted in response to Nigel's question. It leads me to ask a question relating to my own circumstances and maybe someone can shed some light on the subject for me. In advance I apologise for my ignorance in the techings of the Catholic Church.

My father and mother were Church of England (CoE), my mother converted to Jehovah's Witness (JW). I was born and in harmony with the TW faith, was not christened or baptised as an infant. My father died when I was five, my mother remarried to a JW. From this time I was raised as a JW. At 20 I married and 18mths later we had a son. After 7 1/2 yrs my marriage ended. I withdrew myself from the JW faith and now do not associate myself with any "organised" religion. Following 5yrs of separation I am now in the final stages of divorce. My son lives with me. He is not being raised accoring to any specific faith other than what I beleive to be sound Christian principles. I have met a lady who is a Roman Catholic (RC). She has two children (13 + 3), both baptised and being raised as RC. She has never been married. Her RC faith is very important to her. We would like to get married at some stage in the future. She wishes it to be in an RC church. I don't mind the location but wouldn't be overly fond of the religious side of the service.

... where do I go from here? What are the obstacles I will meet as far as the RC church is concerned?

Any comments explaining the position of the RC church, the criteria I would need to meet, etc, would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

PS

-- PS (ps01@eircom.net), December 28, 2002.


Hello, PS.

Although not every detail is clear from your narrative, it sounds as though you have never been baptized as a Christian, and the same may be true of your wife. If so, then you have entered into a non-sacramental or "natural" marriage -- which is recognized as presumptively valid by the Catholic Church.

What to do? After your divorce is final, you should make an appointment to speak to your Catholic friend's pastor. He will help to seek a Declaration of Nullity concerning your first "union" -- a possible finding by a Church "court" that you did not exchange a valid consent with your "wife" on your wedding day. If (and only if) this finding is made, you would be free to marry your Catholic friend.

If you are able to marry some day, then the exchange of vows could take place in a simpler ceremony -- not necessarily within a Mass. However, I will pray for you to become a Catholic some day!

God bless you.
John

-- (jfgecik@hotmail.com), December 29, 2002.


John,

Thank you for your comments and direction, which I will follow as soon as current proceedings are finalised.

Sincerest best wishes. PS

-- PS (ps01@eircom.net), December 30, 2002.


I have a gf, who is hindu and i am a catholic. I love her so much and I would love to stay with her but we are scared what will be in the future for their kids. She doesnt want them baptised bt i dont know what to do. I would never give up my faith, and I believe God has brought me close to this girl for a reason she is a wonderful person and is one of gods children, but what is to become of our kids.

-- Fred (1@1.net), January 20, 2003.


I am a junior at a University in Michigan, and i am writting a paper in my Multiculturalism class, on what happens when a a HIndu and a Catholic get married, can anyone help me. give me an answer. Make me understand what the contact zone(unequal realtionships of power) it going to look like. Hope you can help!

-- sabrina casasli (scasali11@hotmail.com), March 27, 2003.

You will all realize the truth of God soon enough. You who put all stock in religion will face the truth. There is but God, religion is detracting from what God truly wants. He will show you that soon enough. God says now: Discard your religions and your separations, and return to faith. You have only to listen to Him.

-- A Messenger (listentohimnow@hotmail.com), May 13, 2003.

messenger, let me clarify your statement a little bit... what your trying to say is:

"throw away your faith, and all your learnings in the Bible and Catechism. despite the fact that JESUS (ie God) declared, created, and infused the church with the power to bind and loose on earth and heaven, you all should declare that church wrong. follow me, I am closer to God than all of you because i have no church and know no law higher than myself" -- messenger

seems to me to do a pretty good job of summing up your idea...

-- paul (dontsendmemail@notanaddress.com), May 13, 2003.


The Church is the channel through which faith is transmitted. Religion is the active life we live within the Church. If we reject religion, we reject the life of the Church. If we reject the life of the Church, we reject the Church itself. And if we reject the Church, we reject faith, for faith is meaningful only when it is faith in the truth, and the truth is revealed to men only through the Church, which is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15).. "... for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But how will they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him about whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how will there be preachers unless they are sent? (Romans 10:13-15). And where will they be sent from, if not from the Church of the Living God, which has received the divine commission to "go forth and make disciples of all peoples"?

-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), May 13, 2003.

Nigel,

To get married in a catholic church you will need to obtain a dispensation from disparity of cult as someone in an earlier post mentioned.

Also, as mentioned earlier it would be good to do the Catholic ceremony first (of course then you wouldn't need the civil ceremony).

If you do another ceremony first you will also need a "lack of form" decree because the Catholic church would not recognize a merely civil ceremony or the Hindu ceremony.

I am mildly curious by the way, why the "civil ceremony first is best"?

And to Amy,

The posts do answer the specific questions Nigel has raised. And by the way NOT all ways to God are valid - and not all gods are the real God. For Catholics marriage is more than merely a meeting of minds of hearts - it is the establishment of a domestic church and a living icon of the trinity.

Hope this is helpful.

-- Fr. Michael Skrocki, JCL (abounamike@aol.com), May 13, 2003.


so much of what is being said in here is TOTAL bigotry in the name of religion. Narrow-minded people with church as a crutch are demanding that others follow strict rules of converting God-fearing, humble 'pagan' individuals. And there in lies the answer of the human history of killing others in the name of one's 'God'.

Please, stop suggesting that a Hindu needs to become a Catholic in order for a marriage to work. Rather, a Catholic has come in contact with a Hindu in a MUTUAL love relationship. Perhaps 'God' has his way of telling the Catholic to broaden his mind...to see the real truth of things!

Jesus said: "Where there are [two, they are not] without God, and when there is one alone, [I say,] I am with him. Raise the stone, and there you will find me; cleave the wood, and there I am."

You don't need a 'church' to find God and his acceptance of your marriage! For that, look inside you! Open up your eyes...and don't force the one you apparently love--or you say you do--to choose your faith over her own beliefs!

-- vyas (himanv@yahoo.com), June 27, 2004.


so much of what is being said in here is TOTAL bigotry in the name of religion. Narrow-minded people with church as a crutch are demanding that others follow strict rules of converting God-fearing, humble 'pagan' individuals. And there in lies the answer of the human history of killing others in the name of one's 'God'.

im not sure you're aware of what "bigotry" is... but statements like "Narrow-minded people with church as a crutch" definately fall into that category. not only that, but they are a violation of the rules of this forum.

Please, stop suggesting that a Hindu needs to become a Catholic in order for a marriage to work. Rather, a Catholic has come in contact with a Hindu in a MUTUAL love relationship.

as i have said here, and as your statement so plainly illustrates, the new god of secularism is desire (emotivism). your belief that love is a justification for any action is a grave threat to the moral fabric of society, and yet you spew it because youve been hand fed hollywood false ideas and can't look around and see the real world.

Perhaps 'God' has his way of telling the Catholic to broaden his mind...to see the real truth of things!

if you believed in something, and knew that it was right... how could you NOT attempt to share it with someone that you purport to love? why would you NOT share the same moral compass with someone whom you should be so deeply concerned for? you're not talking about love at all, youre talking about desire which supercedes practicality and love both.

Jesus said: "Where there are [two, they are not] without God, and when there is one alone, [I say,] I am with him. Raise the stone, and there you will find me; cleave the wood, and there I am."

Jesus said "Where two are gathered in My name, I will be there." don't mince words. read especially IN MY NAME. that means, where two christians are gathered, there is Christ, your snippet changes the whole meaning... are you aware of the term heresy?

You don't need a 'church' to find God and his acceptance of your marriage! For that, look inside you! Open up your eyes...

don't need a church? the bible tells us that God's church is the pillar and bulwark of truth, and that we are all called to ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, and APOSTOLIC church. when i open up my eyes i see a real world, wracked by secularist teaching that needs something of a spiritual rejuvination.

and don't force the one you apparently love--or you say you do-- to choose your faith over her own beliefs!

or how about, if you know that you are going to be incompatable with someone, and that marrying them is only going to result in divorce and pain for them and any children you might have (yes, divorce is VERY hard on children) then DON'T MARRY THEM. you have to look beyond emotivism and look at what the real world is going to hand you... as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

-- paul h (dontsendmemail@notanaddress.com), June 28, 2004.


Paul H, I liked your last answer best. If the Catholic cannot bring himself to accept his lover's religion/faith/belief of Hinduism, perhaps the Catholic should just go to his church and find someone there, of the same faith. That's much better than to demand that the person he loves change her faith for his sake, or for the marriage's sake. Perhaps he should change his faith, in that case.

All your other responses to my replies were church drivel, nothing else. How do you know that I am speaking from a secularist bent? In fact, I too hate secularism. Did it occur to you that perhaps I am propounding a Hindu view here? I don't give a damn about heresy or anything, since I believe Bible to be just one other source of God's word, just one other way of acknowledging a Supreme Being. I am just more comfortable calling this God by his other name, Krishna.

And if you did not recognize where I got those words from, they are from the Gospel of Saint Thomas. The Gospel of Gnostics, the very first, and true Christians. The modern-day Christianity and Catholicism has been perverted by self-serving church elders, coming down the line all the way from about 300 AD. Those were the times when a select few insiders grabbed political and spiritual power, annulled the teachings of Jesus about finding Self-Realization....I'm sure you don't want to read any further on this topic!

-- vyas (himanv@yahoo.com), October 08, 2004.


Vyas,

Paul H mistook you for some kind of ignorant Christian, that is why they spoke to you in that way. Hindus I know by the very term are very religious and godseekers, therefore, there many forms, philosophies within Hinduism itself. Christians have it other way round. We did not come to the knowledge because of sought, but give to us. We take no credit to what we have. We believe we have fullness of knowledge about the invisible One Holy God made manifest in flesh through is through Jesus Christ his Son. This knowledge is not our own. It was given to us from above. Therefore, there is no room for "your god and my god, etc." Since is a directly revelation, we now a definite Way, a definite Truth, and definite source of Life, that is Jesus Christ Himself. There was a time when we too were all groping for the Truth from many truths, groping a the Way from many ways, and groping for Life from so promised sources of life, when Christ came. So, he is not just for Christians. God invites all men to come to the definite path of salvation, and this commission he has given to the Church to draw all men to God in Christ. The name of Jesus means "God is coming to save you right now." It is dynamic and happening now! Not something of the past. Not just another religion, though it seems so. It is Him that is important and Him we proclaim out of love so all may have the fullness of life that we have received. May God Bless You in your search.

-- Leslie John (lesliemon@hotmail.com), October 10, 2004.


Paul H, I liked your last answer best. If the Catholic cannot bring himself to accept his lover's religion/faith/belief of Hinduism, perhaps the Catholic should just go to his church and find someone there, of the same faith. That's much better than to demand that the person he loves change her faith for his sake, or for the marriage's sake. Perhaps he should change his faith, in that case.

{The poin you miss is that, unless they actually don beleive this stuff a are int he religion just as a me of oscial interaction or as a hobby, then the beleifs conflict too much. Granted, interfaith marriages have worked int he past, but with much sturggle.

It is not advisable since most dotn work if one or both parties on the marriage are committed followers of thier faith, because hte beelifs require certain behavioural and social demands to be met that woudl grate agaisnt the true beleivers faith.}-Zarove All your other responses to my replies were church drivel, nothing else. {No, they wheree realistic. Why is it you have such hatred for Chruches anyway? I mean, you berate us for beign narrow-minded, then you make proffessions agaisnt whatwe beelive? Is this moral superiority? How woidl you lek it if I went to a Hindu board and started slammign Hindu temples and holy men in the same way?

You want to call the church a crutch, tis not. The Hcurch is an instetution which teaches the faith, sort of like school, only with a more important moral mission.

Everyone learsn form soemwhere, and the Hcurch merley makes sure the teahcigns are in order and correct.}-Zarove

How do you know that I am speaking from a secularist bent? In fact, I too hate secularism. { But you do seem to follow the more general attitude of secular people. even Hindu scriptures int eh Vidas counsil agaisnt marriages with people whose beleifs are too radicaly different, as no peace woild be attaiable.

Using emotionalism over reality is not wise, and in that I concure with Paul H.}-Zarove

Did it occur to you that perhaps I am propounding a Hindu view here? {But not a wise Hindu veiw, since you ar eintoleent of Christainity, and beligerat agaisnt hte hcurhc which you claim we use as a Crutch.

False tolerence is hardly appriciated.Least of all when mingled with an arrogance that acompanie conceit.}-Zarove

I don't give a damn about heresy or anything, since I believe Bible to be just one other source of God's word, just one other way of acknowledging a Supreme Being.

{ So do most Cahtolics, and many other non-Catholic CHristains. However, this doesnt man that all Scriptures form all rleigions are equelly valid, since soem thigns contraict the Bible and its clear teachings. bviously they cant all be right.}-Zarove. I am just more comfortable calling this God by his other name, Krishna.

{ But is Krishna his actual other name? Therein lies the problem, and you must prove that Krishna is an incarnation of God, and reasoabley present it. You cannot merley pontificate it a if its true without queastion, and asusme others who disagree are idiots and beneith your stature.}-Zarove And if you did not recognize where I got those words from, they are from the Gospel of Saint Thomas. The Gospel of Gnostics, the very first, and true Christians.

{Sorry, no. The Gnostics where not the first Christains, they whrre the firts knwon Heretics.

I have a different veiw of Chruch hisotry than most Cahtolics here. But, even I know that the Gnostics emerged about a cntury AFTER Jesus's Crucifition. The earliest followers of Jesus where called initially followers of Jesus, disiples of Jesus, or ( Not to realy link Elpidio) followers of the way. They where firts called Chrisyains in Antioch about a decade after Jesus, and the name stuck. The earliest writtings we have from the Christain comunity are the writtings of St. Paul, the general epistles, and the Shepard of Hermas. The Gnostic Gospel's, and the Gnostics themselves, wherent aroudn yet.

as for the "Gospel" of Thomas, it is queastionable rather it was direlty Gnostic. Indeed, it may have merey been an early Gnostic text. Datign i also queasitoned, the earliest copies we hve are form the 2nd Century. Soem scholars palce it as earlu as 60 AD, well after Paul's epistles by 20 years or so... Many others leave it as a contemporary of revelations, or later.}-Zarove

The modern-day Christianity and Catholicism has been perverted by self-serving church elders, coming down the line all the way from about 300 AD. {And we are going to beleive you ...why? On what evidence?}-Zarove

Those were the times when a select few insiders grabbed political and spiritual power, annulled the teachings of Jesus about finding Self- Realization....I'm sure you don't want to read any further on this topic!

{I already have, and found it all to be bunk.

In my younger days I lapped up stuff like tour spewing. Did you know Paul was a ravign woman hatign Homosexual? Did you know that Jesus was also gay? Another oen for you is that Paul is the real founder of Christainity, and his teachigns are radiclaly diffeent form Jesus's...

Likewise, Constantine founded out of whole cloth the roman Cahtolic System...

Yeah, I heard all this and more... and don buy any of it any more... no that I ever beelived Jesus was Gay, or Paul. The whole " Church took over and ruined Jesus's teahcigns" thing is relaly nothign new, and is in fact tiring and boring and so old it shoudl be burried by now, its all a lie. I know, I checked the sources, have you?}-Zarove

-- ZAROVE-Fed up with new age gibberish and rubbish schilarship and outrageous claims... (ZAROFF3@JUNO.COM), October 13, 2004.


Zarove is real good and right!

-- Leslie John (lesliemon@hotmail.com), October 14, 2004.

Hi Nigel,

i am a Catholic and Imarried a hindu guy. he didn't convert. I had a temple and church wedding. the Church does allow us participate in the temple wedding as long as we sign the Agreement that states that we will not leave our faith and our partner undertsands that we will do all we can to baptised our kids and bring them up according to the Catholic faith. Speak to ur priest. Good Luck!!!!

-- Betsy George (Betsy-Alphonscia.George@my.standardchartered.com), November 22, 2004.


Canon Law specifically states ...

Canon 11273 - It is forbidden to have, either before or after the canonical celebration ... another religious celebration of the same marriage for the purpose of giving or renewing matrimonial consent. Likewise, there is not to be a religious celebration in which the Catholic assistant and a non-Catholic minister, each performing his own rite, ask for the consent of the parties.

-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), November 22, 2004.


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