is it possible for an Athiest to marry a Catholic in a Catholic Church? : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

I am an Athiest, my girlfriend is Catholic and has dreams of someday having a big Catholic wedding like her parents did. We are very much in love and I plan to ask for her hand in marriage in the near future. I know there are going to be issues with her realizing her dream (if it's at all possible). Can someone explain to me the hurdles that need to be overcome. To further complicate matters, I was baptised and Anglican and at the age of 8 was baptised a Mormon. I have also been married previously. Oh the tangled webs we weave. Thank you in advance.

-- Graham (, February 05, 2003


Wow, I wish my Atheist boyfriend had been willing to marry me! She's a lucky lady. :-)

I don't see why you can't get married in the Church but you will probably be asked if you are willing to raise your children in the Catholic faith. Are you? This would be a big hurdle, if you said no. Also, will you be willing to allow your wife to continue practicing her faith? These are things you need to decide and talk over.

Please find a priest that you feel comfortable with and he can give you all the information you need. God bless! :-)

-- Christine L. :-) (, February 05, 2003.

Wow. Whole can of worms, this one. Lemme see, and others correct me if I say anything wrong.

You MIGHT be able to wed according within the Catholic Church, yet only after many issues have been resolved.

First and foremost, she cannot marry you in the Church without you obtaining a valid declaration of nullity from your previous marriage. Also, there is the question of your multi-baptisms. Anglican (or Episcopal) baptism is recognized by the Catholic Church as a valid rite, however, a Mormon one is not.

My bigger concern is your admission of athiesm. That you were able to fall in love with a Catholic, desire to make her your bride, and do so in her church makes me curious. Sounds like this woman means a whole heck of a lot, and that your love for her is strong enough to grant her the chance to practice her faith where matrimony is concerned. All athiests I have known would have refused the mere hint of what you are facing.

As a catechist, I have never faced such a question regarding athiesm and marriage. I know Catholics can marry baptised Protestants, and unbatised people, with both parties agreeing to raising any children born to the union as Catholics. With an athiest, that raises some questions, and concerns. It just hits me a bit off center.

Graham, my gut tells me that you are one of those people that refer to themselves as 'athiest', yet don't spend much time to promulgate the platform. From your willingness to marry your love, and do so in her Church faith, you seem to have more appreciation than the athiests I have met. You are far more open to understanding how important her dreams are. To my ears, it sounds like there might be a possible path to agnosticism?

Last thing I offer. Graham, you fell in love with a woman who is a Catholic (and I presume practicing/faithful to the Church), and you deny the being that she believes in. In my romantic mind, a Catholic doesn't end up with an athiest for folly. I believe your love for your girlfriend is true, and I admire your desire to do right by her, and her faith.

Marry this woman. Make her happy. Respect her faith. Listen to her when you can't understand, but try all the same. Be open to learning why she dreamed of having a Catholic wedding. Listen. Practice patience. Ask questions. Share your confusions...concerns. When you don't understand her, don't belittle her and give her any reason to feel you don't respect her viewpoint. Don't try to convert her. It will lead to resentment, and I say the same to your girlfriend of you.

Communication. That is the key for a relationship to find success. Talk. And never fear that your words of sharing what you feel might cause pain. That can be smoothed over. It is what is left unspoken that fosters long term damage. If you face decisions, take time to wrestle with all of the factors involved, and consider results...especially if you DO plan to have children.

Even if they are uncomfortable, my prayers for God's blessings.

-- Melissa Wilson (, February 06, 2003.

Paul says that the unbelieving partner will be sanctified by the believer. In short, it's ok. It leaves the athiest with more hope in turning to God than were he/she to marry another athiest.

-- Oliver Fischer (, February 06, 2003.

The fact that an athiest is willing to marry a Catholic, and have a Catholic service is absolutely astounding to me - that is so beautiful!

An athiest who is willing to enter a Catholic Church so his bride can have a Catholic Church wedding says so much about you!

I do get this very strong feeling that you will not be an athiest forever - I say that because you do not sound like a bitter, angry athiest as so many do.

God bless you both, marry the love of your life, be happy!

-- MaryLu (, February 06, 2003.

Well Graham, you asked if it's possible....of course it's possible, pracically anyting is possible in this day and age, afterall our pope has kissed the koran. Now that's something we all thought would have been impossible, but to our utter amazement it happened.

IMHO, if you truley say your an athiest, then why in God's name would you want to marry a catholic? If you love this woman as you say you do, you will not marry her because it goes against YOUR faith. She believes in God and Gods Mother and loves Them Both with her whole heart. First and formost in her life is God. You must consider her feelings above yours. If not the first time or even the second time you say something against God or Our Lady it is going to literally tear her heart apart. You would be asking her to carry you, she would need to have enough faith for the both of you. It's one thing to have an athiest friend, but to actually have an athiest husband? How do you think it's gonna make her feel to say she has an athiest husband. A husband that she'll want to spend every day with and share her most treasured thoughts and experiences with needs to be able to understand her. How can you possible understand how she will feel about anything if you can not even begin to understand her beliefs. How can the two of you be joined together as one by God if only one of you believes it? It amazes me why an athiest would even want to get married, afterall its only a piece of paper to you. What's the sence of entering holy matrimony, or being joined together as one by God if the meaning of both doesnt exist to you?

I admire you for asking, but please think about how it will effect not only you, but her. You will be asked to attend church with her. She may want to bring a crusifex into the house, maybe a picture of God. Can you live with that and be content? Now think about her, how will she feel when you can't understand why she has to goto church, to confession? How are your feelings about there being no GOD going to effect her in the long run. She will never be able to put as much faith in you to do whats right as she does God.

Just my opinion mind you. I will say a prayer asking God to guide you both in your decisions. May God bless you and show you his light, Graham, because without Him there is only darkness.

-- Choas (, February 12, 2003.

Chaos your the kind of person that pisses us athiests off. Your view or no view. Hey man I'm an athiest I was a best man in a catholic wedding because they were my friends. I was married in a religious ceramony 25 years ago and have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful life. Graham, marry the girl and agree to disagree. It makes for interesting conversation. Too many interesting things in the world for a disagreement on philosophy to get in the way of both of your happiness. By the way, your THE MAN for doing this her way. Cudos. Curt Mitchell.

-- Curt Mitchell (, February 20, 2003.

Gheez Curt! Why am I the kind of person that pisses off you athiests? Because I dont have a problem expressing my opinions? Do you athiests always ask for peoples opinions and then degrade them for expressing it? As I posted, this is just MY OPINION on what kind of hurdles Graham will/may face. I go where the Good Lord leads me, and if that pisses you off maybe that's because He intended for me to piss you off. (oops there I go pissing you off again:) If you can't respect MY OPINION so be it. No sweat off my butt!) Its real easy to figure out my boy, if you cant handle someones opinion, don't ask for it!!

Oh my Jesus, save us from the fires of hell and lead all souls to heaven, expecially those most in need of Thy mercy.

-- Choas (, February 20, 2003.

Hi Graham,

I don't know why, but I read something completely different into your post than most of the others did.

I was able to understand where you are coming from as a divorced, twice-baptized atheist who wishes to marry a Catholic woman.

But I cannot jump to the assumption that your fiance is a devout Catholic. You made no mention of such.

You simply said that she "dreams of someday having a big Catholic wedding like her parents did." THAT is not a good enough reason to be married in the Church.

Being married in the Catholic Church means receiving one of our seven Holy Sacraments. A Catholic should be properly disposed to receiving this awesome Sacrament.

I am not saying that your girlfriend is NOT a devout practicing Catholic, nor that her motives aren't completely in line with her Faith.

You simply didn't phrase it to sound as though she is. (Or it could be my reading comprehension is lacking!)

If she is devout and sincere and intends to abide by the Church's instructions concerning marriage; bringing into your marriage all the children God deigns to send you, educating them in the Faith, etc., then she truly wants a Catholic marriage. It is a labor of love, but not impossible, to have a happy Catholic marriage with a spouse who has different beliefs.

If, however, she just wants to "use" Christ's Church as a "location" for sentimental or aesthetic reasons, I would strongly advise against this.

(BTW, Scripture does warn believers against being "unequally yoked with unbelievers." Some take this to mean marriage, others interpret it more broadly or narrowly.)

I do agree with the other posters above, that you would seek out information from other Catholic believers on behalf of your intended shows a profound amount of understanding and desire to make her happy.

I do wish the best for the both of you...the best being a long, fruitful, happy Catholic marriage--and your conversion to the Faith! May God bless you both abundantly.

Pax Christi.

-- Anna <>< (, February 20, 2003.

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