Catholic/Non-Catholic Marriage : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

My fiance and I have been engaged for 2 1/2 years. I believe that the day after we were engaged, she called the Catholic Church in our town and set a date. They knew that I was a non-catholic, and said that it would be fine. We finally met with the Priest (6 months before our wedding date). During this meeting, he basically told us that he would not marry us, and suggested that we go to my church to get married, or go to a JP. I was mad at the time, but just recently, I found out that the RCIA classes (not sure if that is right), are supposed to be taken a year in advance of the ceremony. This tells me that they had no intention of marrying us from the start and makes me furious. He also told us that if my fiance decided to convert out of Catholicism after we were married, that she would go to hell. Sorry for the long winded question. Any response to this would be wonderful.

-- anonymous (, April 22, 2003


It sounds like the priest was trying to use pressure to get you guys to commit yourselves to be Catholic. Sounds really pathetic and very unfair that he gave you such short notice. Hopefully all priest don't act like this! AS for going to hell, only God knows that one, and I think it seems a little judgemental to think that if she converts for whatever reason it automatically means she's going to hell. What a crappy and stressful experience that must have been! So where did you end up getting married anyways?!!

-- d (, April 22, 2003.

Many Catholic churches will perform Catholic/non-Catholic Christian marriages. It is becoming common for the non-Catholic spouse to take RCIA classes AFTER the marriage. A man in my parish has been married to his non-Catholic wife for at least 8 or 9 years now. She was fully initiated into the Catholic church last weekend at Easter Mass. Just because that particular priest is being uncooperative doesn't prevent a Catholic marriage for you two. I'd recommend that you check out the possibility of having another priest do the ceremony at the church she attends, or even having the ceremony at another Catholic church (probably easier). I do somewhat agree with the priest that your fiance converting out of Catholicism is wrong, however, I find it hard to believe that would result in hell. My personal recommendation would be for you to take RCIA classes, before OR after marriage, since the church requires children to be raised Catholic, regaurdless of the non-Catholic parent's religion, it's easier for the children to accept Catholicism if both parents are Catholic. Just my opinion. Hope it helps, and my best wishes to you both!

-- Chris Nelson (, April 22, 2003.

We are getting married in a church that we have both been attending recently, it is not a catholic church. She decided that she would just rather avoid the baggage that comes along with the catholic church, and her parents have also left the catholic church because of it. It just seems weird that the opportunity to leave the church before we were married allowed her not to go to hell (according to the priest), but if we were to get married, she would go to hell if she left the church afterwards.

-- anonymous (, April 23, 2003.

I'm sorry, anonymous, but your description of alleged events is so far-fetched (especially what the priest allegedly told you to do) -- and stated in such a prejudicial, anti-Catholic way -- that I am forced to believe that it was a pure (or, rather, impure) fiction.

I believe that you are the person or one of the small group of people who have been harassing this forum for several weeks. You seek ways in which to paint the Church in a bad light.
I hope that you have a chance to repent before you go to your judgment.

-- J. F. Gecik (, April 23, 2003.

This is more than real. Here is the information for the church and the Father:

Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church 109 Angel Ave NW PO Box 548 Watertown MN 55388-0548 952-955-1458 Fr Frank Wampach

I would like you to call and ask if he just recently had an engaged couple that were going to get married and one of them went the evangical free church. I feel that because of my christian beliefs I must forgive you and pray for you for being so judgemental of people.

-- anonymous (, April 25, 2003.

Excuse me, COWARD, who lacks the guts to give his name (while I give name and real e-mail address) ... but I never "run my mouth off," and I'm not going to "eat my words."

Anonymous's story is offensive that I would not consider his suggestion. I am not going to waste time and money calling a parish that is half-way across the country from me. If I were foolish enough to place such a call, the pastor probably would not be willing to discuss utter strangers with me anyway. But if he were willing to talk, I'm sure that he would tell the truth -- a narrative that would contradict various details you have provided.

You poor souls are just too immature to think things through, to describe the situation accurately, etc.. Scurry along now, please, kiddies.


-- J. F. Gecik (, April 25, 2003.

The RCIA classes are necessary as most catholics know very little about their faith and others know even less. It is VERY wise for the Church to rquire them BEFORE marriage. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of marriage in this country. It is permanent, fidelity is a requirement not an option, the openness to children is required not an option and the deepening of the faith and commitment to eack other and to Christ is required for any rudimentary understanding of Catholic Sacramental marriage. It sound as if perhaps there was some misunderstanding when the priest first spoke with you or your finacee misunderstood him. Both seem possible. Perhaps during the discussion you had with this priest he heard things which led him to believe you did not understand what the Church teaches about marriage. I have no way of knowing. If he has doubts about the validity of a potential marriage I think he is justified in discouraging it. But as I said I was not privy to the discussions and I am in no way judging any of you in this situation. I think your presumption about him not intending to marry you from the start is not justified by the facts you have presented but I can understand your unhappiness. Personally I cannot understand someone who knows Catholicism converting to any other denomination. I would ask you to see my answer in another thread under somethng like "other denominations" so you do not feel attacked, which is NOT my intention. If there is a sincere desire toward Catholicism I would expect what the Church actually teaches and expects would be rather important and would be sought. If not than there would be no real point to seeking a Catholic marriage ceremony. It is a fundamentally important issue. Thank you for the question. I wish you only to seek what is true.


-- Karl (, April 26, 2003.


You are going to hell, pretty much all catholics are. Leave the poor guy alone. He is not catholic, obviously his fiance is not catholic anymore either, just leave him alone. God said to pray to no-one but him. Do you pray to God? No. You pray to Mary. Is Mary God? No. I rest my case.

-- Not A. Catholic (, April 26, 2003.

Subject: Catholic/Non-Catholic Marriage

I am a Catholic married to a non-catholic at Immaculate Conception in Watertown, MN. I know Father Frank. He would not have the arrogance to assume he knows the will of God and whether your fiancee would go to hell should she leave the church after marrying Catholic. She or you both must have misunderstood what he said.

If this weighs heavy on your mind (probably does as you have written in this forum), I suggest that you stop by and ask Father Frank for some clarity on the issue. You will need to pin him down as he wanders quite a bit. Keep the emotion out and stick to church doctrine.

In response to the later comment, I have issues with the Catholic church of which I am working through at this time. The infallibility of the pope and transubstantiation are two of the big issues. However, Catholics do not pray to Mary and the saints. They do ask Mary and the saints to pray for them and for others. They do not believe that Mary can get us favors with the lord but they do believe that she can pray just as you or I can.

Certainly, the Catholic Church has taken some liberties through tradition and history, but do not condemn them out of ignorance. This isn't a competition. The bible is full of contradictions between the old an new testament in whatever version you have. It cannot be interpreted literally as evangelicals are prone to do, especially regarding Revelation. If you would step back from your holier-than-thou finger-pointing, you would see that we are praying to the same God and he loves us all the same.

-- anonymous (, June 01, 2003.

I do know Father Frank and can't help but wonder if there was some kind of misunderstanding. Three years ago not only did Frank marry my daughter to her non-catholic husband but he came to our church in Shakopee to marry them. They went to premarital classes only a couple months before their wedding date, they were engaged for over a year. Usually to get married in any catholic church either bride or groom must be a member of the church. Just because the bride to be went to Immaculate Conception as a child does not make her a member as an adult.

-- (, June 25, 2003.

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