Catholic marrying Gregorian Orthodoxgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I am currently in a difficult situation. My fiancee and I are trying to plan a wedding but are having some disagreements when it comes to the topic of religion. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and he is Gregorian Orthodox. We have agreed that our wedding will take place in my church, however he wants his priest to be present at the ceremony. Will this be a problem? What kind of ceremony would it be? I have not approached my priest about this situation just yet, I wanted to have as much information as possible before I do so. Also, when it comes to having children, he wants the children to be baptized in his church (the orthodox church), does this have to be mentioned to my priest prior to getting married? I'm not sure if it matters or not, but he is of Armenian descent. Please help.
-- MaryAnn Mahovlich (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 02, 2003
You stated that you are "in a difficult situation." Let's go through the various things you mentioned, and you can then judge whether or not it is "difficult."
I am a practicing Roman Catholic and he is Gregorian Orthodox.
The term "Roman Catholic" is not an official one ["Catholic" being official], and it can mean different things to different people. In this reply, I am going to assume that you mean that you are a Catholic of the Western or Latin Church (which encompasses about 98% of all Catholics).
Most Catholics know that there are schismatic Eastern Orthodox churches (e.g., the Russian Orthodox church, the Greek Orthodox, the Romanian, the Bulgarian, the Ukrainian, etc.). I mention this as prelude to saying that I believe that another name for the "Gregorian Orthodox church" is the "Armenian Orthodox church."
We have agreed that our wedding will take place in my church, however he wants his priest to be present at the ceremony. Will this be a problem?
It will not be a problem, from the Catholic Church's point of view. But whether the Orthodox priest's bishop will permit him to play a role is another question. Remember to mention this to your Catholic pastor in your first meeting with him.
What kind of ceremony would it be?
Since the ceremony will take place in your church, it will be a Latin-Rite ceremony. It can be within or outside of the Mass, according to your decision. That's another matter to discuss with your pastor.
Also, when it comes to having children, he wants the children to be baptized in his church (the orthodox church), does this have to be mentioned to my priest prior to getting married?
I don't know fully what is meant by "want[ing] the children to be baptized in ... the orthdox church." Does this mean that he wants only "orthodox baptisms"? Or does he also demand that the children be raised as Orthodox [non-Catholic] faithful, not learning/following Catholic doctrines and disciplines, but following/learning only Orthodox disciplines and doctrines (which include some theological errors)?
This is definitely something that you must discuss with your pastor. Our Code of Canon Law requires you to promise to remain Catholic and to do all in your power to raise your children as Catholics. The Law also requires that your fiance be made aware of your promise (though he need not respond publicly to the promise). He may agree to allow you to raise the children as Catholics, but then change his mind after the wedding.
Mary Ann, please be aware of all the possibilities. Ask your pastor to help you become aware of the good things that your children will have, the good things they will miss out on, and the wrong things they will be taught -- if they are raised as Orthodox Christians.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), July 02, 2003.