Catholic Marrying Non Catholic : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

My boyfriend and I have been dating for quite a few years now and have ben talking about marriage. He is Reformed Presbytarian, and I am Roman Catholic. We usually don't disaree over too many things, only small ones. I want to be married in a Catholic church. Both hi parents and my own were. His grandmother forced his mother to marry in a Catholic and baptise my boyfreind Catholic. Later though she raised my boyfreind and his brother non-denominational/reformed presbytarian. I know there is something about classes that can help for us to be married in the Catholic Church. But he refuses to raise our children Catholic. HELP! What am I to do? Any information on the classes and rules? Thanks!

-- Elizabeth Maholick (, August 06, 2004


Bump to New Answers to invite comment.

-- (bump@bump.bump), August 06, 2004.

My fiancé is Catholic and I am not. We are getting married in the Catholic church. Marrying outside the faith is more common than you might think. The priest that marries you does have to ask for permission from the bishop but it very rarely refused. The biggest problem is of course divorce. So if one of you was married before you are going to have a lot of problems getting married in the Catholic church. The fact that he was baptized Catholic will help out there because the priest can just look at your records. However if not there are several things you can do to make it happen. The classes you speak of are mandatory for any Catholic marriage (interfaith or not). You can either visit with a Catholic married couple around five times, who is trained to teach you and your partner about Catholic marriage or you can do an Engaged Encounter. Which is a program sponsored by the Catholic church that takes one weekend where you spend the days listening to Catholic married couples share their stories and spend time learning about your partner and discussing what problems the faith may cause, such as having children. These weekends cost money but they feed you and put you up (usually in dormatories and the like). As for the raising the children Catholic, this is a rule and it must be pledged by you and your boyfriend when you are married. There is no bending this. However the responsibility lies completely on you. Since you are of the faith it is your job to raise the children within your faith. If you choose not to it is considered your (fault/decision) and not your husbands within the eyes of the church and therefore something you will have to live with. I don't know anything about the presbytarian faith and what their rules are on raising children within the church. If you seriously are considering marrying within the church it takes about a year to get all the paper work, classes, and such taken care of so I would schedule a meeting with your priest and he will discuss your options with you as well. Hope this helps.

-- Emelyn Smith (, August 10, 2004.

THANKYOU! It helped so much! There is only one other questiong. If we pledge to raise our children Catholic, can we baptise them Catholic, and then raise them just general Christian, or non denominational just like my boyfreind was? Or do we have to raise them 100% all the way Catholic, sacraments and everything? I mean in the eyes of the church, because I wouldn't want to live with being wrong in the eyes of my church.

-- Elizabeth Maholick (, August 11, 2004.

Sorry but “general Christian” and “non-denominational” are meaningless cop-outs. If you are a Christian, you belong to a denomination, even if you are the only member of it. Or else you just have a Christianity which is so vague that it is almost meaningless. As a Catholic you have to do all in your power to raise your children as Catholics, yes, sacraments and everything. If marrying a non- Catholic you have to promise to do this. The non-Catholic spouse doesn’t have to promise anything, he just has to be informed of the Catholic spouse’s promise. In your case it may be different as it may be considered that your fiancé is technically still a Catholic since he was baptised as one. I suggest you ask your parish priest about this. But rather than getting hung up about what is the legal minimum you HAVE to do, I suggest you think and pray about what a priceless treasure you have in your Catholic faith and sacraments. Why WOULDN'T you want to share this treasure with your children?

-- Steve (, August 11, 2004.

How would you decide which truths of complete Christianity you would hold to and which you would reject in order to become "general Christian"?? As Steve said, there is no such thing as "non-denominational". A denomination is defined by a specific set of doctrinal beliefs, some of them true and some untrue. The only way to be Christian and non-denominational is to belong to the Church Jesus Christ founded for all men, which has not fragmented into denominations in 2,000 years.

-- Paul M. (, August 11, 2004.

I suppose marriage in the Catholic Church isn't going to be an option between us. He will not have our children raised Catholic because he does not support it. We will have to opt for something else then. Thank you for your help.

-- Elizabeth Maholick (, August 12, 2004.


That is a very difficult situation to be in. However, you need to consider the facts before thinking of "other options". The only other options for you as a Catholic are (1) to formally renounce the Catholic Church and become a Protestant; or (2) to enter into an invalid marriage (which is really a non- marriage), in which case you would be living in an objectively sinful situation, and would be cut off from the sacramental life of the Church. It seems to me that if the depth of his love for you is sufficient to enter into marriage, he would at least be willing to learn about the teachings of your Church, rather than making crucial life decisions based on rumors about Catholicism that he has heard or read from other misguided people in his own church.

-- Paul M. (, August 12, 2004.


If you don't want to live with being wrong in the eyes of your Church then don't marry outside Her.
If my boyfriend didn't want to raise our children Catholic I wouldn't marry him. I would be wary of marrying a non-Catholic to begin with. What if I died? Could I count on him to raise our children Catholic? It is our responsibility (a huge one at that!) to raise our children in the Catholic Faith. Always remember we will have to stand in judgment before God.
Pray to Our Lady for guidance.

-- Faith (, August 14, 2004.

There will be communication problems in your marriage.

How can two people ever be on the same page when you are not even in the same Book together ?

Many times you will sense your spouse avoids certain topics.You will begin to speak of certain concepts spiritual in nature and you speak abstractly ,they appear blank suddenly they appear very anxious too ..begin listing things..ingredients for soup or stew or suddenly naming colors or teams. Listing , counting catagorising mundane items. Meat and drink for them is vain repetition. Certain situations they attempt to avoid too, like you sitting down and engaging higher thought , or reading the Bible, suddenly up and franically cleaning under your feet , or very helpfully getting something especially for you, placing a drink by you but making sure to be banging things around noisily so that your attention is distracted...He that will not go in himself does not want the next one to go in either.

Often you will also find yourself thinking your spouse intentionally deceived , even lied about something of such minor significance it is of little importance yet there is a cover up. Insignificant perhaps , still ,it bothers you. Over time, the number of these situations grow as will the deceptions .

Your spouse will always be the first to want to make up . Peace, peace when there can be no peace without an honest word between you. Why is it the communication is unclear? Look carefully at John 8: Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

Sometimes you will look at the good works of your spouse and see what appears to be holy in the sight of God . They cleans so well . They take care of you. They also manage your finances . You feel guiltier .You think you are being very unthankful.

A polished exterior , an outward manifestation of good works when inside the heart there is nothing but self.Remember, Cain too was a tiller.

He that is not faithful to his God can be true to no one. Catholics do not worship the Biblical God. They run as far as they can to worship images, idols, the work of their own hands . They worship their own wills .They worship higher man

Where truth cannot exist,all is a sham.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Note carefully how your spouse feels about blacks and especially Jews. Note carefully opinion shifts to go with majority thought or that which follows after the person esteemed higher in the room.

You will grieve watching your children coached to speak lies . You will learn to pray harder than you ever thought possible. Please read John Bunyans Mr. Badman before you have children.

-- susan powers (jcpowers1 @aol.copm), January 27, 2005.

I understand what you are going through. I am in love and hope to marry my boyfirend of over a year, also a non- Catholic. First of all you should not make any hasty decisions, either way. If you truly love this man, you will want what is best for him, and yourself. And if you plan to have children, think about how heart-breaking it would be to see them raised without the Church, especially them being denied the True Presence of the Eucharist! Having said that, let me offer some advice which has helped me in this similar situation. First of all, I began viewing my situation as God's way of calling me to learn more about my faith and deeper my understanding about all Church Tradition and doctrine and the sacraments. I began studying apologetic books and learning how to defend my faith; the one, true Church. I began by offering to teach my boyfriend about the faith. It took a little while, but he began to realize how serious I was and how extremely important it was to me. BE PATIENT! Remember he was brought up viewing the Catholic Chuch as something mysterious and probably confusing. It is a scary thing. Yet, don't let your sympathy stop you from being insitent. Remind him that if he is serious about his feelings for you he will not remain ignorant about your religion. In a marriage, a person's faith is a huge part of thier life. If he is really serious about marrying you and treating you like an equal, he will be open to learning about your faith. Your mission should not be to force the Catholic Church down your boyfriend's throat, but to explain to him your faith. I STRONGLY reccomend you buy a set of apologetic books and read over them together. You may even be suprised how much you learned and never knew before. Apologetic books use many Biblican refernces for explaing doctrine denied by our Protestant brothers and sisters. This is very useful when explaining it to people who use the idea of Sola Scriptura, or "The Scripture Alone". They do not even realize that thier very belief is contradictory. For example, if you believe in Scripture alone, without Sacred Tradition or the Guidance of the Church, you are going against your own beliefs. First of all, no where in the Bible does it say that you should use "Scriture alone", making the idea a complete contradidction. Also, it was with Sacred Tradition that the CATHOLIC CHURCH decided which books were inspired. If you reject Sacred Tradition and the authority of the Church you should reject the Bible itself, not count on it as a sole authority! Information such as this is very easily explained and very useful when learning to defend and teach your faith to your boyfriend. Also, do not forget the amazing power of prayer. I suggest prayers to St. Helena, a patron saint of converts, and St. Jospeh, whom I am saying a novena to for my boyfriend. And don't forget St Jude, the patron saint of hopeless situations. Ask God to open your boyfriends heart and mind, as well as your own, to His true Church. Try to pray in front of the Holy Eucharist if you can as much as possible. Reflect on your own devotion to the Eucharist and pray to God to strengthen it, for your own sake, but also for your boyfriend, so he can see how devoted you are to it. Remember, the Bible encourages women especially to lead thier husbands to conversion through example. Don't through this wise advice aside! Last, invite him to Church. My boyfriend, was less then eager at first. Part of this was that he did not like the quieter form of worship at the parish I belonged to. I have since sought out a charismatic Catholic Church and we now attend Mass there weekly, TOGETHER! Don't be frightened of charismatic worship. The parts of the Mass are all there and in order, the Chruch we attend just uses more upbeat, preaise and worship songs, and there is some parts of the MAss set aside for more "random worhsip" (unfortunately, I am ignorant on what it is actually called). During this short breaks people are allowed to call out to the Lord and praise Him and some speak in tougnes. Don't be frightened! It's not as intimbidating as you think! The last thing I would like to say is that your reasons for wanting to teach your boyfriend about the Church should not be so he converts for you. It should be so he converts for himself and God. If you really love him, you will want what is best for him, and what is best for both of you is the one, true, faith, including the leadership of the Church and all the Blessed Sacraments. Just pray, pray, pray and do not lose faith! God will not abandon you! But don't abandon God for your boyfriend. Though God has brought you together for a reason, this reason is for you to love and honor eachother, and to bring one antoher closer to God. You can do this for him by teaching about your faith.

-- Krista (, February 03, 2005.

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