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Can a Catholic marry a Christian and vice-versa?

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I'm not sure if this has been asked but phone is running out of battery and I didn't want to forget.

Rules there rules when a Catholic or Christian marry?

p.s. Jegsy I know you've got a perfect answer, I'm waiting. :)

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p.s. Jegsy I know you've got a perfect answer, I'm waiting. :)

 

Aww, thanks!

 

Okay, firstly, you're phrasing the question like it's Catholic vs. Christian. Catholics are Christians. (It's like, all Texans are American, but not all Americans are Texan). But I get what you're asking.

 

Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic Christian (i.e. Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox)? From a Catholic perspective, the answer is yes, they can. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic (whether they're a non-Catholic Christian or not Christian at all), they need to get permission from their local bishop (a "dispensation"). It's usually granted, as long as the non-Catholic understands and accepts the essential aspects of marriage (e.g. for life), understands that the Catholic is obligated to do their best to raise the children Catholic, and that there isn't any obvious danger that the Catholic will be forced to leave the faith (say, if their partner is very anti-Catholic and doesn't want them to practice their faith).

 

However, although it's possible for a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic Christian, it's not recommended. When Catholics marry, one of the promises they make as part of the vows are that they'll accept children and raise them in the Church. If you marry a non-Catholic, that becomes a lot harder. The non-Catholic spouse might not agree to raise the child Catholic (even if they agreed to before, minds might change once a child is born). They might allow the children to receive the sacraments, go to Mass, etc. but will speak out against Catholicism around them. Even if they're very tolerant, the child will still get mixed signals since their parents disagree on issues of faith, and they can only agree with one of them. There's also the risk that the Catholic spouse will become lukewarm in their faith, or even fall away. And it's possible that it could cause additional strain between the spouses, since (depending on denomination) they might disagree on important issues, and might not be able to share the faith together as fully.

 

From my own experience, I think it's important to have both husband and wife on the same page. My parents are actually both Catholic, but my dad is no longer practising, and hasn't been since he was a teenager. It was always a little sad to go to Mass every week with just my mum, and although I received the sacraments and went to Catholic school, my faith didn't grow much further than that, until I was old enough to learn it for myself. My dad's not anti-Catholic per se, but I've had to deal with him undermining the faith, Church teachings, calling it excessive if I crossed myself before eating dinner, and so on. I've always wanted my husband and I to be on the same page, because I want to share all of that with him and with our children. It'd be bad enough marrying a lapsed Catholic like my dad, let alone a non-Catholic.

 

Anyway, that's my take. I can't speak for non-Catholics, because I know, for example, that some Protestants are okay with marrying Catholics (or at least will allow it), and others aren't. I think some might even restrict marriage to their own specific denomination (e.g. only another Baptist etc.), but this I don't know, so someone else will have to fill me in!

 

xxx

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Rules there rules when a Catholic or Christian marry?

 

 

OOoooh, man. When I read that I knew Jegs was going to jump all over you on that. lol

 

 

Anyway, that's my take. I can't speak for non-Catholics, because I know, for example, that some Protestants are okay with marrying Catholics (or at least will allow it), and others aren't. I think some might even restrict marriage to their own specific denomination (e.g. only another Baptist etc.), but this I don't know, so someone else will have to fill me in!

 

xxx

 

I actually agree that it's best to stay within your own denomination or at least have similar theological beliefs. 

 

I personally would not marry a Catholic because even though we share a lot of core beliefs, it boils down to one fundamental difference that I just can't ignore: the question of "how is a person saved?" That is really the central issue that defines a Christian. Now I'm not going to say who is a Christian and who isn't because that is up to God. But there are lots of different understandings how that question. From an objective POV, they cannot all be correct and only one of them can be right. Of course every church is going to answer "put your faith in Jesus Christ." But it really isn't as simple as that because how that applies to Christian's life and what that entails differs from denomination to denomination.

 

Some say faith in Jesus also means baptism is necessary while some say it doesn't. Some say salvation can be lost while others say it can't. Also the question of what role do works have in salvation if at all. Lots of other things go into this issue.

 

I know that, for example, you and I have different views on salvation (although not as different as you may think). As such that reason alone is why I personally wouldn't marry a Catholic.

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I personally wouldn't marry a Catholic. Although Catholics and Christians both believe in Jesus, there are a lot of practices Catholics have that I don't agree with. I would want my husband to be the head of the house and in order to do that, we need to be on the same page. Otherwise its confusing for the children.

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Thanks Jegsy!  :)

Eastern Orthodoxy is similar to Roman Catholicism when it comes to marrying other Christians; you can marry anyone who has been baptized in the name of the Trinity, but the non-Orthodox spouse has to agree to raise their future children in the Orthodox Christian faith.  For this reason, I wouldn't consider marrying a strict Catholic or a hardcore Protestant, since they would obviously object to that.  :P  It's really tough, and worrying about an even-smaller dating pool has delayed my full conversion.

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I personally wouldn't marry a Catholic. Although Catholics and Christians both believe in Jesus, there are a lot of practices Catholics have that I don't agree with. I would want my husband to be the head of the house and in order to do that, we need to be on the same page. Otherwise its confusing for the children.

I agree 110% with you.

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 Okay, firstly, you're phrasing the question like it's Catholic vs. Christian. Catholics are Christians. (It's like, all Texans are American, but not all Americans are Texan). But I get what you're asking.

 

Yes! Glad you mentioned this. :)

I would prefer to marry a Catholic, because life would be so much more easier for our future children.

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Can a Catholic marry a non-Catholic Christian (i.e. Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox)? From a Catholic perspective, the answer is yes, they can. When a Catholic marries a non-Catholic (whether they're a non-Catholic Christian or not Christian at all), they need to get permission from their local bishop (a "dispensation"). It's usually granted, as long as the non-Catholic understands and accepts the essential aspects of marriage (e.g. for life), understands that the Catholic is obligated to do their best to raise the children Catholic, and that there isn't any obvious danger that the Catholic will be forced to leave the faith (say, if their partner is very anti-Catholic and doesn't want them to practice their faith).

However, although it's possible for a Catholic to marry a non-Catholic Christian, it's not recommended. When Catholics marry, one of the promises they make as part of the vows are that they'll accept children and raise them in the Church. If you marry a non-Catholic, that becomes a lot harder. The non-Catholic spouse might not agree to raise the child Catholic (even if they agreed to before, minds might change once a child is born). They might allow the children to receive the sacraments, go to Mass, etc. but will speak out against Catholicism around them. Even if they're very tolerant, the child will still get mixed signals since their parents disagree on issues of faith, and they can only agree with one of them. There's also the risk that the Catholic spouse will become lukewarm in their faith, or even fall away. And it's possible that it could cause additional strain between the spouses, since (depending on denomination) they might disagree on important issues, and might not be able to share the faith together as fully.

From my own experience, I think it's important to have both husband and wife on the same page. My parents are actually both Catholic, but my dad is no longer practising, and hasn't been since he was a teenager. It was always a little sad to go to Mass every week with just my mum, and although I received the sacraments and went to Catholic school, my faith didn't grow much further than that, until I was old enough to learn it for myself. My dad's not anti-Catholic per se, but I've had to deal with him undermining the faith, Church teachings, calling it excessive if I crossed myself before eating dinner, and so on. I've always wanted my husband and I to be on the same page, because I want to share all of that with him and with our children. It'd be bad enough marrying a lapsed Catholic like my dad, let alone a non-Catholic.

xxx

Jegs is right here. My mom is Catholic and she married my dad who was non-catholic and non-religious at the time (he later converted to Catholicism later in my teens). My mom had to receive a dispensation from bishop and fortunately my dad wasn't against raising the kids Catholic. However, my mom did tell me that in the early years of her marriage it was difficult since she couldn't really share her Catholic faith with her husband. I also have family friends whose marriages are inter-denominational or inter-faith( Catholic marries Protestant or Christian marries non-Christian and there have been some difficulties in their marriages because of it) That said, I would prefer it if my wife was Catholic: I want to share my faith with her and with our future children. So, I do agree with Jegs and Vince, I do think it's important for the wife and husband to be on the same page religiously.
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I was baptized Lutheran but I would now call myself a non-denominational or interdenominational Christian, meaning I don't adhere to one specific denomination. I used to date someone who was Catholic, and when we would talk about marriage, we would realize the issues that might arise. He really wanted me to convert if we were to get married, but I really wasn't feeling like that was something I wanted to do. Also, the issue of raising children with parents who practiced different versions of Christianity was worrisome to me. Our relationship ended for other reasons, but looking back, I'm not sure how we would have dealt with all of that. I am now dating someone who is on the same page as I am with his beliefs and I feel much more calm about our future.

 

I think marrying someone outside of your denomination is possible and could be successful, but only if you could completely accept the fact that you will never fully agree on some aspects of your faith. For many, it would probably be best to be with someone on the same page.

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I was baptized Lutheran but I would now call myself a non-denominational or interdenominational Christian, meaning I don't adhere to one specific denomination. I used to date someone who was Catholic, and when we would talk about marriage, we would realize the issues that might arise. He really wanted me to convert if we were to get married, but I really wasn't feeling like that was something I wanted to do. Also, the issue of raising children with parents who practiced different versions of Christianity was worrisome to me. Our relationship ended for other reasons, but looking back, I'm not sure how we would have dealt with all of that. I am now dating someone who is on the same page as I am with his beliefs and I feel much more calm about our future.

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I will have to agree with you. I also think a person shouldn't be forced to convert to a religion; he or she should make the choice him or herself. In the case of my parents marriage, my dad made the choice to convert to Catholicsm. I also have a similar worry about raising my children with different forms of Christianity. I dont want to put my children under the situation where they would have to pick( side with dad with his faith or mom with her faith). Instead, I would want my wife and me to have the same religion background so that both of us can give our children a good religious foundation. I also see benefits if both parents have the same religion background: it can help create a stronger bond between them which I think would have positive effects in their relationship( helps their relationship grow in other ways).
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Turns out my mother is Catholic (and still is to this day) and my father is Lutheran (and still is to this day). Both are strong in their faith and have made things work out.

 

Interestingly though, my parents chose not to raise my brother and I as Catholic. My mom has said that when they were expecting me, they went to a monsignor who gave them this advice: "raise your child in whichever denomination will let you worship God together as a family." My parents decided that that for them that meant Lutheranism.

 

It seems to have worked out quite well. My mother would almost always go with us to Lutheran services, sometimes going to Catholic services on her own beforehand. On Christmas and other special holidays, we would go to both services. Sometimes, particularly if my dad was away on business trips, we would go to Catholic services.

 

While I didn't like the Catholic services much as a kid, I have come to appreciate the worship style much more as I've gotten older. I think that having exposure to two denominations also gave me a very strong appreciation for my Lutheran faith and laid a lot of the foundations that are built to this day. Interestingly enough, I'm probably closer to the Catholic church on some of my religious views, despite still being devoutly Lutheran (I disagree with the intercession of saints, indulgences, and some other doctrine though).

 

I do wonder what might have happened if the monsignor had said that my brother and I must be raised Catholic and my parents followed through on that. It would have definitely put a strain on my parents marriage and I think that would possibly have turned my dad off to his Christian faith. In the end, I think that the right call was made. We worshipped God together as a family and I have a strong faith today because of that.

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I personally would not want to marry a non-Catholic for many reasons. There are quite a few differences than you may think. Especially in regards to the Eucharist and Blood of Christ (Transubstantiation), the veneration and intercession of our Mother Mary and the Angels and Saints. As Vincent pointed out, he believes the Protestant teaching in regards to salvation, but we Catholics do not for many different reasons (The Protestant belief, personally, does not make any sense to me whatsoever anyways.) I can go on and on, but I'll leave it as it is. To me a non-religious person would be more preferrable than a Protestant due to there being a better chance that they may embrace the Catholic Churchs teachings. My dad was not religious at all and he became Catholic when he married my mom. If you have any other questions I would gladly answer them via private message. God Bless!    

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I'm not sure if this has been asked but phone is running out of battery and I didn't want to forget.

Rules there rules when a Catholic or Christian marry?

p.s. Jegsy I know you've got a perfect answer, I'm waiting. :)

 

It all depends on what church you want to marry in :) If one partner is Catholic and wants to get married in a Catholic church, other partner must be a baptized Christian. The service runs a little different too, versus both partners being Catholic. My husband and I married in a Methodist church. As long as we were two Christians, we could marry there. Ultimately, I think this question is dependent on each person's personal faith. My parents were raised one Catholic, one Presbyterian. My husband's parents were both raised differently also. To me, it is all about what is right for you and what makes the most sense for you.

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I don't know any specifics about any religions rules on this but reading some of the responses regarding raising children made me think of another point. Catholics and I think some of the other forms of Christianity are strictly against contraception and masterbation where as some other denominations I think are OK with anything within marriage.

I guess wanting kids is something you'd talk about but even if both partners want kids one might be "if it's happens it's Gods plan and we should do nothing to interfere " while the other might want to use contraception as they don't want kids just yet.

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