Religious/Catholic Marrying Question

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TeacherSandra, May 3, 2009.

  1. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I have a question regarding Catholic marriage.
    Must Catholics marry other Catholics? or can they marry others of another faith?
    My assumption was if they are to marry in the Catholic church, then the non-Catholic must become Catholic...take classes, etc..

    Anyone have the answer? :help:
    thanks!
     
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  3. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Catholics may marry people of other faiths and often do. There are marriage prep classes that must be taken, but these are more to help the couple understand what marriage entails and consider issues/questions they may have not yet talked about, things like how many children they want, how different religious beliefs (if this is the case) might impact their relationship, etc. The non-Catholic does not have to convert. Even if both people are Catholic they must go through the marriage prep course. This requirement was put in place a long time ago (back in the 80's?) to try to help decrease the number of divorces. The couple does have to agree to raise any future children in the Catholic faith if they are to be married in the Catholic Church, but that is the only major requirement I'm aware of. Why do you ask?
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    There are a few hoops that non-Catholics have to jump through if they want to be married in a Catholic church. I have heard it isn't a big deal though and it shouldn't be a major concern if the couple agrees to some things the PP mentioned. Just have the couple in question talk with their priest.

    ETA: Yes, everyone must take the marriage prep course but there might be other courses to take especially if the non-catholic hasn't been baptized, etc.
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the answer.

    I'm asking because I was talking to the boyfriend of a family member and asked him..."why don't you guys get married by the JP (Justice of the Peace) instead of living together" to which he replied, "oh, I want us to marry in the Catholic Church". :eek:hmy: I then stated that his girlfriend (family member) is not Catholic to which he replied, "she doesn't have to be".

    huh? :eek:hmy:
    That took me off guard.
    I just assumed he wasn't a devout Catholic because he was dating her and then living together.
    And now he wants to get married in the church?
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    This is more common than you think. I come from a Catholic family and I have seen it a lot. I would suggest they not mention living together to the priest (unless he specifically ASKS...you don't want to lie to a priest) ;)
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    TeacherSandra...
    Forgive me, but aren't you being a bit judgmental? Religion is a personal issue. I was raised Catholic, married one in the church, raised our children in the church and yet we don't follow every 'guideline' regarding our personal lives that the church would advise. For many people, it's about finding balance...finding someone you love and can see yourself spending the rest of your life with can be a difficult enough task...how lovely that your cousin and his girlfriend have a relationship in which he can still value parts of his religious upbringing without her being excluded. He might not be 'devout' but he still seems to have a connection to his religion. For the sake of your relationship with your cousin, I'd advise keeping out of it. :2cents:
     
  8. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Maybe I'll pay a little visit to the priest ;)

    LOL Just kidding, of course!
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    My husband and I lived together for 5 years before getting married in a Catholic church. Just because you live together before marriage does not mean that your faith and being married in the church isn't important to you. I have to say that I am very insulted by your judgement.

    Also, when we first met with our priest, we needed to give him our addresses. Well, we have the same address, so obviously he knew we were living together. Our priest seemed to think it was a good thing and when we were talking about the pre-cana classes that you have to take to get married, he mentioned how we had probably already figured out all of the situations they discuss at those classes (money, chores, etc) because of living together for so long.
     
  10. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    no problem, Czacza. I have a very, very dear friend who is a devout Catholic and she personally makes a stand when she observes her Catholic friends & family living hypocritically.
    That is why I was shocked that he would even have an interest in marrying in the Catholic church...he wants nothing to do with them all the other days of the year. Really. I know him very, very well. And I can say that.
    oh; and it's not my cousin. ;)
     
  11. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    No-one should feel insulted by my question and how I perceive this one guy that I know extremely well.

    When one has an opinion, then that is a judgment. So, everyone is making a judgment, not just me.
    I am being reminded that religion means different things to different people.
     
  12. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    If you are just surprised that this particular person wants to get married in the church, that's one thing, but that's not what you said originally. You said, "I just assumed he wasn't a devout Catholic because he was dating her and then living with her." My point is, you can have a strong Catholic faith AND live with a person before marriage.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I am Catholic too and I didn't take her comments as insulting. People just have a lot of misconceptions about certain religions. Live and Learn :)
     
  14. AMK

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    I am Catholic dating a person who is "non" Catholic. I know we can be married in the church, however I will not do a full mass, just the service. My mom always said to me "You can marry whatever religion you would like, but your children better be Catholic."
    My boyfriend and I have discussed getting married in a Episcopalian Church which is half point to both of our religions (he is Presbyterian.)
    We personally do not believe in living together until we are least engaged or married.
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Me too.
     
  16. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Ditto.
     
  17. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I didn't necessarily take offense because I'm Catholic. I think I found it insulting because I lived with my husband for so long before getting married and still felt it was extremely important to get married in a Catholic church last year.

    I agree that people have lots of misconceptions about different religions, but I think I just found it very judgemental to say that because someone lives with a significant other before marriage, he must not feel that his religion is important.

    Again, if she is talking about a specific person and what she knows about him personally, that's different, but that's not how it came across originally.
     
  18. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I only know about an opposite situation:

    My aunt was raised Catholic, but when she and my uncle got married, they were married in a Methodist church. She did not practice Catholicism for a long time, but later in life she decided to re-join the church and become involved again. In order for them to accept her as an "official" Catholic or member of the church, she had to renew her vows in the Catholic church. They did a big thing on their anniversary.
     
  19. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have to take Teacher Sandra's side in a way here. If someone says they are of a certain religion, I think it is perfectly fair to assume that said person follows all the guidelines of their religion. I don't think that makes them judgmental at all. I never understood how people who practice a religion pick and choose which parts to follow or believe. Which is why I choose NOT to practice a religion.

    I am not trying to be offensive, but from a non-religious viewpoint, this is the assumption I would make, as well.
     
  20. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I was a non-Catholic engaged to a Catholic a long time ago. The church we were married in wouldn't allow priest to marry us, but would allow a deacon to do so, and recommended that we not do a full mass (because I wasn't allowed to take communion). The engagement was broken. I converted to Catholicism and eventually became re-engaged (to the same man, but that's a whole 'nother story) and we lived together for about a year before marriage. This time, it was ok for a priest (knowing that we lived together) to marry us in that church.

    Go figure.
    Kim
     
  21. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Aside from being the union of two people, marriage is also one of the 7 Sacraments for Catholics. These Sacraments are important ceremonies celebrated by Catholics. They include Baptism, Eucharist (communion) Reconciliation (confession), Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick (last rites). Many non-practicing Catholics still find these important. You'll see many baptize their children, attend first Holy Communion, go to church at Easter and Christmas, get married, have last rites and get buried in the church.....that's it. That may be how this guy feels.


    My husband was a non-practicing Catholic when we married and I was Protestant. He wanted to complete the sacrament. So, we went to the classes, counseled with the Priest, and he agreed to raise our children Catholic.

    I did not have to convert. In fact, the priest was going to have us meet with a Protestant/Catholic couple to see how they made things work.

    My family was anti-Catholic. In order to not to offend them, we got married in a Protestant church- co-officiated by a Protestant Minister and Catholic Priest. The service was Protestant, but blessed by the Priest so my husband could complete the Sacrament.
    There was no Mass or Eucharist. That was over 20 years ago.

    We did raise our children Catholic, I converted, and we are practicing Catholics.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree that I find it perfectly reasonable for TeacherSandra to be a bit confused about the situation. I would have assumed that it would be looked down upon if you lived together before marriage, and then would have assumed that the church might not marry you because of it. She's not Catholic, thus the question.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    My Catholic sister married a Lutheran in a Catholic Church.

    As with all Catholic marriages, they attended Pre-Cana.

    Their children are being raised Catholic.
     
  24. MrsTeacher2Be

    MrsTeacher2Be Companion

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    When I got married 3 years ago, my husband's priest told me that the only way we could be married in the church or "have our marriage recognized by God" would be for me to convert. I guess things are different everywhere.
     
  25. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Hi everyone! My internet service went down this morning while I was typing out an earlier answer. Only until my 14 year old son came home a while ago and fixed it was I able to get back on. :p
    Go figure! LOL

    I appreciate everyone's input to my question. Thank you.:)

    It was never my intention to offend anyone here. :eek:hmy: I was relaying the conversation between myself and my relative's boyfriend. Thus, the question I posted...not to condemn anyone, but to understand where he was coming from.

    I know he and I will discuss this further as he and I have a pretty good relationship and we value and respect one another. :)

    (A little more detail in my post #4)Just for info...he made the statement as he was out on his way out, so we just had time to "hi, bye...when are you marrying?" :)
    If he wanted me to butt out, believe me, he would have said so. :D

    Now, I have another precious dear female friend and so I had
    paralleled my dear female Catholic friend's view on things/her life versus his view on things/his life and so, I was floored with what he said. I didn't even know he was Catholic for goodness sake. We have had deep, good "religious" conversations and he never brought that up...which is his business why he never had. And should he have? I guess not, but many of my other Catholic friends from time to time have brought that fact up.
    I do have many Catholic friends/acquaintances as well as others with other beliefs and non-believers...we may not hang around or are best friends. Some are coworkers, or acquaintances due to our kids, or neighbors, etc...and so we chitchat.

    I made an assumption of HIS take on life versus her take on life. Thus, my question. :)

    Again, thank you for your honest answers. :love:
     
  26. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Everyone has been talking about Catholics marrying other Christians but could I marry my Jewish boyfriend in a church. I cant have kids so we can't promise to raise them Catholic.
     
  27. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    From the posts, its sounds like it is going to depend on your church & Priest.
     
  28. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Interesting thread.... My wife is Catholic and we have a fantastic marriage.........:p:p:p
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I married outside the faith, and we could have been married within the church family without conversion if we had wanted it. My children are raised Catholic (that was an encouraged plan) and they attend Catholic school, but my husband has not converted. When I was a child my youth group leaders' husband (and co leader) was not catholic. In my area, marriages w/out the faith is growing.

    As for our Pre Cana-that consisted of 2 counseling sessions w/ the deacon or Priest. During that time we talked about things like chores, children, helping and relationships. I don't know what Pre Cana would be---but I imagine more about the religious devotions of the spouse who practices. That we didn't have. And weren't required to.
     
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    An interesting related fact - matrimony is the only Catholic sacrament in which the priest does not administer the sacrament, but is a witness to it.

    I am Catholic and I married a Catholic who was divorced and had been previously married outside of the church. We married in a non-denominational Christian church. Three years later, he got an annullment of his first marriage, and we renewed our vows in the Catholic church.
     
  31. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Upsadaisy, one thing I don't understand is the annullment part. Your husband was in fact previously married... and this marriage was declared null and void by the Catholic church.:confused::confused:

    I had a similar situation. I was married many years ago then divorced. When I met my present (Catholic ) wife over 25 years ago the Catholic church basically said if I filled out certain forms..... then my former marriage would be annulled.... just like it never existed. I couldn't and didn't go along with this.

    This is NOT aimed at you Upsadaisy :)hugs:) please know that, but how can the Catholic church decide that a previous marriage.... which obviously existed.... NEVER happened?

    I've never understood this.
     
  32. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Major- An annulment is not saying the marriage didn't exist, it is saying the marriage contract is severed because the contract was not made with the "necessary maturity or full knowledge to keep a lifetime commitment, or made under external pressures". If the church finds these factors existed the marriage contract is not valid.

    The Catholic church started requiring couples attend marriage classes in the 80's hoping for fewer divorces. Classes or no classes, couples who marry before they are 30 are not mature! I don't think anyone knows what it takes to keep a lifetime commitment. People and circumstances change. I don't see how a committee of Priest can make these decisions. :mad:

    I took the classes, knew my husband for a long time, attend counseling, married at 26 and am still married, but looking back I had no clue what was in store for me!
     
  33. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    That is a good explanation. Annullment doesn't eradicate the legal prior marriage. Any children born of the first marriage are legitimate children. It is only in the eyes of the church that a marriage can be declared annulled and it takes much, much more than filling out a few pieces of paper. One condition that is considered by the marriage tribunal (the deciding body) is the capacity of the spouses to have formed a true Catholic marriage. It is somewhat like the reasons that minors in our society cannot be parties to contracts - they do not have the capacity to consent or be held responsible.
     
  34. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I'm Catholic and my df is too...although he went through RCIA classes to make all of his sacraments since he didn't as a child. It was actually my mom's dying wish that my sister and I would be raised Catholic (my dad is Lutheran), so its a way of honoring my mom on my wedding day. My kids will also be raised Catholic...and not because the church says so, but because I want to continue to honor my mom's memory.

    Our pre-cana was interesting...two days of a whole lot of religion! lol On one day, we had a long lecture on natural family planning and the church's views on sex and marriage. The presenter even said that out of the 200 of us in the room that day, he figured about 80% of us either lived together or were no longer virgins. Df and I lied to the priest about living together...but it was mostly because the priest asked if I still lived in my hometown and I wasn't paying attention and said yes...but since the priest is old-fashioned, we kept up with it. I feel guilty, but whats done is done. I pray about it everytime I go to church, so I'm hoping God has forgiven me :)

    There were actually several couples in the RCIA class who now are married and had a marriage annulled to get remarried in the Catholic church.
     
  35. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    When I lived back east my grandparents told me - so it is sort of hearsay - that in the Catholic church you can only have one marriage. My own Mom was in her second marriage to this family at the time. Grandma explained that the annullment was to say that the first wedding didn't meet the contractual agreements and there for is un-done so that the people involved can enter into a union and try for the ONE again.

    like I said----it was my Grandma---but she was the most dedicated person to the faith I have ever known.
     
  36. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    I lied to the Priest, too. When we first met with him, my husband told me say were not living together. So when the Priest asked my address. I gave my previous address. Then the Priest asked for my husband's address and my husband gave him our address. The Priest said, "Good, I'm glad you're not living together so I don't have to give that speech." My husband threw me under the bus and said, "Father we ARE living together." I was so embarrassed I wanted to die. I will never let my husband forget that.
     
  37. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oh my! Did you get the speech? :eek: My husband and I technically weren't living together before we got married (we had bought a house already but there were a lot of renovations to do so we only stayed there on and off). I gave the priest my address (parents' house) and my husband gave the new house address. I don't know if our priest would have said anything about "living together". He was a younger priest and was very easy to talk to.
     
  38. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    We got the speech. The Priest suggested I move back home with my parents. :woot: I didn't and the topic was never mentioned again and we counseled with the Priest for a year. He was also young and easy to talk to. He ended up leaving the Priesthood and getting married to the choir director.
     
  39. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    So...when the couple takes classes, what happens if they find out a few things about the other person, that they can't live with for the rest of their lives? Perhaps about children or finances, something they hadn't previously discussed.

    Has a couple ever not married after taking those classes?
     
  40. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    That is a good question. I think our pastor said something like that has happened in the past with a couple he counseled. They were really young and in a rush to get married. He was talking to my class about marriage as a sacrament and the preparation since we were learning about that in class.
     
  41. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Can't resist relating my funny story about this. I was married to my ex for 27 years--he was Catholic when we got married. We asked his priest if I was supposed to become a Catholic in order to marry him, and the priest said, "No, and if anyone tells you otherwise, tell them to go to ......"
     

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