Post # 1
Hello everybody, I’m Italian girl coming from a Catholic family (as most of the people here in Italy!) married to a brasilian man who is protestant. We got married last year with a interfaith cerimony at the presence of a priest and my husband’s church pastor.
Interfaith marriages are not common in this country, where people are just Catholic or atheists, so even we are very happy, I feel quite lonely sometimes – or better, “different” – as I can’t find any other couple in our “situation”.. and sometimes I would like to speak with some other “interfaith couple”, and know how they manage their relationship with God as a married couple, get some advices from them or just share with them some thoughts or experiences..especially because sometimes I get really discouraged from some people comments about our marrige…..
Is there someone here that is/will be in an interfaith marriage? How is the married life going? Is it really that hard to make a marriage like this work?
Post # 3
@elliee84: the FI is what would be called a preachers kid (PK) from a southern baptist family and I am a cradle catholic who is forming the honeymoon around my desire to see the Vatican. We are getting married in the catholic church and his dad is going to co-celebrate. That said we had a lot of terms to come too before we got engaged. He agreed that the kids would be raised Catholic until 14 when they make their confirmation. I agreed not to have communion at the wedding which is huge to me since that was a part of my childhood dream wedding. I went to catholic school all my life and so I am somewhat more educated on my faith… That has really helped us. When we disagree we sit down and talk about it. We agree that God is judge and not the other. I believe he will go to purgatory where as he doesn’t even believe in this so we agree to let God handle it. He agreed to go to church with me when we have kids who are old enough to know what is going on. A United front. The thing is that protestants are very close to Catholics but are missing some of the truths Christ gave us. They still accept Christ and that is what is important. Someday we will be in a form that we will not have to worry about these things. God’s greatest gift is love no matter what faith you are. So find ways to help each other on a more general front. Be able to fully explian the Saints for what they are, stand your ground on what you believe but respect what he believes. dont revolve your marriage around a desire to please the church, together find way to praise God because at the end of the day he is the same God and he gave you each other. Love one another.
Post # 4
Well, I am a non-conformist/Methodist raised in a family of preachers, who serioulsy considered being a preacher or missionary at one point. FI was a Catholic boy who dreamed of being a priest before he met me.
The key is compromise, but I understand your worries because FI is not very good at compromising. What I would like is for our children to attend both churches until they are teenagers, and to not be confirmed until they are at least in their teens and can make an informed choice. If it were up to me, I would not like them to be baptised either, as infant baptism is not practised in the Bible. The Bible encourages baptism by personal revelation, which is what I would like for my own children. However, I am not sure that I believe strongly enough against it to counteract his beliefs about child baptism, so we will have to have that argument another time. We are also having problems with how to conduct the wedding… I would like to forego mass, he does not think I should take mass as a non-Catholic, and it would be inappropriate for either myself or my family to receive a blessing instead (theological issues to do with baptism by personal revelation… I won’t bore you with the details). However, some of his family want a mass… which the bride and her entire family would be excluded from. We will have to sort that issue out another time, as well…
I suppose I am also concerned about his possible lack of support in other ways. I would not completely rule out becoming a preacher in the future, for example, and I do not think that he would support that.
I know that it’s not easy, especially in a world where one’s beliefs are constantly shaken. I suppose I just wanted to say that you are not alone in having concerns about this… I suppose we must have faith that God will provide us with help, so that we can support each other in our marriages!
Post # 5
My SO and I aren’t married yet, but I am Presbyterian and he is Catholic. We agreed never to fight about it and we just sit down and talk about what we’d like any time issues come up. (Where to get married, how to raise the children, etc) Right now, we take it in turns going to church since we don’t have kids. We both trust in the same God and I’m so happy to have someone who is religious in the same way as I am that I’m not too fixated on how he wants to pray.
I think the most important thing to do is discuss things early and often, before problems arise. Then there are no false expectations.
Post # 6
It seems that we can all agree that God and Christ are what is important and as adults we have the rights to our own beliefs and how we worship. I think we can also agree that marriage is about an openness to life which all christian churches state. That said the main dilemma will be the kids… In the Catholic Faith ( and this is how my FI and I agree to do it) the child will be baptised as a baby, make their first communion, first penance, and if they wish be confirmed. If at age 14 when they are teenagers they feel that their baptist roots are more in their alley then they can be baptised then in that church. No matter what our kids decide we will expect a written letter explianing thier choice. If they want to be confirmed, wait, or even join an islamic faith… It is the choice of the child at that point in our opinions. the only thing I would caution against is figuring this out after a child is born. These are things that one should possibly even work out prior to a marriage. Rachel631 I would caution about raising kids with an idea of confirming them later without the other sacrements first. If you choose this route you need to understand that they would not be able to be confirmed and instead would have to go through RCIA to join the church. As you said yourself this world seems to always rock our beliefs and this could really rock the beliefs of your child. Whatever you and FI decide you need to be sure to have a unified front before a child comes along. That means that if you both decide to raise them catholic you dont become a preacher or if you go with general christian route the FI doesnt try to push them to make the sacrements. what worries me is that you have this idea of becoming a preacher but if that is the case and you dont think FI would support that do you think it would be enough to break the marriage? I would hope you both talk about this before the wedding and come up with a compromise you both like that doesnt step on anyone’s calling.
Post # 7
@elliee84: My mother is a Baptist Preacher’s Daughter (Protestant). & my dad is Roman Catholic (from Cuba). when they first married they agreed no one would try & “convert” the other. They would attend each other’s churches in support of each other’s walks with Jesus. as time went on, my dad was really impressed with the doctrine of my mother’s church, especially in history. but it only made him look way back into history just to find Catholicism, historically actually being the church Jesus himself founded & the only church that can historically claim & prove an apostolic succession. It made him be a better Christian as a Catholic. as a result, my mother started to study things on her own. YEARS later, she did convert. but it was ALL HER DECISION! It was 10 yrs of praying, studying history on her own…alot of discernment. My parent’s have been married now for almost 35 yrs. My mom was more than okay with her kids going through their Sacraments even as a protestant mainly because she loved my dad & his parent’s & did not want to hurt any feelings, besides that she knew Catholics are Christian too. every bit as fundamental as a Protestant. They really stuck to the common denominators as Christians. & they truly did Love each other so much that both of them were okay with none of them converting. My mom learned about Catholicism, because she wanted to understand my dad more as a christian. for example the tyical objections & questions all protestants have are., our belief’s in the communion of Saints, Jesus being physically present in the Eucharist, Infant Baptism, . . . She wilingly embraced it & willingly learned WHY we believe those things & their biblical findings. My dad did the same with her. he would have all sorts of long talks with her dad & one of the other pastors at her church….they both wanted to know more about each other’s beleifs mainly so they could all the better support each other as common Christians. BUT . . . they BOTH had open hearts, & minds & were both willing spirits. It CAN be done. but it takes the BOTH OF YOU . . to be that OPEN & willing to learn what you each believe & why. without judgement. just learn. & you don’t have to say anything in response or even in defense. There are all sorts of books out now on what Catholics really believe & their biblical foundations where EVERY practice, ritual, & beleif is backed scripturely. You two do not have to AGREE on every practice & belief but do learn each other’s churches & doctines anyway, without judgement or getting defensive, just for the sake of knowledge. & go from there. also PRAY about it all. PRAY for more unity. don’t under estimate the power of prayer. If you like to pray novenas, rosaries etc . . . maybe do it in private out of respect for him, unless he doesn’t care, it could also be a good ice breaker promptng him to ask you “what really is the beleif’s of the rosary, I have heard the rumors & myths, but its all hear say” & lovingly explain to him prayer intercession & the meditation of Jesus’s life. The hail mary is straight out of scriptures. you are praying scripture. protestant’s love that! & make sure you lovingly tell him he does not have to agree with it. infact . . .it is upto us how much of a devotion want to to have to the Saints & Mary. I know Catholics that do not pray rosaries at all. its just not their thing. it is not forced upon us. the crux of our faith is the same as protestants. that God sent his only begotten son, & died for our sins on the cross, his blood was shed for us, & he resurrected on the 3rd day & we are saved through his grace. its about understanding each other not so much having to agree on every doctrine. even the Catholic church sees Protestants as equal Christians to us! infact the church has defended protestants. We are all about Unity. the word Catholic means “Universal….One”. The more you guys “understand” each other the more you can grow together. You can understand one another without feeling like you have to convert or fully beleive what the other believes. but it takes ALOT of patience & understanding & compassion, OPEN HEARTEDNESS, OPEN MINDEDNESS!
I was married to a Baptist once. we divorced. & it had not much to do with the differences in religion but more he got so far away from God that friends, partying, & drinking became his first choice over his family. on some level yes if it was his church then it was no church. it did play a part. but it more boiled down to him not TRULY having Christ in his heart. I wanted to do model what my parent’s modeled for us, but he did not agree. there were times I was out right persecuted as a Catholic. I never argued back. I just prayed silently at night & at times cried myself to sleep. all I wanted was for our son to be exposed to both & he can choose when he is older. as long as he LOVES Jesus & ONLY WORSHIPS HIM & has him as his Lord & Savior…..& is an active Jesus loving Christian actually living a Christian virtued life . . I am happy. his dad though, not so much. our son will be 13 this year. & I have never stopped praying for his dad. & his dad has come along way. he is now okay with Catholicism. & he has apologized to me & my parent’s for his attacks & behaviors. he himself started to research & found out how his own faith was purposely omitting scriptures because they were too “Catholic” yet it was in the Bible. & he has found on his own the scriptures we use to back, original sin & that we are not totally wrong either. he has come along way. I did re-marry, & I married a Catholic. when my ex left. I refused to go outside of my faith. I had trust issues. anyway . . . it can be done! …IT CAN!!!! it takes work on both ends! Good luck to you guys. & God Bless.
Post # 8
@elliee84: I’m an Italian-American cradle Catholic marrying a protestant…it gets interesting! (love hearing everyone’s experiences! (: )