Post # 1
My fiance and I have talked a lot about what it will be like raising kids when we don’t share the same religion. I’m Catholic, and he’s Protestant (non-denominational). It’s probably been the trickest part of our relationship. We worry about things like baptism (he’s uncomfortable with baptizing babies since they’re not old enough to understand what’s happening or choose) and communion (he cannot take communion in my church and I cannot take communion in his church, so what will we do with our kids?). It can be frustrating at times. We try to always keep in mind that we love and serve the same God, and that we both recognize Christ as our Savior, but it’s amazing how difficult this has been to work out in a way that we’re both happy with.
Is anyone in a similar situation? What are your thoughts on raising interfaith children?
Post # 3
Are you getting married in the Catholic Church? Part of the “eligibility” of marrying within the Catholic Church is the agreement that your children will be raised Catholic. We’re not interfaith or anything, but it is something that would solidify how any Catholic/Protestant family is raised.
Post # 4
Darling Husband is Catholic and I am… non-religious (not atheist, I just dont believe in organized religion). We have already decided that we are going to raise our children to be free-thinking. We’re not going to baptize them unless they choose it, we are not going to make them go to church unless they choose it, etc. That way, they can make an intelligent, personal decision about their faith.
I dont honestly care what religion they end up. Hell, they could worship the Hale-Bopp comet for all I care.
Post # 5
We are getting married in the Catholic Church, with my fiance’s uncle (a Protestant minister) participating in the ceremony. I discussed it with my priest, and he explained that for a long time the non-Catholic partner had to promise to raise any children as Catholics. But he said that now, it’s not as strict, and the non-Catholic partner simply has to allow the Catholic partner to expose the children to Catholicism. So, in other words, I have to promise to teach our kids about the Church, and my fiance has to promise to not keep me from doing so. We kinda have to figure out the rest.
Post # 6
My fiance is an ex-Catholic Protestant convert and I’m Protestant. I assume some Catholic ideas will end up mixed into our mostly Protestant child-rearing, but so will some Buddhist and some Muslim and some of this and some of that.
Don’t get me wrong, we consider ourselves Calvinists, but other theologies have some very logical and beautiful principles that we often feel my near-sighted church lacks. We also don’t intend for our kids to get raised so strictly in one religion that they never even learn about the other cultures around them, so it will be easier for us to just explain that there are others and what’s involved in them. We want to know everything we can about the world, and we want our kids to do that too.
Post # 7
I am Protestant and my Fiance is Catholic. We are going to expose our cihldren to both faiths and it will be up to them. I went and talked with a priest from my church and things are much more lenient today than they were 20 years ago. My Fiance can even take communion in our church (if he chooses). We have quite a few couples in our church that are interfaith, so that really helps! If you have someone in your church that you’re comfortable talking to, I highly recommend it. I was so scared at first, but it really calmed my nerves and answered a lot of my questions.
Post # 8
I’m catholic and Darling Husband is lutheran. He isn’t a practicing lutheran but we agreed that since I am a practicing Catholic that we would get married in the Catholic church. What we agreed on as a couple is that I will do “everything in my power” to raise our kids catholic if he doesn’t start becoming a practicing lutheran by the time we have kids. We both want our kids to have some sort of background in either Catholic or lutheran. I don’t care which but I do prefer to go to a catholic service over a lutheran service. So I would not feel comfortable going by myself to a lutheran service. He would prefer our kids to be lutheran but we both know that our kids won’t understand it if we don’t go expose our kids to a service on a regular basis. (I know as catholics, you’re suppose to go every week but if we go twice a month, I still call that regular.)
So essentially, it comes down to the Darling Husband showing effort to go to a service. We aren’t not TTC yet, we are planning on starting at the end of this summer. We’ll see how it goes.
As for the communion part, I know I am welcome to take communion at a lutheran service but I hear, that in a catholic mass, the Darling Husband shouldn’t get communion. The Darling Husband does say that he wouldn’t feel comfortable taking communion at a catholic church because he know that our version of communion differs from what he believes. So he wouldn’t take it.
Post # 9
@keepsmiling19 – My fiance has told me that I would be welcome to take communion in his church, as has his uncle (the minister). They welcome all Christians. And it would solve the problem of us not being able to take communion together (I always feel sad when I think about that). The problem is, I’ve done a lot of research since before we even got engaged, and based on what I found, Catholics aren’t supposed to take communion in other churches. Now, I have heard of some Catholic churches allowing interfaith couples to take comunion together, but it seems like it would be up to the priest.
It is very frustrating, since religion plays a hugh role in both my fiance’s life and in mine. We would love nothing more than to go to church and take communion as a family, together with our kids, and show our love for God together. But everything I’ve read so far doesn’t seem to be very encouraging of that.
Post # 10
My Fiance was raised Catholic, but he’s decided that branch of Christianity is not for him. His planning on converting to being a Presbyterian like me. Presbyterianism is how we’ll raise or kids, but they’ll be exposed to Catholicism when he visit his family, as well as Islam because I teach at a Muslim school. I believe ALL religions have a valid point and can learn from each other. Religion cannot survive if it doesn’t learn and grow with the world around it.
As for communion, our Church (and all Presbyterian denominations, at least in Canada) allow ALL baptised persons to participate. As for the Catholic church accepting this, I think it’s in the eyes of God, not the priest.
When we go to Catholic Mass, I’m allowed to take part, but because I was brought up believing I wouldn’t be allowed, I haven’t yet. Maybe next time. I think it depends on who is the priest though.
Post # 11
Both my husband and I are protestant, but I was raised Catholic so I thought I’d chime in….
Officially, the Catholic Church teaches that only baptized, practicing Catholics can take communion in the Catholic Church (because what they believe about communion is different than protestants). It’s not enforced (because the priest doesn’t ask each person in the communion line “Are you Catholic?” :-P) but that is the official teaching. Since I’m no longer Catholic, I’ve chosen to respect that and do not take communion when I go to mass with my family. As for Catholics not taking communion in other churches….I don’t remember what they teach about that. I think as long as the other church allows it you’re probably ok.
I think you do have to sign something if you get married in the Catholic church, saying that you’ll raise your kids Catholic. that’s what my mom told me, anyway, so it could have changed since then (or different priests may not enforce it)
Post # 12
I am a practicing Pentecostal (Protestant) and Fiance is a practicing Catholic. We have decided to expose our children to both and other religions, because I believe all religions are based on the same principles and have valid points. I cannot take communion with him, but he can take communion with me if he chooses. The beliefs are very different though. Our children will have free-will to choose which church they will go to, the only requirement is that they go regularly to whichever church/temple/synagogue they choose.
Post # 13
When I was dating a Protestant and we talked about marriage, I was very set on having my kids raised Catholic. I didn’t want Mom and Dad to be going to two separate churches either. I thought it would send the message of, “well if Mom and Dad don’t agree on it, how important can it be?” To be honest, it’s something I really wouldn’t have compromise on. I’m married to a Catholic, so it’s not an issue for us now, which is something I’m grateful for. I was really dreading fights over whose religion was right for our kids.
Post # 14
I would church shop as a couple until you find a place where you both feel welcome, comfortable, and at home. What about the Unitarian Church? Their pastors are well educated and can help you make sense out of all this.
What’s important is that you are disucssing this. Find out what similiarities you have in our faith and go from there.
Post # 15
@mari892: I can definitely understand that :-(. My Fiance isn’t a strict Catholic. He doesn’t attend mass that often and he disagrees with a few things in the Catholic church. His parents are very devout Catholic. When we go out of town with them, we have to go to mass, either on a Saturday evening or a Sunday. FI’s family has some deep roots in the church and my Fiance is not comfortable with converting to my religion.
What helps me is that FI’s brother and sister in law are in the same position. While I agree that conflicts will arise, I think it will be easier, knowing that they are in the same boat as us.
I do agree, I think a lot of things depend on the priest in the parish. Now, I am not sure about how these things work, but if your FI’s parish is strict on things, could he attend a different one? I know it’s much easier said than done, especially if that’s the family parish.
Post # 16
Dear All: Point of clarification. Protestants and Catholics are the same religion: Christian. What differs is the practice of the faith. He wouldn’t be converting, but changing the way his and your faith is practiced. Both churches recognize baptism and communion as a sacrament. The others are Catholic. The way both churches do communion is different; protestants don’t do confession to a priest; Catholics do.
Being involved in a blended marriage, i understand what you are going through. But with the right education, you can begin to outline what it is that you both believe and don’t believe and go from there.
I really think taking a course in “what my church belives” is important so you both really know what it is that your church professes. There are some great priests and ministers out there. Ask around. I’m sure you are not the first couple in your area to go through this. Check the newspapers for the church advertisements and call some of the clergy and speak with them on the phone before going in. You know if you hit it off before going in. Best of luck.