Post # 1
I’ve been researching online on the pre-wedding interview at the Catholic church and I’m reading all these different things. I know I’ll likely get different answers from the hive on how the interview went at your particular church with your particular priest.
I guess I just want to be prepared for the worst case scenario and I’m wondering on what grounds can they deny us to get married at their church?
Background: I am an atheist marrying an Italian-Catholic (though he’s not practicing…he only goes to mass on Xmas and Easter to appease his Nonna). We’re getting married at a very popular Italian Catholic church in town. We’ve been living together for the past year and I’ve agreed to raise our future kids as Catholic. We’ve already done the pre-wedding workshops with other engaged couples. Also the church just got a new priest who likely be interviewing us.
Also worth noting that FH’s parents got married at the church when Future Mother-In-Law was pregnant with FH! The church knew and still let them get married. But things might have changed!
Post # 3
Our interview was pretty chill. Our priest asked about ourselves and our religious backgrounds. He wasn’t judgemental, just wanted to know if one or both of us were Catholic, which Sacraments we’ve received, how long we’ve been Catholic, etc. He really just wanted to get to know us.
He then talked about the Sacrament of marriage and what it means. He also explained the process of getting married in the Church and what we’d need to do.
The only reasons I can think of that a priest wouldn’t marry you would be:
1. You are not members of that church
2. One of you has been married before and not gone through the proper divorce/annulment procedures
3. The non-Catholic party does not agree to raise the children Catholic
4. Not open to children in general (not entirely sure how common this is, but I can’t imagine a priest would marry a couple that admits that they would have abortions)
5. If he finds that you are not giving yourselfs freely – ie someone is forcing you to get married or one of you is hiding something important
6. You cannot get dispensation for some reason. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be granted dispensation to get married, but it is something you need to get done in order to be married in the Catholic Church (since one of you is non-Catholic).
7. He might ask you to live apart, but I don’t think this is very common. Nor do I think he can technically refuse to marry you because you live together.
Our priest did request that we stop having sex but he made it clear that it wasn’t required and that he wouldn’t badger us about it.
I really wouldn’t worry about it. We had to talk to 2 different priests (since we were getting married in a different state) and both made it clear that they weren’t there to judge our relationship and determine if we would be a good match.
Post # 4
If you’ve already done the pre-wedding classes you’ve likely answered all the questions the priest will have. Don’t be nervous, it shouldn’t be scary at all. PP listed the reasons not to marry but you’ll be surprised that he’ll ask you the really technical ones – are you cousins/have you been married before, etc. He’ll probably chat with you a bit, get to know you and your intentions and then fill out some paperwork. It might help if you register to be a member of the church or at least ask about it to show you’re interested.
Post # 5
they will ask you if you have been married before…. And that if you will respect her him to follow his her faith…. And that you want to have children…. And that you will love each other for better for worse… Thats about it
Post # 6
Canon 1066 Before a marriage takes place, it must be established that nothing stands in the way of its valid and lawful celebration.
This is ultimately the purpose of the interview. It is not on the look out for sin, but for legal and consentual impediments to the marriage. There are certain impediments priests regularly deal with and seek to help the couple reconcile before a wedding can take place.
In the case of marrying a non-Catholic, the Catholic party can get a despensation from the rule only if the following criteria are met:
- the Catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power so that all offspring are baptized and brought up in the Catholic Church;
- the other party is to be informed at an appropriate time about the promises which the Catholic party is to make, in such a way that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party;
- both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage which neither of the contracting parties is to exclude.
If the priest sees any problems, I would say it would be on the lapsed faith of the Catholic party, not so much on your own atheism. That said, it depends on the priest. Some priests see the Catholic’s choice to get married in the Church as a sign of return to practicing the faith. People of my parents generation tended to see falling away from the faith as something you do during your teens and young adult years. Then when you start having kids, its suddenly important to you again. As such, priests still see the pursuit of a Catholic wedding as a good sign.
Other priests acknowledge that more and more people are simply not returning to the faith even when they start having children. As such, they may stress greater concern over the lapse of faith and may be uncomfortable doing the wedding if the Catholic party indicates they’re only having a Catholic wedding to appease a relative, but its a case by case thing. They certainly don’t expect someone to jump from almost never attending Mass to going to monthly confession and daily Mass, but they typically want to see a level of commitment to the faith.
Post # 7
I am a non-Catholic Christian marrying a Catholic, and I did this too! Don’t worry. In real terms, they will only refuse you if:
– One of you has been married before, and the marriage was not annulled in a way which is recognised by the Catholic church.
– The Catholic party does not promise not to become non-Catholic, or say that they will not raise their children Catholic… non-Catholic parties have to be aware that their Catholic spouse has promised that they will try to raise their children Catholic, but they don’t necessarily have to agree! For example, I spoke honestly… I said that I would not actively try to prevent our children being Catholics, but that I wanted to expose them to a variety of faith communities and let them make their own relationship with God. This was perfectly acceptable.
– You have to say that you are open to the idea of having children.
– You must not hide anything from each other, especially anything which would hinder the idea of your being able to freely give informd consent.
– You must not be related.
I think that’s about it!