Catholic Wedding Q&A
Will the Catholic Church recognize the marriage of a Catholic to a baptized Christian of another faith?
A Catholic needs to obtain permission from the local bishop in order to marry a baptized person of another faith, which is easily done through the Catholic pastor. Before permission can be granted, the following conditions must be met:
- The Catholic party must promise to do all in his or her power to have all children baptized and raised in the Catholic Church.
- The Catholic party must declare that she or he is prepared to remove all dangers that might cause him or her to fall away from the faith. (For instance, the Catholic person might want to ensure that he or she is not prevented from attending Mass or receiving sacraments.)
- The non-Catholic person must be informed about the Catholic party's promises and obligation to fulfill them.
- The couple must be informed of the ends and properties of marriage. (In a nutshell, the purpose of marriage is the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children, and its essential properties are its unity and indissolubility.)
For more information
The following resources provide an in-depth discussion of the theological and pastoral issues surrounding mixed marriages.
Statement on the Implementation of the Apostolic Letter on Mixed
Statement of the U.S. Catholic bishops, at CatholicDoors.com.
Interchurch Marriages: How to Help Them Succeed: at AmericanCatholic.org. This article takes a positive approach to mixed marriages, offering some background as well as eight pointers for helping them succeed.
Theology of marriage and the problems of mixed marriages: The final report of the Roman Catholic-Lutheran-Reformed study commission, 1971-1977, on the topic of mixed marriages, from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
A Guide on Catholic-Orthodox Marriages for Catholic Clergy and Other Pastoral Ministers: from the U.S. Catholic bishops at USCCB.org. (PDF)