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Related Topics: Dating & Engaged, Ecumenical Marriage, Engagement, Getting Serious, Interfaith Marriage, Marital Prayer and Spirituality, Marriage Preparation, Must-Have Conversations, Planning a Catholic Wedding, Wedding Liturgy / Nuptial Mass, Wedding Planning Until recent decades, the idea of a Catholic marrying outside the faith was practically unheard of, if not taboo.

Such weddings took place in private ceremonies in the parish rectory, not in a church sanctuary in front of hundreds of friends and family.

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Questions that the engaged couple should consider include in what faith community (or communities) the couple will be involved, how the couple will handle extended family who may have questions or concerns about one spouse’s faith tradition, and how the couple will foster a spirit of unity despite their religious differences Of all the challenges an ecumenical or interfaith couple will face, the most pressing one likely will be the question of how they raise their children. that their marriages will be more challenging from the perspective of faith,” Hater writes. Special challenges exist as well when it comes to raising children in the Catholic faith.” Because of these challenges, the church requires the Catholic party to be faithful to his or her faith and to “make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power” to have their children baptized and raised in the Catholic faith.

“Their marriage is rooted in the Christian faith through their baptism,” Hater explains.

In cases where a Catholic is marrying someone who is not a baptized Christian – known as a marriage with disparity of cult – “the church exercises more caution,” Hater says.

(See the 1983 [current] , canons 1124-1129 on “Mixed Marriages” for the full text.) But suppose the non-Catholic party insists that the children will not be raised Catholic?

The diocese can still grant permission for the marriage, as long as the Catholic party promises to do all he or she can to fulfill that promise, Hater writes.

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