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Theologian Robert Hater, author of the 2006 book, “When a Catholic Marries a Non-Catholic,” writes: “To regard mixed religion marriages negatively does them a disservice.
They are holy covenants and must be treated as such.” A marriage can be regarded at two levels – whether it is valid in the eyes of the Church and whether it is a sacrament.
“Your pastor could be involved in the wedding by giving a blessing, but in Catholic-Jewish weddings, usually the rabbi will officiate,” writes Father Daniel Jordan, judicial vicar for the Tribunal of the Diocese of Burlington, Vt.
As for the children of a Catholic-Jewish marriage, religious leaders agree that it is “vastly preferable for the offspring of mixed marriages to be raised exclusively in one tradition or the other, while maintaining an attitude of respect for the religious traditions of the ‘other’ side of the family,” the conference report said.
(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.
“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.
Likewise, the non-Catholic spouse is no longer required to promise to take an active role in raising the children in the Catholic faith, but instead “to be informed at an appropriate time of these promises which the Catholic party has to make, so that it is clear that the other party is truly aware of the promise and obligation of the Catholic party,” the code states.However, Hater adds, “Though they do not participate in the grace of the sacrament of marriage, both partners benefit from God’s love and help [grace] through their good lives and beliefs.” Marriage Preparation Good-quality marriage preparation is essential in helping couples work through the questions and challenges that will arise after they tie the knot.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.“In addition, only with his permission can a person, other than a Catholic, receive Communion in church during such a wedding.” Catholic-Jewish Weddings Jews and Christians share a view of marriage as a holy union and symbol of God’s bond with his people.Stricter branches of Judaism, such as Orthodox and Conservative, forbid or strongly discourage Jews from marrying non-Jews and prohibit their rabbis from participating in interreligious marriage ceremonies.