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Raising kids Catholic

This came up in an unrelated thread (clicky <-- ), and one of the commenters said her priest had told her and her FI that they did NOT have to agree to raise their kids Catholic in order to have a Catholic Mass wedding.

I have *never* heard of that -- am I wrong in thinking she's getting bad information? Or is her priest right?


I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'

Re: Raising kids Catholic

  • um...as it was explained to me (catholic) and my fiancée (non-Catholic) we have to make the best attempt to raise them in a Catholic/ Christian environment. 

  • It's in the vows:

    Promise to be open to children and bring them up according to the laws of Christ and His Church.

  • It's up to the Catholic party to instruct the children in the faith.  It's up to the non-Catholic to support their spouse in this endeavor.

    Some people interpret this as, "You guys do what you want."



  • So I'm not crazy. The (mis-) interpretation of other people not withstanding, my understanding is correct: you promise to raise the kids Catholic.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • That was my understanding of the vows, and during our "Couple's Interrogation," one of the questions asked point blank by the Priest was if we intend to have children and raise them Catholic. One of many reasons my husband and I are seeking a convalidation is so that our future children can be baptized and receive first communion without issue. 

    IMHO, someone that receives the sacrament of matrimony the knowingly plans to raise their children non-Catholic is starting their marriage out by lying to the Church, that is really not a good way to start out a marriage.
    The truth behind a well laced dress
  • CrazyCatLady3CrazyCatLady3 member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited August 2013
    There's a thread over on NEY that deals with this topic, and someone posted this, saying the non-catholic spouse doesn't have to agree to raise children catholic:

    Permission for a mixed marriage can be granted even when it is foreseen that the Catholic’s efforts to pass on the Catholic faith will probably be fruitless because of the resistance of the non-Catholic spouse. In these circumstances, the Catholic party can fulfill his or her obligation, at least in part, by playing an active part in contributing to the Christian atmosphere of the home; doing all that is possible by word and example to enable the other members of the family to appreciate the specific values of the Catholic tradition; taking whatever steps are necessary to be informed about his own faith so as to be able to explain and discuss it with them; praying with the family for the grace of Christian unity as the Lord wills it. Doing all that one can does not include so insisting on the Catholic formation of children that the stability of the marriage is threatened. What is necessary is a sincere promise by the Catholic to do all in his or her power to assure the Catholic formation of children. The sincerity of that promise is to be presumed, unless there is evidence to the contrary. (1346-1347)

    Is this outdated info?

  • @CrazyCat, I don't think it is.  However I've seen firsthand the strain that can be put on a marriage when one member is so adamantly against raising the children in any faith, much less Catholicism.



  • That passage seems a bit misleading to me. Though it is written by Canon lawyers, it isn't actual Canon Law, but simply an interpretation. Canon Law requires the non-Catholic party to "not interfere" with the Catholic spouse's religious education of the children. I would think "resisting" is interference. I also question a relationship in which one party would sabotage the other's efforts in fulfilling such an important obligation. If the Catholic party is devout, shouldn't their loved one support them? If the Catholic party doesn't care that much about the faith and is willing to forgo teaching their children the faith, why do they want to be married in the Catholic Church?
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