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Dating outside catholicism
These points don’t exhaust the issues, but do illustrate some of the areas that need to be addressed. All decisions about ceremony and children need to take second place to the love relationship of the couple.
You can be open to the other faith and appreciative of its values and traditions, but you cannot be both.
This truth is part of the limitation of life and part of the beauty of the diversity of the human experience.
(I fully empathize with my Jewish colleagues on this because it is easy for the Catholic Church, with 1 billion members, to be liberal on this point in comparison to the Jewish community with 15 million.) For the Catholic, the ceremony can take place in a non-religious setting, and a priest is not even required.
It is even possible for the marriage to be done simply by a civil minister, and the church will still recognize it as a valid marriage. While there are some rabbis who will celebrate a joint ceremony, most rabbis of local congregations will not.
Who is the one who will be mainly responsible for the religious upbringing of the children?
Whatever tradition children are raised in, hopefully they would be exposed to the other faith and share to some extent in the rituals of that tradition.But as they do that, they need to know their own identity.The Catholic Church used to require those who were not Catholic to sign a document promising that the children would be raised Catholic.This was true also when Catholics married other Christians. Canon Law today requires that the Catholic parties promise that they will not give up their faith due to the marriage and that they will do “what is in their power” to share the Catholic faith with their children.These words were carefully chosen and mean what they say.“When people of radically different yet connected traditions marry, perhaps they are imaging a new way of viewing life.It may seem disconcerting, but could it not also be a call to greater religious harmony? I would like to offer a few points for reflection based on my 30 years of experience as a priest who has been involved in many interfaith weddings.Consequently, the Church has spoken on this matter not merely in the Code of Canon Law, but also in the Catechism and in other theological contexts.As always, canon law follows theology, and the two are consistent, for they can never contradict each other.It also seems to me that we need to appreciate the good that can come from interfaith marriages.In a strange sort of way, these marriages do remind us that God’s call for the human family transcends all religious boundaries.