So there we have it!!
MIXED MARRIAGES AND DISPARITY OF CULT
Mixed marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic
Someone who is Catholic married to a Lutheran, or Evangelical, etc.
Disparity of cult where a Catholic marries a non-baptized person like someone who is Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, etc.
Paragraph 1633 says, “In many countries the situation of a mixed marriage (marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic) often arises. It requires particular attention on the part of couples and their pastors. A case of marriage with disparity of cult (between a Catholic and a non-baptized person) requires even greater circumspection.”
The Church does not look down on other religions
The Church does not look down on other Christian communities
We do believe different things
We do believe that the FULLNESS OF TRUTH subsists in the Catholic Church
We do believe that the FULLNESS OF DISCIPLESHIP subsists in the Catholic Church
So that might be an issue
Now if couples DO NOT CARE, there might be no issue
If couples are not trying to follow the Lord and do God’s Will, then maybe there is no issue
Holy Matrimony is a SACRAMENT OF SERVICE
Holy Matrimony is a SACRAMENT OF DISCIPLESHIP
This is the way in which I am planning on pursuing the Lord
This is the way in which I am planning on serving the Church and building up the Kingdom of God
Let that be the framework
With that in mind mixed marriages have issues
Disparity of cult is a pretty big issue
Paragraph 1634 says, “Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ.”
Can couples help each other get close to Christ, even if they are not of the same faith?
It is possible
It is not an insurmountable obstacle
It is not necessarily an impediment
Paragraph 1634 continues, “But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome.”
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about two couples…
Both couples said that if they had to do it over again, they would marry someone who shared the same faith
Yes they were happy couples
They raised their children relatively successfully
They loved each other
They even liked each other 😉
So why would they have married someone of the same faith if they had to do it over?
Because it was so hard
Marriage on its own is so difficult
But to not be united in faith, it makes it EVEN MORE DIFFICULT
Not only that, but how do you raise your children?
Because if one person is Hindu and sincerely believes that Hinduism is the way to go and the Catholic person sincerely believes that Jesus Christ is the way to go, what do they tell their kids?
Here’s another Fr. Mike story about a Catholic and an atheist….no, they did not walk into a bar!!!!... 😉
So when it comes to covenanting your life to someone, how do you do that when you believe the other person is completely wrong about the most important question in life?
Does God exist or does God not exist?
How do you reconcile that?
WHAT WE BELIEVE ACTUALLY MATTERS!!
Paragraph 1634 continues, “The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home.”
The temptation to religious indifference that arises when the person you have covenanted yourself with is not pursing the Lord with their WHOLE HEART, MIND, SOUL, AND STRENGTH
There are many stories of couples where one was not religious and they still got married and then the person had a conversion to the Catholic Church
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about a Deacon he worked with…
Is it wise?
There might be a couple where both were Catholic and it didn’t work out
That’s a real thing too
Just because a husband and wife both profess being Catholic does not mean they are going to stay united
It does not mean they are going to love and honor each other in the way that they are promising to honor and love each other
It’s not just because I check a certain box that I am able to move forward in Matrimony or because I can’t check a certain box that I’m not able to move forward in Matrimony
The Church is inviting people to be sober and prudent in making this massively important decision
Especially because this does not just involve the couple
The good of marriage is not only the good of the spouses, but the procreation and education of children
The point of marriage is being able to bring new life into this world and to raise that new life in such a way that glorifies and honors God
THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT!!
The whole point of getting married is to help your spouse become a SAINT and to help whatever children come out of this marriage to become SAINTS
THAT IS THE POINT!!
Even though marriage is ordered to the procreation of children, we know not every couple is able to have biological children
In those cases, couples may choose to adopt
Or they can still live out a fruitful marriage through love, charity, hospitality, sacrifice
That is what we are all called to
So is the way we are setting up our family orienting us more and more clearly towards becoming saints with each other and helping our children become saints?
All of these things are very important
If there is a mixed marriage or if there is a disparity of cult, the Church has the ability to give permission or a dispensation from that
That typically comes from the Bishop
The Catholic party will always have to make the declaration and promise that they are Catholic and intend to continue to be Catholic for the rest of my life
At the same time I respect the conscience of my future partner in marriage in that they do not believe what I believe and we do not believe what each other believes totally and completely
So I intend to do everything I can to see that our children are baptized and educated as Catholics
That is the declaration the Catholic party makes
The non-Catholic party has to know that and be aware of that
Yes, the Catholic party is not planning on not being Catholic
The kids are going to be baptized and raised and educated as Catholics
Not just getting Baptized and never going to Church again
There are people who are listening and we all have different backgrounds
Some of us have experienced the brokenness of this
Some have experienced so much fruit that came out of the differences
Some have even had conversions that happened because of the marriage
Some have kids that are alive in faith and that is amazing
These are all good things and Fr. Mike is not diminishing the reality of them
Yes, conversion is possible
Yes, a flourishing family is possible
God’s plan is marriage under the regime of sin
We do not live in a Catholic country, or even necessarily a Christian country
We live in a country with a lot of pluralism
Maybe you could not find a Catholic spouse, or someone who believed everything you believe who was also a really good, noble person
Wherever we find ourselves, whether it is unmarried or married to someone we don’t share the Faith with, the call of the moment ALWAYS SAY YES TO GOD
What is the life that God is presenting right in front of us?
It is not necessarily going to be perfect because we live in an imperfect world
We live in a broken world
Every one of us is called to give God our YES in this moment
To give God our YES in this circumstance
So whatever circumstance you might find yourself in…
Whatever moment you might find yourself in…
Whatever season you might find yourself in…
That does not mean you can’t be a SAINT
That does not mean you can’t say YES to God
Because that is what it is to be a saint
SAY YES TO GOD AND NEVER STOP SAYING YES!!
We live in this imperfect world
We always have the opportunity and the invitation from God to say yes
We want to say YES to God right now
Wherever you are right now in your vocation, whatever the circumstance or season is…
JUST SAY YES!!
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!