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Thread: Non Catholic marrying a catholic

  1. #1
    say no more loydall's Avatar
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    Non Catholic marrying a catholic

    Folks,

    I'm getting married later this year and I don't believe in God or any of that stuff... My girlfriend is a Catholic and we're (hopefully) having a Catholic wedding in a Catholic church.

    Have any of you guys got any experience of this? I've heard I have to have 'classes' which I really don't like the sound of...

    The thing is, I'm really worried that, at some point, I'm going to have to say I believe in God.. which I most definately don't....

    Anyone been in a similar situation??

    Nice one.

  2. #2
    Peace - Just in Heaven koolbabs2000's Avatar
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    Yes - you have to do the church formalities mate like attending the Marriage course where they teach you the nuances of a happy marriage. They will announce your names for Mass - just in case somebody has any objections.
    Anyways here's "Wishing U a Long n' Happy Married Life". CHEERS !!!
    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
    - The Mahatma.

  3. #3
    say no more loydall's Avatar
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    Hmm - Well, I don't mind supporting her belief as long as I don't have to say anything I don't believe in...

  4. #4
    Banned indivision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydall
    Folks,

    I'm getting married later this year and I don't believe in God or any of that stuff... My girlfriend is a Catholic and we're (hopefully) having a Catholic wedding in a Catholic church.

    Have any of you guys got any experience of this? I've heard I have to have 'classes' which I really don't like the sound of...

    The thing is, I'm really worried that, at some point, I'm going to have to say I believe in God.. which I most definately don't....

    Anyone been in a similar situation??

    Nice one.
    Firstly, congratulations!

    You will need to do the marriage preparation. What that involves exactly will depend on the particular church. But, usually its a few classes and a weekend retreat. Some churches also have you see a counselor as well to help go over key issues that will probably come up during the marriage that you might not have thought to go over up until now. Im pretty sure that there is no "admit god exists" requirement. But, I believe they do want your agreement to raise your children Catholic.

    [While not having to become Catholic, you do have to agree that you are engaging in the Catholic understanding of marriage. Thats generally what the courses explain.]
    Last edited by indivision; 03-20-2006 at 06:51 AM.

  5. #5
    - carly1979's Avatar
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    you have to attend classes? that's madness. what sort of 'key issues' do they discuss?

    surely its all common sense stuff which you don't need the church to tell you about? or is it 'catholic issues'?

    edit: sorry loydall, forgot to say- congratulations man

  6. #6
    curmudgeon swampy's Avatar
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    The preist needs to give you a dispensation to marry after dicsussing the sanctity of marriage, comtraception, termination of pregancy all that sort of happy stuff.
    "They're very much like scruffy pigs to look at, and they've got big, knobbly warts and lumps all over their long, hairy faces. They are very, very ugly indeed..."

  7. #7
    Banned indivision's Avatar
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    i think its uncommon that they have you see the counselor and do the key issue thing. its usually just about how Catholics define marriage.

    but, the key issues are really justpractical things. like what is your idea of roles husband and wife should have raising children. do you agree about how money is spent. do you agree about whether or not both parents should work. that sort of thing. its not so much about explaining what you should do. its more about checking to see if youve gone over those things because they want the marriage to last.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    Have you even discussed this with your fiance? Or have you just been 'going along' with whatever church-related requirements are thrown at you on a one-by-one basis...and now you're starting to see that maybe you should know more about what you're getting yourself into? Does she know that you specifically don't want to say that you believe in God?
    mrush


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  9. #9
    Banned indivision's Avatar
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    exactly one of the main purposes of the preparation process. i know i was suprised. i thought we had pretty much gone over everything ourselves but realized there were issues that most people wouldnt consider until down the road. even if it doesnt change any plans, its helpful to have an understanding going into things rather than butting heads in the moment.

  10. #10
    associate admedia's Avatar
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    Congradulations loydall!

    If you really want to know what you are in for at these classes....

    have you ever seen The Exorcsit?

  11. #11
    say no more loydall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUSHVision
    Have you even discussed this with your fiance? Or have you just been 'going along' with whatever church-related requirements are thrown at you on a one-by-one basis...and now you're starting to see that maybe you should know more about what you're getting yourself into? Does she know that you specifically don't want to say that you believe in God?
    Well - we have discussed this and she knows that I can't say I believe in God. I suppose my question is - can I get away with saying something like; "I won't get in the way of my wife giving our children the option of following the Catholic faith".

    You see - I can't say that I'd bring my children up as a Catholic because I wouldn't. But I certainly wouldn't get in the way of my wife explaining her beliefs to them and allowing them the choice of following those beliefs.

    But seems to me that most of the rules that I might have to follow are just common sense anyway so I won't have any problem following them...

    It's all this God stuff I have the problem with.

    My non-belief in God is pretty important to me.

  12. #12
    Banned indivision's Avatar
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    dont quote me on agreeing to raise the kids Catholic. Im just assuming that point since I know they do require any god-parent to make that agreement (whether they are catholic or not) to be in a baptism ceremony.

    wait a minute. doesnt your fiance know these answers?!

  13. #13
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    I hate to say this. Most of the church goers I know retain nothing from sunday service.

    I won't speak of the Catholic church even though I was raised in it.
    However most of the religous bodies I'm aware of don't like the idea of unyoked
    spouses. Many are wise to wait untill after the honeymoon to start dropping the bomb
    They expect to wear you down in a few years.

  14. #14
    .: Weirded Out :. The_Xell's Avatar
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    Don't bother with a bunch of lies... You'd learn more by watching an advert for Domino's Pizza.

    Just have an outdoor wedding, get your wedding certificate sorted and have a friend/relative marry you. Have a good, fun and non religious wedding and put those Catholics to shame.

    P.S - Congrats and good luck!

  15. #15
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydall
    Well - we have discussed this and she knows that I can't say I believe in God. I suppose my question is - can I get away with saying something like; "I won't get in the way of my wife giving our children the option of following the Catholic faith".

    You see - I can't say that I'd bring my children up as a Catholic because I wouldn't. But I certainly wouldn't get in the way of my wife explaining her beliefs to them and allowing them the choice of following those beliefs.

    But seems to me that most of the rules that I might have to follow are just common sense anyway so I won't have any problem following them...

    It's all this God stuff I have the problem with.

    My non-belief in God is pretty important to me.
    It's all well and good and whatever you want to do when it's just you and your mate, but when you bring all the trappings of Catholic doctrine into the mix it's a completely different story. You will be partaking in traditional rituals, speaking vows and making commitments that many don't take lightly. If it's that important to you that you aren't saying anything that you don't believe in, then you might want to have a sit-down with whatever Catholic functionary that would be appropriate and ask them these specific questions. Tell him/her/them that you don't believe in God and discuss how this might impact not only the wedding ceremony, but your entire future with this woman.

    Religious belief is a core aspect of your personality. There are plenty of belief combinations that work, but if she's a hardcore Catholic and you hold fast to your non-belief in God, then there might possibly be some problems. How many will be determined by how tolerant you are of each other's beliefs.

    So that's one thing to consider...how the church itself will view your opinions. The other thing is how your fiance will view them. How hardcore is she in her commitment to the church? It's one thing to let her do whatever she wants, but it's quite another if you are also signing up for 'marriage classes' and possibly letting the church dictate how your kids are raised.

    Let me say that I understand where you're at and have been in similar situations. I'm a little different in that I do believe in God, but I don't believe in the Catholic church's version of that concept. I've had a number of 'brushes with the church', so to speak, ranging from various experiences in my youth where I just did what I was told until I was old enough to make up my own mind and started climbing out the window of Sunday School in order to escape the madness (memories of singing "I've got the whole world in my hand" and "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands" on the bus that carted us off to be brain-washed will haunt me to the end of my days...and lucky me, I was always the first one on and the last one off) to having a girlfriend whose mother was a lesbian and both she and her partner were both ministers of a gay church.

    So if you aren't already aware, just know what you are in for. If your fiance is the type who likes to go to church and wants them to have a say in how you raise your kids, then make certain that's the life you want before signing up for the long haul.
    mrush


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  16. #16
    PAZ nordberg's Avatar
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    i married a catholic, but we couldn't have a catholic mass for a wedding. why? because i'm not catholic...nope. because we lived together...nope (they changed that in the 90s). it was because i was never baptized, and that was that. which is fine...after sitting thru all her brothers and sisters weddings, i'm glad we got to have the wedding we did. all the attendees said it was the most fun wedding they had been to in years, and that was fine with me.

    congrats and good luck!

    Ah, these boys is all swelled up. So this was earlier...getting set to trade. Then, woooaaah differences.
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  17. #17
    PAZ nordberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydall
    You see - I can't say that I'd bring my children up as a Catholic because I wouldn't. But I certainly wouldn't get in the way of my wife explaining her beliefs to them and allowing them the choice of following those beliefs.
    you can't casually be raised catholic, so unless you baptize them right away, they won't be catholic. if your wife is just passing on beleifs, and letting the kids decide and get baptized later in life, then they are being raised christain, not catholic. catholics are like a gang, and they initiate you right at the beginning.

    Ah, these boys is all swelled up. So this was earlier...getting set to trade. Then, woooaaah differences.
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  18. #18
    Banned indivision's Avatar
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    haha. you can be baptized and start at any age. no cut off like the military. though thats a good point about raising. if you wait until they are 18, they arent being 'raised' any more.

    thats a good point about the baptism requirement for marriage. now that i think about it, i seem to remember that you need to be baptized in some christian faith. for example, if you were baptized as a protestant but no longer believe, that would count (if you get the certificate).

  19. #19
    bidibidibidi clicky2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nordberg
    you can't casually be raised catholic, so unless you baptize them right away, they won't be catholic. if your wife is just passing on beleifs, and letting the kids decide and get baptized later in life, then they are being raised christain, not catholic. catholics are like a gang, and they initiate you right at the beginning.
    Not exactly true. My wife was baptized Catholic but raised Luthern. I've known many that have been baptized and went their own way later in life. Confirmation is the true test of the Catholic faith ... until you are confirmed (typically in HS or later, when you can make your own decision) you aren't truely 100% Catholic.

    Anyway, we had a "mixed" marriage. I'm Catholic, my wife (while originally Catholic) was Luthern. They basically had us agree to do all we can to raise our childern in the Catholic faith, meet with a sponsor couple 2-3 times (for a couple hours in the evenings ... just go over some compatibility questions to facilitate discussion), go to a 1/2 day retreat (5-6 hours long, mostly listening to speakers) and that's about it. No classes, but I've heard of some parishes requiring them (not sure what they would be about though).

    That's about it. Nothing that had either of us signing our lives away. Of course it could differ from church to church. Took all of maybe 8-10 hours in total.

  20. #20
    Retired SCORM Guru PAlexC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loydall
    My non-belief in God is pretty important to me.
    Don't mean to be insulting here, but that seems a little extreme no? Most people aren't into organized religion, I can understand that. But being adamant that there isn't a God is kind of...well rare. Hey, whatever.

    Frankly, I'm surprised she's OK with it. To say you 100% don't believe in God, but agree to a religous ceremony creates a dichotomy. Either you believe in God and just don't like organized religion, or you're going along with something you think is bull. As important as what you believe is to you, would she get married at city hall if you asked? (Not out of necessity, and assuming she is a practicing Catholic.)

    The "classes" are pre-canna. They depend 100% on the preist running them. I've had friends who said they were a waste of time (both Catholics), and others (bride Catholic, groom nothing) say they were actually pretty helpful. It's more than just the Church's rules on marraige, well it should be. It should be about how to deal with each other when problems come up, etc. Kind of like pre-marriage counseling. But if the preist sucks, you're gonna hate it.

    I can't see this not causing an issue somewhere down the road between you two, even if she's not a practicing Catholic. If she does belive I hope it never is, but you never know what life will throw at your and how people will react.

    You see - I can't say that I'd bring my children up as a Catholic because I wouldn't. But I certainly wouldn't get in the way of my wife explaining her beliefs to them and allowing them the choice of following those beliefs.
    They're not going to go for that. Even if you phrased it better. (e.g. "explaining her beliefs" becomes "raises them Catholic".) From their perspective, you're saying you don't belive in any of it, and the wedding therefore is to appease her. In which case, they'll tell you to go get married at city hall.

    Anyway, if you manage to swing this, one tip I'll give you is to see if you can just do the ceremony, not the whole mass. My cousin did this when he married a Baptist girl. The whole thing took a little less than a 1/2 hour. If you do a full mass, expect to be there for an hour and a half. If you've got family that's not Catholic, they'll appreciate it.

    To be frank, it'd be easier if you just said you were Jewish.
    Last edited by PAlexC; 03-20-2006 at 12:45 PM.
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