Dating a married catholic

“I just read your recent blog post on the TGC website entitled ‘Dating across the Protestant/Catholic Divide.’ I just wanted to follow up with a quick question: how do you counsel people in your congregation who have already married across that same divide?

Do you have any helpful resources for them, or for me (their pastor)?

Roman Cath­olic faith, by which pledge he deprives himself of the privilege of teaching his own offspring the tenets of his religion or of associating them with him in worship in his own church. The Protestant pledges on his word of honor that he will in no way hinder or obstruct his com­panion in the exer Cise of the Roman Catholic re­ligion, b Ut no such assurance it exacted from the Roman Catholi C party to the marriage. "Marriage, Mixed." "The [Roman] Catholic party ought to seek the con­version of his companion before and after the wedding by means of good manners and industry, and above all by the example of a life sincerely [Roman] Catholic."—La Jesuit), Oct. In reply to the question, "May a [Roman] Catholic be best man or bridesmaid at a Protestant marriage?

Thi S means also that the Protestant must concede to the Roman Catholic party's wishes in all matters re­garding birth control, the use of contraceptives, "planned marriage," etc., which are subject to strict regulation by the Roman hierarchy. Furthermore, the Protestant is required to submit to a course of instruction in the Roman re­ligion by a priest before the marriage is performed, in order that he may understand well what the Papacy requires of the party to whom he is to be wedded. The Roman Catholic party is required to do all in his power to convert his Protestant compan­ion to the papal religion. ( July, 1939), a Roman Catholic periodical published monthly by Passionist Missions, Union City, New Jersey, replied: "If such an office is part of a religious rite, it is not lawful for a [Roman] Catholic to act as bridesmaid or best man, for it would be communication with a false religion and a tacit approbation of it." Protestant writers on this subject urge that Protestant youth be shown the dangers involved in marriage with Roman Catholics, and that a pro­gram of education in this direction be diligently fostered in all Protestant churches.

How about fulfilling sacraments like Holy Communion?

When it involves someone who has not been baptized then the marriage requires an express dispensation from the bishop in order for the union to be considered valid.Do such concessions communicate loving support or a negligent compromise?At the end of the day, the question of how to shepherd these couples is a discipleship issue.Attempting to convert one’s spouse can be interpreted as hostile and could lead to discord in the marriage.Humility and open and honest communication about expectations and the practical side of a mixed-marriage is important to making it succeed.

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