Back in December, I posted a message regarding marriages between Protestants and Roman Catholics under the auspices of the Catholic church (see here). I stated that in such a marriage, the Protestant party was required to sign a document in which they promised they would not attempt to convert their Catholic spouse and that any children from the marriage would be raised in the Catholic religion.
Yesterday, I was listening to the 06/02/17 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show (The Station of the Cross, WLOF (Our Lady of Fatima) 101.7 FM, Buffalo, N.Y.) featuring moderator, Mike Denz, and host, priest Dave Baker. Toward the end of the show, an anonymous listener called in with a question about inter-faith marriages. In the conversation, priest Baker mentioned that only the Catholic party was required to sign a document promising to remain faithful to the church and that any children would be raised as Catholic/s. The caller was as surprised as I was because she was also under the impression that the non-Catholic party was also required to sign a document.
So what exactly is the current protocol? I did a little research and learned the following:
The 1917 Code of Canon Law did require the Protestant individual to sign the agreement that I cited. But in 1970, in deference to burgeoning ecumenism, pope Paul VI dropped the requirement. The change was incorporated into the 1983 Code. For details, see the article below.
So, I definitely stand corrected. One must constantly stay alert to the changes in the church that boasts that it never changes – “Semper edem” (Always the same). If you’re a believer and plan on marrying a Roman Catholic, you’ll have a big problem on your hands once the thrill of the wedding and honeymoon wear off. Your future spouse may talk about “grace,” “faith,” and “Jesus Christ the Savior,” but how they define those terms is incompatible with the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Being in a marriage with an unbeliever, whether religious or atheist, is not an easy road. Are your children going to learn the Gospel or are they going to learn religious legalism with a false gospel of sacramental grace and merit?
Do Catholic Parents Have to Raise their Children as Catholics?