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Laws concering marriage QUESTION from Jessica Walsh December 10, 2000 Dear Sir,
I am a little unclear about the Catholic's laws concerning marriage. If a non-Catholic/Christian were to marry a Catholic, what circumstances must they follow to allow marriage in a Catholic Church? And if the two do decide to marry in a Catholic church must these two promise to raise their children in the Catholic faith only, or may they raise and educate their children in both of their religions, in order to let the child decide on their own religion when they become of age?
This has become a major concern between my significant other and I and any clarification of this would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Jessica Walsh
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on December 11, 2000 Dear Jessica,
Please find a good priest and talk to him about your concerns.
The following information comes from the Code of Canon Law of the Catholic Church.
Can. 1118 §1 A marriage between catholics, or between a catholic party and a baptised non-catholic, is to be celebrated in the parish church. By permission of the local Ordinary or of the parish priest, it may be celebrated in another church or oratory. §2 The local Ordinary can allow a marriage to be celebrated in another suitable place.
§3 A marriage between a catholic party and an unbaptised party may be celebrated in a church or in another suitable place.
Can. 1124 Without the express permission of the competent authority, marriage is prohibited between two baptised persons, one of whom was baptised in the catholic Church or received into it after baptism and has not defected from it by a formal act, the other of whom belongs to a Church or ecclesial community not in full communion with the catholic Church.
Can. 1125 The local Ordinary can grant this permission if there is a just and reasonable cause. He is not to grant it unless the following conditions are fulfilled:
1° the catholic party is to declare that he or she is prepared to remove dangers of defecting from the faith, and is to make a sincere promise to do all in his or her power in order that all the children be baptised and brought up in the catholic Church;
2° the other party is to be informed in good time of these promises to be made by the catholic party, so that it is certain that he or she is truly aware of the promise and of the obligation of the catholic party.
3° both parties are to be instructed about the purposes and essential properties of marriage, which are not to be excluded by either contractant.
Can. 1126 It is for the Episcopal Conference to prescribe the manner in which these declarations and promises, which are always required, are to be made, and to determine how they are to be established in the external forum, and how the non-catholic party is to be informed of them.
In Christ, John Miskell
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