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Khristian Danoog wrote:

Hi, guys —

My girlfriend and I are planning to get married next year. She is a Catholic and I am a Born-Again Christian. I was informed that my girlfriend needs to secure a disparity of cult from the local bishop. The problem is, my girlfriend is living in Canada and I am here in the Philippines.

  • What are the requirements and documents needed for the disparity of cult and how long will it take before we can secure one?

Thank you,


  { What are the required documents needed for a disparity of cult and how long will it take? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Khristian —

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. From the information you gave us you probably do not need a Disparity of Cult. A dispensation for Disparity of Cult would be needed if one of you was not baptized. You said she is a Catholic and you are a born-again Christian, so I assume you are both baptized Christians.

If I am correct, what is needed is a “Permission for Mixed Marriage” and this is issued by someone from the Catholic diocese where the Catholic party lives in. So figure out what diocese she has a permanent residence in and then meet with a priest or deacon there and they will ensure that the proper permission is granted for the wedding.

In order for the delegated diocesan official to grant this, your fiancée (i.e. the Catholic) must make two promises. These promises would be the same for a Disparity of Cult dispensation.
You, as the non-Catholic in the relationship, do not have to make any promises; however, you have to be aware of the Catholic's promises. These promises are:

  1. That she remain a Catholic by reaffirming her faith.
  2. That she do all in her power to baptize and raise your children as Catholics.

In most dioceses, this is rather simple to obtain once you have met with the person preparing you for marriage and that person has established your freedom to marry.

This process is made more difficult because of your long distance relationship. Figure out when and where you and your fiancée will be together and set an appointment with a priest or deacon to help you at that time and place. You will also need to find a time and place where you can do Marriage Prep. classes, often referred to as “Pre-Cana".

I wish you well and hope that this is helpful.

Fr. Jonathan

Mike replied:

Dear Khristian —

I would only add that when Father says:
however, you have to be aware of the Catholic's promises.

... and not interfere in the promises she has made, is implied.

Hope this helps,


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