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Karthika Palanichamy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Hindu and I have been in love with a Catholic man for the last 6 years. I started believing in Christ and am ready to convert and become a Catholic before our wedding but my parents are not happy with my plans to convert or marry a non-Hindu. I want to convince them by getting married the Hindu way.

  • Is it possible we can get married both the ways though I will be converting to the Catholic faith? or a better question is:
  • What would be another alternative to make my parents happy?

Karthika

  { Is it possible to be married both the Catholic way and Hindu way so I can please my parents? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Karthika,

  • Is your Catholic fiancé and his parents equally adamant that he will be married in a Catholic ceremony?

If not, another route would be to have you and your fiancé married in a Hindu ceremony. You and your fiancé would ask the Catholic Church to recognize that Hindu wedding by granting two dispensations, one:

  1. for Disparity of Cult (i.e. a Catholic marrying an unbaptized person), and the other
  2. for Form (i.e. a Catholic married by a non priest or Deacon).

With these two dispensations granted, the marriage would be valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church but it would not be a sacramental Marriage. Sacramental marriages are only between two baptized persons. The very day and moment you are baptized your Marriage would become sacramental.

Obviously, if you convert prior to the Marriage then it would be impossible for the Church to recognize a Hindu marriage of two Catholics.

In my experience, most Hindu/Catholic couples eventually attempt to have two ceremonies.

If you end up doing that, the Catholic ceremony should be second. The reason for this is we believe a Marriage has to be a complete act of the will of both parties.

If the Hindu Marriage were second then it is possible that the Hindu party at the Catholic ceremony would not be making a complete act of the will but would be thinking:

My consent to this marriage will be complete after the Hindu ceremony still to come.

I hope this is helpful.

Fr. Jonathan

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